Search

 

Cablegate: Mugabe to Restructure Economic Team

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

UNCLAS HARARE 002184

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: Mugabe to Restructure Economic Team

Refs: a) Harare 2140 b) Harare 2149

1. (SBU) Summary: In a clear indication that hardliners
are winning out over Finance Ministry and Reserve Bank
(RBZ) moderates (refs a/b), President Mugabe has
announced his intent to shake up his economic team. It
also suggests the November 20 budget speech will offer
Zimbabwe's beleaguered private sector scant relief. End
summary.

2. (U) Mugabe's remarks closely paralleled recent
comments by cabinet hardliners Jonathan Moyo and Joseph
Made:

- Forex Shortage. Mugabe continued to blame parallel
market traders for creating a forex shortage. In some of
his strongest language to date, he said the "black market
. . . is run and supported by a mercenary breed of wily
and selfish merchants, a breed that neither sows nor
sweats."

- Targeted U.S. and EU sanctions. Mugabe referred to
"the vicious campaign led by Britain and her allies" as
another main reason for the economic downturn.

- Land Reform. Mugabe hinted that Zimbabwe's chaotic
land redistribution was not over: "Fast track was just a
phase . . . within a broader and ongoing land reform
program. Its conclusion is therefore not the end of land
reform." He lashed out again at white farmers who "hope
that Zimbabwe will be their colony again. It will not.
Never, ever!"

Comment
-------
3. (SBU) The GOZ's departure from reality is becoming
more pronounced. It routinely mischaracterizes U.S. and
EU targeted sanctions as broad trade restrictions,
fabricates burgeoning numbers of foreign visitors to
Zimbabwe and will not acknowledge that the official
exchange rate of Z$824:US$1 is merely a GOZ subsidy for
certain services. (Only on the parallel market is
currency freely exchanged.)

4. (SBU) The private sector had been hoping against hope
that a positive sign would emerge from the November 20
budget speech: devaluation, formal end to land reform,
return of exchange bureaux, higher revenue retention for
exporters (currently 50 percent). Mugabe's remarks not
only stymie these hopes, they weaken the impact of recent
GOZ reforms. By lashing out so fervently against the
black market, for example, Mugabe ensures that oil
companies will think twice about selling fuel at market
rates (counteracting Energy Ministry assurances that they
may do so).

5. (SBU) It is also probable that Mugabe will replace
several RBZ and Finance moderates with hardliners.
Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa appears to be through.
Hardline Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa has already
been standing in for him, a snub to moderate Finance
Deputy Chris Kuruneri, who criticized remarks by
Agriculture Minister Made last week (ref a).

Sullivan

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>