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Cablegate: Zim Notes 11-30-2009

VZCZCXRO2424
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #0924/01 3340653
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300653Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5162
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3180
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3290
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1717
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2551
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2920
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPAL 3338
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5786
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2470
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000924

AF/S FOR B. WALCH
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR L.DOBBINS AND J. HARMON
COMMERCE FOR ROBERT TELCHIN

SIPDIS

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ECON ZI
SUBJECT: ZIM NOTES 11-30-2009

-----------
1. SUMMARY
-----------

Topics of the week:

Zuma Sending Negotiating Team to Harare...
South African Investment Treaty Signing Today...
Bennett Trial Limps on as Gwezere Languishes in Prison...
Gono Not Formally Joining ZANU-PF...
Prosecutor Gets Promotion Instead of Jail Time...
Obama Honors WOZA...
2010 Budget to be Presented on December 2...
BP & Shell Deal Stopped on Account of Indigenization Law...
Tourism Up in Zimbabwe?

---------------------------------
On the Political and Social Front
----------------------------------

2. Zuma Sending Negotiating Team to Harare... South African
President and SADC-appointed facilitator, Jacob Zuma, is sending a
three-person negotiating team to Harare on November 27 to further
negotiations on outstanding political issues between the three GPA
party signatories. The team is led by Charles Nqacula, a political
adviser to Zuma and a former defense minister. It also includes Mac
Maharaj, a former minister of transport and hero of South Africa's
anti-Apartheid struggle, and former ambassador and presidential
foreign policy adviser Lindiwe Zulu. Negotiators for the three
parties began meeting this week, but the late start and the fact
that ZANU-PF is unlikely to agree to concessions until after the
ZANU-PF Congress, set to conclude on December 18, make it highly
doubtful that negotiations will conclude within the 30 days set by
SADC at the Troika Summit in Maputo.

3. South African Investment Treaty Signing Today... Zimbabwe and
South Africa plan to sign a Bilateral Investment Promotion and
Protection Agreement on November 27 that the GOZ sees as a step
toward rebuilding investor confidence with its large southern
neighbor. However, the BIPPA is contentious because it fails to
offer any redress to nearly 250 South African farmers whose land was
expropriated under land reform, and therefore, according to the
Commercial Farmers Union, would contravene the SADC Tribunal ruling
invalidating Zimbabwean farm seizures as discriminatory. In an
effort to stave off or influence the signing, resident South African
farmer Louis Fick brought an urgent order to court in South Africa
on November 26 seeking that South Africa honor its SADC ruling
obligations. The North Gauteng High Court issued a ruling ordering
the South African government to honor the SADC ruling that upheld
the rights of a group of Zimbabwean farmers.

4. Bennett Trial Limps on as Gwezere Languishes in Prison... The
trial of MDC-T Treasurer General and Deputy Agriculture
Minister-designate Roy Bennett limped on this week as the first
three witnesses failed to produce any evidence linking him to
terrorism, insurrection and insurgency charges. However, the
prosecution is undeterred and intends on calling ten more witnesses.
Meanwhile, MDC Transport Manager Pascal Gwezere is languishing in
remand prison as prosecutors decide whether to appeal the bail
granted him on November 20. Gwezere was abducted by state security
Qgranted him on November 20. Gwezere was abducted by state security
agents on October 27 and is charged with stealing arms from an
armory in Harare. The prison authorities continue to deny him
medical treatment for injuries he allegedly suffered from torture by
state security agents.


5. Gono Not Formally Joining ZANU-PF... Reserve Bank Governor
Gideon Gono will not be adding the title of ZANU-PF Manicaland
Provincial Finance Secretary to his resume, according to the State
press. Gono was put forward as a nominee for the position, but

HARARE 00000924 002 OF 003


apparently turned down the nomination as it would contradict the
apolitical nature of his RBZ role and because of his "enormous
national commitments." Gono has long maintained the fiction that he
is not a ZANU-PF political supporter. Rumors that Gono had accepted
the party position fueled speculation that he might step down as
governor to focus on a political career.
Prosecutor Gets Promotion Instead of Jail Time... State prosecutor
Andrew Kumire was recently promoted to area public prosecutor
despite his conviction for contempt of court last month by
magistrate Chiwoniso Mutongi. Kumire was sentenced to five days in
prison for his disrespectful behavior during the trial of human
rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama in October, but managed to avoid
serving any time. Mutongi -- one of few female magistrates -- has
since resigned from the bench, citing interference, harassment, and
abuse by prosecutors.

6. Obama Honors WOZA... President Obama hosted the awards ceremony
for the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation's annual Human Rights Award at
the White House on Monday. In his remarks, the President referred to
Robert Mugabe as a "dictator" -- a point many here immediately
noticed. The RFK award to Magodonga Mahlangu and Women of Zimbabwe
Arise (WOZA) comes with a $30,000 grant and technical and legal
support. Since WOZA's founding in 2003, 3,000 of it's 75,000 members
have been arrested while conducting peaceful protests across
Zimbabwe. See President Obama's remarks online at: www.youtube.com

-----------------------------------
On the Economic and Business Front
----------------------------------

7. 2010 Budget to be Presented on December 2... Finance Minister
Tendai Biti will present the 2010 budget in Parliament on December
2, according to Ministry of Finance officials. We have not had many
reliable indications of what the new budget will bring. The main
question is how well Biti will control growth of the public-sector
wage bill. We will also look for moves to simplify taxes on mining,
with a view to raising more revenue from the sector.

8. BP & Shell Deal Stopped on Account of Indigenization Law...
According to a report in Business Day (November 24), Zimbabwean
authorities have thwarted Engen's and KenolKobil's bid to acquire BP
and Shell's fuel assets in Zimbabwe on account of the Indigenization
Act which prescribes that black Zimbabweans own at least 51 percent
of all businesses in the country. While BP and Shell's
Communications and External Affairs Manager admitted that
stakeholders held high level meetings recently, he professed
ignorance about what was discussed.

9. Tourism Up in Zimbabwe? According to figures released at a South
African tourism conference this week, visits to Zimbabwe have
bounced back sharply as 362,000 tourists visited the country since
the launch of the unity government in February, compared with
100,000 for all of last year. Those visits translated into 2009
Q100,000 for all of last year. Those visits translated into 2009
tourism revenue of US$100 million. Zimbabwe Council of Tourism
President Emmanuel Fundira attributed the bounce in revenues to the
country's relative stability since the launch of the inclusive
government in February. Shingi Munyenza, the CEO of leading local
hotelier African Sun, told the conference that Zimbabwean hotels
have been running at 70% of capacity lately.

-----------------
Quote of the Week
-----------------

10. "Ladies and gentlemen let me categorically state that the AG's
office is highly competent, independent and shall continue to uphold
and apply the laws of the country without fear or favour." --
Attorney General Johannes Tomana's public remarks as the guest of
honor at a police parade on November 26.


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RAY

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