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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE7273
2000-12-28 16:08:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

A VISIT TO MR. MUGABE'S PLANET: THE

Tags:  PGOV PREL ZI UK 
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281608Z Dec 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO7644

PAGE 01        HARARE  07273  01 OF 04  281607Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  USNW-00  DODE-00  
      SRPP-00  DS-00    FBIE-00  VC-00    TEDE-00  INR-00   VCE-00   
      NSAE-00  SS-00    STR-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   NFAT-00  SAS-00   
        /002W
                  ------------------B07ACB  281607Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7905
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
NSC WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 HARARE 007273 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

PASS USAID FOR A/AID R. MCALL, AA/AFR V. DERRYCK AND
AFR/SA C. PALMA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/28/2010
TAGS: PGOV PREL ZI UK
SUBJECT: A VISIT TO MR. MUGABE'S PLANET: THE
CONFIDENTIAL


PAGE 02 HARARE 07273 01 OF 04 281607Z
PRESIDENT'S END OF YEAR SPEECH

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR
REASONS 1.5 (D).

-------
SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) IN HIS HOUR-LONG END OF YEAR MESSAGE DECEMBER
27, PRESIDENT MUGABE GAVE HIS VERSION OF EVENTS IN THE
YEAR 2000. HE ATTRIBUTED THE COUNTRY'S DIFFICULT
ECONOMIC PATCH TO FALLING COMMODITY AND RISING INPUT
PRICES AS WELL AS RESERVE BANK MONETARY POLICY. HE
REHEARSED THE REASONS FOR THE FAST-TRACK LAND REFORM
PROGRAM AND BLAMED THE GREED OF THE "ANGLO-SAXON"
COMMERCIAL FARMERS FOR HAMPERING PROGRESS. HE CONDEMNED
THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE FOR
ATTEMPTING TO COME TO POWER THROUGH VIOLENT MEANS AND
PURSUING A SEDITIOUS POLITICAL AGENDA. HE SAID THE YEAR
HAD BEEN A DIFFICULT ONE AND THANKED PEOPLE FOR THEIR
FORBEARANCE WITH THE SHORTAGES OF FUEL. THE SPEECH,
RIDDLED WITH FACTUAL INACCURACIES, LOGICAL
INCONSISTENCIES AND NOT-SO-VEILED THREATS, SUCCEEDED IN
EMBARRASSING ALL BUT THE MOST ARDENT ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS
PRESENT. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) PRESIDENT MUGABE DELIVERED HIS END-OF-YEAR
MESSAGE TO AN ESTIMATED 500 GUESTS AT A STATE HOUSE
RECEPTION DECEMBER 27. THE PRESIDENT, WHO SPOKE FOR AN
HOUR, OFTEN DEPARTED FROM HIS PREPARED TEXT. THE SPEECH
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 07273 01 OF 04 281607Z
WAS AN EMBARRASSMENT; IT WAS BREATHTAKING IN ITS
INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY, LOGICAL INCONSISTENCY AND NOT-
SO-VEILED THREATS. AUDIENCE REACTION WAS MUTED WITH THE
EXCEPTION OF THE OCCASIONAL "HEAR, HEAR," SHOUTED BY
SOME OF THE MORE ZEALOUS OF THE PARTY FAITHFUL.
MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE NKOSANA
MOYO CONFIDED TO THE AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER HERE
THAT HE FELT "SHATTERED" FOLLOWING THE PRESIDENT'S SPEECH.



3. (SBU) MUGABE LED OFF BY MAKING A POINT OF GREETING
THOSE IN ATTENDANCE FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND THE
PARASTATALS. HE SEEMED TO BE ALIGNING GOVERNMENT WITH
THESE TWO GROUPS AND MADE MENTION OF THE FACT THAT THEY
HAD STOOD TOGETHER IN SOLIDARITY TO COMBAT THE FORCES
FROM OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY. HE THEN CALLED THE
INDEPENDENT "DAILY NEWS" NEWSPAPER THE "DAILY LIARS,"
AND SAID THAT THEY AND THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR
DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) DID NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN A BANQUET AND A RECEPTION. (COMMENT: THIS WAS A
JAB AT THE MDC FOR BOYCOTTING THE EVENT. THE "DAILY
NEWS" REPORTED ON THE DECEMBER 27 THAT THE OPPOSITION
PARTY SAID IT COULD NOT ATTEND SUCH A LAVISH EVENT WITH
THE SUFFERING GOING ON OVER THIS LAST YEAR. END
COMMENT).



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


THE ECONOMY IS NOT OUR FAULT


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





4. (SBU) THE PRESIDENT ADMITTED THAT IT HAD BEEN A
DIFFICULT YEAR FOR EVERYONE. HE SAID THE MAIN CAUSE WAS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 07273 01 OF 04 281607Z
THE DOWNWARD PRICE OF ZIMBABWE'S MINERALS, ESPECIALLY
GOLD, WHICH HE LABELED (INCORRECTLY) AS THE MAIN SOURCE
OF ZIMBABWE'S FOREIGN EXCHANGE, FOLLOWED BY TOBACCO.
THIS SET THE TREND FOR GREAT HARDSHIPS. ON THE OTHER
HAND, HE STATED, "THERE ARE AREAS WHERE THE GOVERNMENT
IS BLAMED FOR FOLLOWING THE WRONG POLICIES. ECONOMICS
IS NOT A SCIENCE OF CERTAINTY. IT IS A SCIENCE OF
ASSUMPTIONS. PRICES INCREASE BECAUSE OF DEMAND OR OTHER
FORCES. IN THE CASE OF ZIMBABWE, THEY INCREASE BECAUSE
OF 'COST-PUSH INFLATION.'" (COMMENT: SOUTH AFRICA, THE
SOURCE FOR 60 PERCENT OF IMPORTS, HAD AN INFLATION RATE
OF UNDER FIVE PERCENT THIS YEAR. END COMMENT). HE
CONTINUED, "WE GET MATERIALS FROM ABROAD AND WE HAVE TO
PAY THE SUPPLIERS' PRICES. WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER
THESE PRICES