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Cablegate: Zimbabwe Not Compliant with Agoa Eligibility

VZCZCXRO6869
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #1242/01 2851015
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121015Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0692
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1335
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1186
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1339
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0600
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0965
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1393
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3771
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1162
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1814
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0586
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1556
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//
RUEPGBA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001242

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

AF/S FOR S. HILL
AF/EPS FOR J. POTASH
STATE PASS TO USTR FOR C. HAMILTON
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR M. COPSON AND E.LOKEN
TREASURY FOR J. RALYEA AND A. SEVERINS
COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AGOA ASEC ECON ELAB ETRD PGOV PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE NOT COMPLIANT WITH AGOA ELIGIBILITY
CRITERIA

REF: STATE 163056

Zimbabwe continues to fall short of AGOA,s qualifying
criteria. Post's input for the upcoming interagency review
follows:

a. Market-Based Economy: As a result of gross government
mismanagement of the economy, the role of markets has
weakened steadily and the country,s economic outlook is
bleak. The World Economic Forum,s Global Competitiveness
Report 2006-2007 cited Zimbabwe,s macroeconomic environment
as the worst in the world. A persistent and deepening budget
deficit and loose monetary policy have led to quadruple-digit
inflation. The official exchange rate is infrequently
adjusted and consequently heavily overvalued, depressing
exports and further weakening the market value of the
Zimbabwe dollar. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is also deeply
engaged in loss-making quasi-fiscal activity that has
distorted investment patterns. The IMF has estimated that
real per capita GDP will contract by a further 5.1 percent in
2006. Unemployment in the formal sector is estimated at
75-80 percent.

b. Political Reforms/Rule of Law/Anticorruption: This year,
the GOZ is continuing its attack on political pluralism by
enacting and proposing new legislation that strengthens its
hand against the democratic opposition. In June, the GOZ
began to enforce the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act, which expanded the Government's already repressive
system of legislation. Police frequently use the new law to
block demonstrations by civil society groups. The ruling
party also has proposed legislation dealing with the
interception of communications and counterterrorism that
legal experts caution could be used against regime opponents.
In moves that echoed last year's Operation Restore Order,
which destroyed the homes and businesses of over 700,000
people, the GOZ continues to periodically demolish informal
businesses and evict people from their homes. Politically,
the opposition party operates in a climate of intimidation
and repression. Security forces harass, beat, and
arbitrarily arrest perceived opposition supporters. The GOZ
keeps the country's only non-government daily newspaper out
of operation. In politically sensitive cases, the judiciary,
especially the higher courts, shows indications of being
politically influenced or intimidated. Political elites
frequently ignore adverse court holdings. Official
corruption is widespread. The Government of Zimbabwe
prosecutes corruption selectively if at all, focusing on
individuals who have fallen out of favor with the ruling
party. The Government's allocation of resources, such as new
homes and formerly white-owned commercial farms, has been
nontransparent and driven by patronage.

c. Elimination of Barriers to U.S. Trade and Investment: The
steeply deteriorating macroeconomic conditions, lack of rule
of law, foreign exchange surrender requirements on exporters,
a historically wide parallel exchange rate premium, declining
availability of foreign exchange, and pervasive shortages of
food, fuel, electric power and other basics render Zimbabwe's
investment climate highly unattractive. Total investment as

HARARE 00001242 002 OF 002


a percentage of GDP has fallen dramatically from 15.5 percent
in 1997-2001 to an estimated 3.5 percent in 2006.

d. Poverty Reduction: While the GOZ maintains several
programs that provide food or basic services to the poor,
they have had minimal effect against the backdrop of sharply
declining economic and social indicators. Most Zimbabweans
have grown progressively poorer over the past 6 years. The
2004 Progress Report on Zimbabwe Millennium Development Goals
estimates that the proportion of the population living below
the Food Poverty Line rose from 57 percent in 1995 to 69
percent in 2002. In the same time period, the proportion of
the population falling below the total consumption poverty
line edged up from 74 percent to 80 percent. The Zimbabwe
Demographic Health Survey 2005-2006 reports a worsening of
the nutritional status of children since the last survey in
1999. Despite abundant rainfall the past year, food
production improved only slightly and remained well below
estimated need. As a result, food security remained a
problem for over 1 million Zimbabweans, especially the rural
poor. All in all, current trends indicate that poverty is on
the increase in both rural and urban areas.

e. Workers' Rights/Child Labor/Human Rights: The Government
engages in the pervasive and systematic abuse of human and
worker rights. Security forces arbitrarily arrest and
detain, assault, and torture with impunity persons considered
critical of the ruling party or its policies. Despite
official recognition of worker rights, the Government
continues to exert heavy pressure on labor unions - limiting
their freedom of association and right to organize. Unions
have been denied routine meetings and necessary consultations
with constituents under the draconian Protection of Order and
Security Act (POSA). The GOZ maintains several programs
aimed at improving child welfare; however, child labor
remains a problem due to worsening macroeconomic conditions.

f. International Terrorism/U.S. National Security: While our
relationship with the GOZ is severely strained, the
Government does not engage in actions specifically meant to
support international terrorism or undermine U.S. national
security and has been cooperative on counter-terrorism
issues. That said, the most senior GOZ officials regularly
attempt to undermine U.S. foreign policy interests by
recklessly espousing public rhetoric filled with blatant
falsehoods and wild accusations at high-profile international
fora.

SCHULTZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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