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Cablegate: Rare Public Rift Among Goz Ministries

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

281226Z Oct 03

UNCLAS HARARE 002140

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/S
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND
TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW
PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER
STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

E. O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EINV PGOV ZI
SUBJECT: Rare Public Rift Among GOZ Ministries


1. (SBU) Summary: Disagreement among moderates and
hardliners has spilled into public fora, a rare and
refreshing occurrence in this insular government. End
summary.

2. (SBU) Over the past year, the GOZ's media and more
militant ministers have increasingly castigated the GOZ's
economic team for mismanagement. Pusillanimous Reserve
Bank (RBZ) and Finance Ministry officials have
consistently ignored this public thrashing. Recently,
however, one official decided to strike back.

Interventionist Proposals Spook Lender
--------------------------------------
3. (SBU) On October 10, the State-run Herald led with
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made's plan to reconstitute
the defunct Agricultural Marketing Authority, a
parastatal that purchased all Zimbabwean tobacco until
1994. The timing could not have been worse. Apparently,
Made's remarks boosted Zimbabwe's already-stratospheric
risk factor, scaring off an international financier
prepared to lend US$30 million against future tobacco
earnings. When Made subsequently lashed out at the RBZ
for failing to release the funds for inputs for resettled
farmers - the Herald's October 21 lead story - Deputy
Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri fought back. He told the
Business Tribune that it was Made's, not RBZ's, fault
that the US$30 deal fell through, since the lender backed
out only because Made proposed nationalizing tobacco
purchases. Kuruneri has publicly called upon Made to
clarify his position.

4. (SBU) An RBZ director told us Kuruneri's rebuke of
Made lifted spirits on the central bank's sullen staff.
However, the RBZ director said Kuruneri may not embolden
many others on the economic team to speak out. Outgoing
RBZ Governor Leonard Tsumba left his post as a "beaten
man" and the Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa is "too
much of a gentleman."

Comment
-------
5. (SBU) It seems RBZ and Finance officials will
continue to belittle self-defeating economic policies in
private - but refuse to admit the Emperor has no clothes
in public.

Sullivan

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