Search

 

Cablegate: Zim Notes 9-25-09

VZCZCXRO5098
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #0771/01 2691605
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261605Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4950
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 2381
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3051
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3164
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1593
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2427
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSYDAKAR 2796
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3212
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5657
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2344
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000771

SIPDIS

AF/S FOR B. WALCH
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN
TREASURY FOR D. PETERS
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR LDOBBINS AND JHARMON
COMMERCE FOR BECKY ERKUL

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ECON EFIN EAID ZI
SUBJECT: ZIM NOTES 9-25-09

----------------------------
SUMMARY - Topics of the week
----------------------------

- Political Parties Reconfigure Control of Constitutional Process
- Mujuru Faction Wins Fierce Battle for Women's League
- Partners Being Forced onto Wildlife Conservancies
- High Court Upholds Private Diamond Claim in Chiadzwa
- MDC Security Advisor Resigns
- WOZA Demonstrates for Peace...
- ... and Then Receives Human Rights Award
- Noise but No News at Mining Conference
- Court Blocks Kingdom Meikles General Meeting
- Prime Minister Sends Delegation to London
- RBZ Act on the Docket when Parliament Resumes
- Quotes of the Week


-----------------------------
On the Political/Social Front
-----------------------------

1. Political Parties Reconfigure Control of Constitutional
Process... The three principals to the power-sharing agreement,
President Mugabe, PM Tsvangirai, and DPM Mutambara, met last week
and agreed to form three new entities to oversee the constitutional
process - a Management Committee that appears to take the place of
the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) as the overall controlling
entity, a Steering Committee charged with implementation, and a
Secretariat responsible for administration. The Management
Committee consists of Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga
(MDC-T), a negotiator from each party -- Patrick Chinamasa
(ZANU-PF), Tendai Biti (MDC-T), and Welshman Ncube (MDC-M) -- and
the three existing co-chairs of the PSC. Matinenga has justified
the changes on the basis that it will keep the process on track and
improve efficiency, while opponents charge that the executive has
effectively sidelined Parliament.

2. Mujuru Faction Wins Fierce Battle for Women's League... Olivia
Muchena, the Joice Mujuru-backed candidate was declared the winner
of a hotly-contested election to head the ZANU-PF Women's League.
The election developed into a struggle between Vice President Mujuru
and rival Oppah Muchinguri for control of the Women's League leading
into December's ZANU-PF Congress. A secret ballot had to be held
after violence erupted at the conference between Mujuru and
Muchinguri supporters on September 15. Shuvai Mahofa, the losing
candidate, now contends that vote rigging robbed her victory.

3. Partners Being Forced onto Wildlife Conservancies... Wildlife
ranchers in southern Zimbabwe's Save Valley Conservancy report that
ZANU-PF insiders are attempting to create forced partnerships with
them. At a meeting last week attended by many of the ranchers and
scores of ZANU-PF officials including Minister of Higher and
Tertiary Education Stan Mudenge and Masvingo Governor Titus
Maluleke, the ranchers were told that 25-year leases had been
executed by Minister of Environment Frances Nhema which partnered
ZANU-PF officials with individual ranchers. The ranchers include a
handful of foreign investors who view this as an extension of land
Qhandful of foreign investors who view this as an extension of land
reform and a violation of bilateral investment protection treaties
between Zimbabwe and their host nations. The forced partnerships
are an obvious affront to the rule of law and will negatively affect
what is already a poor investment climate. The ranchers are also
concerned that their management of conservation areas will be
impeded and could affect wildlife, including rare rhinos.

4. High Court Upholds Private Diamond Claim in Chiadzwa... A High
Court judge has ruled that African Consolidated Resources (ACR) has
legal title to the area constituting the Chiadzwa diamond fields.
According to an ACR adviser, Judge Charles Hungwe refused to stay

HARARE 00000771 002 OF 003


his judgment pending any appeal, theoretically paving the way for
ACR to immediately occupy the fields and begin operations. Judge
Hungwe also awarded compensation for diamonds heretofore mined by
the government, stating that since the government had claimed it was
complying with the Kimberley Process, there should be a record of
diamonds extracted and sold. As a practical matter, ACR hopes that
the court's ruling will force the government into negotiations to
establish a partnership with ACR and lead the way to a controlled
and transparent exploitation of Chiadzwa.


5. MDC Security Advisor Resigns... MDC security advisor Martin
Rupiya resigned this week under pressure from ZANU-PF which objected
to the fact that Rupiya had been a member of the Rhodesian Army
Selous Scouts (Special Forces). Rupiya, who subsequently became a
member of the Zimbabwean National Army, retired as a Lieutenant
Colonel in 1989. He wrote a doctoral dissertation on the Rhodesian
Army and before working for Tsvangirai was an academic affiliated
with various think tanks. Sidney Sekeremayi, Minister of State for
National Security in the President's office, reportedly told
Tsvangirai that the National Security Council would refuse to meet
if Rupiya was in attendance.

6. WOZA Demonstrates for Peace... Thousands of members of the
activist group, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), commemorated the
United Nations International Day of Peace by demonstrating and
protesting against the collapse of education, healthcare and the
rule of law. The police did not interfere with the protests in
Harare and allowed protestors to march to the UN offices where they
presented a petition. In Bulawayo, riot police broke up the
demonstration and beat up at least 25 members causing serious
injuries to the protestors.


7. ... and Then Receives Human Rights Award... On September 15 WOZA
co-founder Magodonga Mahlangu was awarded the 2009 Robert F. Kennedy
Human Rights Award. Commenting on the award Mahlangu said, "Now I
know I am not alone, the world is watching and one day Zimbabwe
shall be a normal society again."

--------------------------
Economic and Business News
--------------------------

8. Noise but No News at Mining Conference... At the GOZ-sponsored
Mining Conference on September 17 and 18, President Mugabe, PM
Tsvangirai, and a number of cabinet ministers tried to make the case
that Zimbabwe was an attractive destination for new mining
investment (see Quotes of the Week). But happy talk from the podium
was not enough to distract miners from the acute uncertainties
created by the "indigenization" law, ongoing farm invasions, and
recent developments like the Kingdom Meikles saga (see below). Nor
did the GOZ have any new policiesto promote. As for Zimbabwe's
investment climate generally, the uncertainty that discourages major
new commitments by mining companies will not be resolved until
Qnew commitments by mining companies will not be resolved until
sustained reforms establish a degree of policy credibility.

9. Court Blocks Kingdom Meikles General Meeting... The latest twist
in the long-running saga of the troubled Kingdom Meikles
conglomerate is a High Court injunction that blocked a September 24
extraordinary general meeting of shareholders. The purpose of the
meeting was to approve reversal of the merger that had brought
together Kingdom Financial Holdings and the Meikles business empire
to form what was once Zimbabwe's largest locally-owned company. The
court blocked the meeting at the request of Kingdom Meikles CEO
Nigel Chanakira, who had collapsed and been hospitalized in South
Africa. As part of the de-merger, Chanakira and his closest
associates were to resign. Meanwhile, MDC-T co-Minister of Home
Affairs Giles Mutsekwa has said he regrets signing the order that

HARARE 00000771 003 OF 003


allowed the GOZ to seize Kingdom Meikles under the wide-ranging
authority of an anti-corruption statute.

10. Prime Minister Sends Delegation to London... Following hard on
the heels of two investment conferences, PM Tsvangirai dispatched a
delegation to London on September 23 to appeal to Zimbabweans based
in the UK to invest in Zimbabwe. The Minister of State in the Prime
Minister's office, Gorden Moyo, is leading the delegation. The
director of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority and the chief
executive of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange are expected to speak at
the Diaspora Investment Conference on September 26.

11. RBZ Act on the Docket when Parliament Resumes... The Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Act, a piece of legislation proposed by
Minister of Finance Tendai Biti and designed to reform and curtail
the authorities of the RBZ, has been publicly posted and is
scheduled to be debated in Parliament when the House of Assembly
comes back into session. Currently Parliament is scheduled to
resume sitting on September 29 when Mugabe opens the new session,
but precedent has been for the House to immediately adjourn for up
to 10 days.

12. Quotes of the Week:

"There has never been a better time than now for investors to gain
access to good mineral resources in the country."
-- Mining Minister Obert Mpofu, quoted in "The Herald" on September
16.

"Until we see some certainty, there won't be any significant
investment in mining."
-- Rio Tinto executive Niels Kristensen, quoted by Reuters at the
Mining Conference on September 17.

PETTERSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>