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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE6663
2000-11-29 09:02:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

A/S RICE MEETS WITH FINANCE MINISTER SIMBA

Tags:  ECON EFIN PREL EAGR PINR ZI 
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290902Z Nov 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ0681

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                  ------------------A52A90  290907Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7731
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
USDOC WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 006663 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AF/EPS, EB/IFD/ODF, EB/TPP/ODC
TREASURY FOR ED BARBER AND BARAK HOFFMAN
USDOC FOR 2037/ERIC HENDERSON
STATE PASS USTR/RWHITTAKER
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 06663 01 OF 03 290907Z
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/29/08
TAGS: ECON EFIN PREL EAGR PINR ZI
SUBJECT: A/S RICE MEETS WITH FINANCE MINISTER SIMBA
MAKONI


CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR MCDONALD, REASON 1.5 (B), (D)



1. (C) SUMMARY: ON NOVEMBER 16, A/S RICE, AMBASSADORS
RENDER AND MCDONALD, AND ECONOFF (NOTETAKER), MET WITH
FINANCE MINISTER SIMBA MAKONI FOR AN HONEST AND WIDE-
RANGING 75 MINUTE DISCUSSION. TAKING PLACE ONLY A FEW
HOURS BEFORE THE MINISTER PRESENTED HIS FIRST BUDGET TO
THE PARLIAMENT AND THE NATION, THE MEETING CENTERED ON
MAKONI'S EXPERIENCE DEALING WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE, AND
HIS IN-DEPTH SUGGESTIONS AND ADVICE ON HOW TO APPROACH
MUGABE AND BRING ABOUT DESIRED RESULTS. HE ALSO SHARED
HIS OUTLOOK AND VIEWS ON SOME OF THE MAJOR ISSUES
CONFRONTING THE GOVERNMENT AND RULING PARTY; AND HIS
EXPECTATION THAT MUGABE WOULD EMERGE AS THE PARTY'S
CANDIDATE FOR THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. END
SUMMARY.



--------------------------


THOUGH THE SURFACE IS DAUNTING; DIALOGUE,
AND DEALS, ARE POSSIBLE


--------------------------





2. (C) AFTER INTRODUCTIONS AND OPENING EXCHANGES, MAKONI
CAME QUICKLY TO HIS OBSERVATIONS AND JUDGEMENTS. THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 06663 01 OF 03 290907Z
ECONOMY IS BAD AND THIS IS DUE TO THE POLITICAL CRISIS
THE COUNTRY IS EXPERIENCING, HE TOLD US. WHILE THE
SURFACE APPEARANCE PROVIDED BY PRESIDENT MUGABE IS
DAUNTING AND VERY NEGATIVE, UNDERNEATH THERE IS THE
POTENTIAL FOR FLEXIBILITY AND RATIONAL DIALOGUE AND THE
REAL POSSIBILITY TO EFFECT POSITIVE CHANGE. HE TOLD US
THAT A WAY OUT OF THE CURRENT DILEMMA IS BEING SOUGHT BY
THE PRESIDENT, AND CITED AS EVIDENCE BOTH HIS AND
NKOSANNA MOYO'S APPOINTMENT TO CABINET. "THIS WOULD
NEVER HAVE HAPPENED IF THE NEED FOR CHANGE WAS NOT
RECOGNIZED BY PRESIDENT MUGABE." MAKONI FLATLY STATED
THAT THOSE WHO SAY THERE CAN BE NO POSITIVE CHANGE UNTIL
PRESIDENT MUGABE IS OFF THE SCENE ARE WRONG. WHILE THE
FINANCE MINISTER PERSONALLY BELIEVED MUGABE HAD
OVERSTAYED HIS TERM ("HIS LEAVING IS OVERDUE"), THE
PRESIDENT WILL ENGAGE IN STRAIGHT TALK AND SERIOUSLY
CONSIDER AN OFFERED DEAL THAT HE SEES AS FAVORING HIM.
"MUGABE IS A MAN OF STRONG VIEWS", MAKONI POINTED OUT,
"AND SO ONE NEEDS TO RELATE TO HIM IN THE SAME WAY."
"THIS IS HOW I HAVE GOTTEN RESULTS", HE ADMITTED, CITING
THE EXAMPLE OF THE DEVALUATION HE WON APPROVAL FOR BY
LAYING OUT THE MOVE AS A REAL WORLD NECESSITY WHICH THE
LONGER IGNORED WOULD ONLY CAUSE GREATER POLITICAL HARM TO
MUGABE ANDQ RULING PARTY.



3. (C) FURTHER CLARIFYING THE POINT, MAKONI CAREFULLY
EXPLAINED THAT MUGABE VIEWS EVERYTHING THROUGH THE OPTIC
OF WHETHER IT THREATENS HIS TENURE. THEREFORE, ANY
PROPOSAL MUST BE PACKAGED TO EMPHASIZE BENEFITS FOR
MUGABE. IF GAINS CAN BE RATIONALLY LAID OUT AND ARGUED
FOR, PAIN CAN BE SOLD, HE TOLD US. THE FINANCE MINISTER
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 06663 01 OF 03 290907Z
CITED OTHER STEPS HE HAS TAKEN WITH HIS PORTFOLIO (FOR
EXAMPLE, PERSONNEL AND SPENDING CUTBACKS IN THE 2001
BUDGET) AS PAINFUL STEPS HE HAS SOLD AS NECESSARY IF
MUGABE WISHED TO RUN HIS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IN A
DOMESTIC ENVIRONMENT THAT HAD AT LEAST STARTED TO TURN
AROUND. "REMEMBER", HE TOLD US IN A STATEMENT
APPROACHING THE ZEN, "WHAT APPEARS AND NOT WHAT IS, IS
WHAT IS IMPORTANT WHEN DEALING WITH MUGABE."



--------------------------

-
MUGABE'S LAND OPTIC, AND CONSPIRACY IN GENERAL


--------------------------

-



4. (C) RESPONDING TO A/S RICE'S AND THE AMBASSADOR'S
QUESTION ON THE CURRENT ECONOMIC DANGER FACING THE
COUNTRY AND THE PRESIDENT'S RECOGNITION OF IT, THE
FINANCE MINISTER SHARED WITH US HIS PERCEPTION OF
MUGABE'S VIEW OF THE LAND ISSUE, AND ALSO THE DARK FORCES
ARRAYED AGAINST HIM IN GENERAL. MAKONI BEGAN HIS
EXPLANATION BY STATING THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS AWARE OF
THE ECONOMIC DIFFICULTIES AND UNHAPPINESS OF THE
POPULACE. "HOWEVER, HE SEES IT AS CAUSED BY A CONSPIRACY
AIMED AGAINST HIM, AND SO HE WORKS OFF THE WRONG
PREMISE," HE TOLD US. AFTER THE REFERENDUM DEFEAT, AND
WHEN MUGABE SAW THE FOOTAGE OF WHITE FARMERS HANDING OVER

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ0684

PAGE 01 HARARE 06663 02 OF 03 290907Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00
SMEC-00 CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 EXIM-01 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00
VC-00 FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 ITC-01 LAB-01
L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00
PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00
SS-00 STR-00 T-00 USIE-00 FMP-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W


--------------------------

A52A9D 290907Z /38
P 290902Z NOV 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7732
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
USDOC WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 006663

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AF/EPS, EB/IFD/ODF, EB/TPP/ODC
TREASURY FOR ED BARBER AND BARAK HOFFMAN
USDOC FOR 2037/ERIC HENDERSON
STATE PASS USTR/RWHITTAKER
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 06663 02 OF 03 290907Z
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/29/08
TAGS: ECON EFIN PREL EAGR PINR ZI
SUBJECT: A/S RICE MEETS WITH FINANCE MINISTER SIMBA
MAKONI

CONTRIBUTION CHECKS TO THE MDC, THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS
BECAME THE ENEMY, WITH THE MDC ITS FRONT. OVER PAST
MONTHS, THE ENEMY CAMP HAS GROWN. IT IS NOW NO LONGER THE
WHITE FARMERS ALONE, BUT INCLUDES: ALL FORMER RHODESIANS
STILL IN ZIMBABWE (I.E., URBAN WHITES); ALL ELITE NON-
ZANU-PF-PARTY BLACKS (AGAIN MAINLY URBAN); THE SO-CALLED
'ZIMBA-BOERS' (FORMER RHODESIANS LIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA);
AND, SINCE THE ELECTION, ALL URBAN BLACKS. ALL THE
FOREGOING FORM THE "FIFTH COLUMN", MUGABE'S PEJORATIVE
TERM FOR THOSE ARRAYED AGAINST HIM. IN ADDITION, OF
COURSE, THERE ARE THE EVER-PRESENT FOREIGN IMPERIALISTS
LED BY GREAT BRITAIN, INCLUDING THE U.S., WHOSE SIZE IN
THE PERCEIVED-ENEMY FIRMAMENT VARIES DEPENDING ON THE
TOPIC AND TIMING. FOR OUR SAKE THE MINISTER FURTHER
CLARIFIED THE VIEW OF THE U.S. AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL:
"YOU ARE USUALLY SEEN AS GENERALLY ENLIGHTENED, AND
SEEKING CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT," HE STATED.



5. (C) RETURNING TO THE LAND ISSUE, MAKONI EXPLAINED
THAT MUGABE HAS FIRMLY DECIDED THAT GOING THE RATIONAL,
MEASURED ROUTE FOR LAND REFORM WILL FAIL HIM; BECAUSE THE
FIFTH COLUMN FORCES WILL HIDE BEHIND THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY AND THWART OR STOP THE RESETTLEMENT PROCESS.
MUGABE BELIEVES THIS IS WHAT HAS OCCURRED SINCE THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 06663 02 OF 03 290907Z
SEPTEMBER 1998 LAND REFORM CONFERENCE, HIS ENEMIES
CONTROLLING THE DONORS AND CAUSING THEM TO RENEGE ON
THEIR PROMISES OF ASSISTANCE AND FUNDING. "MUGABE WILL
NEVER SEE OR ADMIT THAT ZIMBABWE ALSO FAILED IN
FULFILLING ITS PLEDGES," MAKONI STATED, "JUST AS HE WILL
NEVER ADMIT THAT THERE IS NO RULE OF LAW NOW IN ZIMBABWE
OR THAT HIS INVASION DIRECTIVE WAS WRONG." "DISCUSSING
THAT TOPIC IS USELESS," HE CONTINUED, "AND YOU MUST
PRESENT YOUR OR THE UNDP'S PROPOSAL IN A NON-THREATENING
MANNER THAT ALSO CONTAINS THE GOLDEN RING OF POTENTIAL
SUCCESS AT THE 2002 POLLS." "IF YOU COME UP WITH A
CREDIBLE PROGRAM THAT MEETS MUGABE'S GOALS, YOU CAN REACH
AGREEMENT," MAKONI TOLD US. A/S RICE STATED THAT SHE TOO
BELIEVED THAT THE UNDP INITIATIVE OFFERED THE BEST CHANCE
OF CONSTRUCTIVE MOVEMENT FORWARD, CAUTIONING THAT A LOT
OF WORK HAD TO BE DONE TO REALIZE GOALS AND BENEFITS, AND
THE COORDINATION OF ALL THE DONORS.



--------------------------


THE DECEMBER CONGRESS AND THE 2002 CANDIDATE


--------------------------





6. (C) IN RESPONSE TO AN A/S RICE QUESTION ON THE FUTURE
OF PRESIDENT MUGABE, THE MINISTER OFFERED A NUMBER OF
OBSERVATIONS. HE STARTED BY RELATING THAT HE HAD KNOWN
MUGABE SINCE HIS EARLY DAYS IN POWER, AND FOUND HIM OF
LATE TO BE MUCH TOUGHER TO READ. "MUGABE HAS BECOME MUCH
MORE PRICKLY, AND ONE HAS TO HAVE ONE'S ARGUMENTS MUCH
BETTER ORGANIZED AND STRONGLY PRESENTED TO WIN THE DAY."
MAKONI CONTINUED THAT HIS STRONG GUT FEELING IS THAT
"MUGABE WILL SOLDIER ON." THE ISSUE OF SUCCESSION WILL
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 06663 02 OF 03 290907Z
SURELY COME UP AT THE DECEMBER CONGRESS (EVEN THOUGH IT
IS NOT ON THE AGENDA), AND MUGABE ALONE WILL DECIDE THE
ISSUE AS THERE IS NO LOBBY STRONG ENOUGH, OR WILLING
ENOUGH, TO CARRY THE DAY CONTRARY TO THE PRESIDENT'S
WISHES. "EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE YOUNG ELEMENTS IN THE
PARTY WHO WANT HIM TO GO," HE STATED, "THIS IS COUNTERED
BY THE OLD GUARD WHO WHISPER IN BOB'S EAR THAT 'YOU ARE A
YOUNG OLD MAN'."



--------------------------


THE CONGO AND DOMESTIC POLITICS


--------------------------





7. (C) THE SESSION DREW TO A CLOSE WITH THE FINANCE
MINISTER ASKING THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY THE QUESTION,
"WHAT CAN WE DO HERE TO BETTER THINGS IN YOUR VIEW, FOR
EXAMPLE IN THE CONGO?" A/S RICE RESPONDED BY OUTLINING
IN GENERAL TERMS A POSSIBLE PATH FORWARD THAT CALLED FOR
GREATER COOPERATION BETWEEN THE EXTERNAL FORCES THAT HAVE
MUCH AT STAKE AND CAN BRING PRESSURE TO BEAR. THE GOAL
IS ADHERENCE TO THE LUSAKA ACCORD; AND WITHDRAWAL OF THE
FOREIGN FORCES. A/S RICE URGED DIALOGUE WITH RWANDA AND
UGANDA TO START A REAL EXIT, AND ALLOW KABILA TO TREAD
DOWN A PATH OF HIS OWN MAKING.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ0685

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ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00
SMEC-00 CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 EXIM-01 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00
VC-00 FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 ITC-01 LAB-01
L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00
PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00
SS-00 STR-00 T-00 USIE-00 FMP-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W


--------------------------

A52AA4 290907Z /38
P 290902Z NOV 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7733
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
USDOC WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 006663

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AF/EPS, EB/IFD/ODF, EB/TPP/ODC
TREASURY FOR ED BARBER AND BARAK HOFFMAN
USDOC FOR 2037/ERIC HENDERSON
STATE PASS USTR/RWHITTAKER
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 06663 03 OF 03 290907Z
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/29/08
TAGS: ECON EFIN PREL EAGR PINR ZI
SUBJECT: A/S RICE MEETS WITH FINANCE MINISTER SIMBA
MAKONI



8. (C) ADDRESSING THE DOMESTIC POLITICAL SCENE, A/S RICE
EXPLAINED OUR CURRENT STRATEGY AND EFFORTS AT PROMOTING
COOPERATION WITHIN AND DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE DOMESTIC
FORCES THAT ARE AT ODDS. SHE ALSO LAID OUT A SCENARIO
THAT WOULD HAVE THE MODERATES IN BOTH PARTIES WORKING AT
LEAST IN PARALLEL TOWARDS THE SAME GOALS, WITH THE
EVENTUAL TARGET OF WORKING TOGETHER. THE BENEFITS OF A
MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM AND POLITICAL PLURALISM NEED TO BE
SOLD TO THE COUNTRY'S HISTORICAL LEADERSHIP, AND NOT ONLY
THE DIFFICULTIES AND DANGERS. IN ADDITION, THE POLITICAL
VIOLENCE MUST END, AS THIS IS NECESSARY FOR ANY OUTSIDE
SUPPORT, A/S RICE CONCLUDED.



9. (C) MINISTER MAKONI ENDED THE MEETING BY TELLING US
THAT, PROVIDED THE BUDGET HE WAS OFF TO ANNOUNCE MET WITH
DOMESTIC AND EXTERNAL APPROVAL, HE PLANNED TO VISIT
WASHINGTON IN LATE NOVEMBER/EARLY DECEMBER TO MEET WITH
THE WORLD BANK AND IMF. HE REQUESTED A FOLLOW UP MEETING
WITH THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY IN WASHINGTON, TO WHICH SHE
AGREED.



--------------------------


COMMENT


--------------------------


CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 06663 03 OF 03 290907Z



10. (C) MAKONI, APPEARING THE POLISHED, ARTICULATE,
INTELLIGENT AND SAVVY MAN HE IS, PROVIDED US AN
INSIGHTFUL AND VALUABLE LOOK INTO THE WORKINGS AND
FOIBLES OF HIS PATRON THE PRESIDENT. DISAVOWING ANY
POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS, HE TOLD US HE ONLY WANTS HIS
COUNTRY TO SUCCEED, AND HIS OWN EFFORTS ARE DIRECTED
SOLELY TO THIS END. WHILE THE LATTER MUST BE TAKEN WITH
A GRAIN OF SALT, HE CLEARLY VIEWS US AS A TRUSTWORTHY
ALLY THAT CAN ASSIST IN DIRECTING PRESIDENT MUGABE AND
ZIMBABWE ONTO A LESS SELF-DESTRUCTIVE PATH. WE LOOK
FORWARD TO WORKING WITH HIM, AND FIND TRUTH AND GOOD
COUNSEL IN HIS WORDS. END COMMENT.



11. A/S SUSAN RICE CLEARED THIS MESSAGE.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

>