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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE1210
2001-04-03 13:28:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZANU-PF INSIOER: THE COUNTRY IS UNDER

Tags:  PGOV ECON EFIN PREL PINR ZI 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

031328Z Apr 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5769

PAGE 01        HARARE  01210  01 OF 03  031323Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00  COME-00  
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      EUR-00   EXIM-01  E-00     FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    FRB-00   
      H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   ITC-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    
      DCP-01   NSAE-00  OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   
      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  
      FMP-00   PMB-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00   
        /010W
                  ------------------DACF4B  031325Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8569
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001210 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENOAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01210 01 OF 03 031323Z

PASS USAIO FOR A.AA/AFR V. DICKSON-HORTON ANO
AFR/SA C. PALMA

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/03/11
TAGS: PGOV ECON EFIN PREL PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZANU-PF INSIOER: THE COUNTRY IS UNDER
INFORMAL SANCTIONS


CLASSIFIEO BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR
REASONS 1.5 (B) ANO (D).

SUMMARY



1. (C) AN ACADEMIC WITH VERY CLOSE TIES TO ZANU-PF
LEADERSHIP CIRCLES, CLEVER MUMBENQEQWI, TOLD US APRIL 2
THAT THE ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT BELIEVES IT IS OPERATINQ
UNDER AN INFORMAL INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS REQIME. THE
GOVERNMENT PERCEIVES THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AS
BEINQ BIASED IN FAVOR OF THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR
OEMOCRATIC CHANQE (MOC), A PARTY HE DISMISSED AS
INEFFECTIVE AND BOUND FOR OBLIVION. HE BELIEVED THE
WEST WAS WILLINQ TO ENQAQE MEANINQFULLY WITH ZIMBABWE
ONLY WHEN PRESIDENT MUQABE IS OFF THE SCENE. HE
CONFIRMED TENSIONS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE WHITE
BUSINESS COMMUNITY, ATTRIBUTINQ THEM TO AN AGENDA OF
WRECKING TBE ECONOMY TO THE LATTER. HE DEFENDED THE
GOVERNMENT'S POLICY OF NOT DEVALUINQ THE CURRENCY,
SAYING THAT TO DO SO WOULD HURT THE MAJORITY OF
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01210 01 OF 03 031323Z
ZIMBABWEANS WHO ARE DEPENDENT ON CHEAP IMPORTS. HE SAW
RESOLUTION OF THE LAND REFORM PROBLEM AS THE PANACEA FOR
ZIMBABWE'S POLITICAL TROUBLES, NOTINQ THAT THE
GOVERNMENT COULD SORT OUT QUICKLY ANCILLARY DIFFICULTIES
ASSOCIATED WITH THE FAST TRACK RESETTLEMENT EFFORT. HE
THOUGHT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS A KEY ROLE TO
PLAY IN RESTORINQ ZIMBABWE TO ECONOMIC HEALTH, BUT
DOUBTED IT WOULD MAKE ANY MOVE TO HELP PRIOR TO THE
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION SCHEDULED FOR 2002. WE BELIEVE
MUMBENQEQWI'S COMMENTS REFLECT THE MAINSTREAM THINKINQ
OF ZANU-PF -- PARANOID, ISOLATIONIST, ECONOMICALLY
UNSOUND AND MARKED BY CONSPIRACY THEORIES. IF THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WANTS TO REVERSE ZIMBABWE'S
RAPID ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL DECLINE, IT MUST DO A
BETTER JOB OF QETTINQ AND SUSTAININQ THE GOVERNMENT'S
ATTENTION. END SUMMARY.

US VERSUS THEM



2. (C) ZANU-PF INSIDER AND OEAN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF
ZIMBABWE'S FACULTY OF SOCIAL STUDIES CLEVER MUMBENQEQWI
(HIS BROTHER SAMUEL IS THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORT
AND CULTURE, AND HIS BROTHER SIMBARASHE IS THE
ZIMBABWEAN HIQH COMMISSIONER IN LONDON) TOLD US APRIL 2
THAT IT WAS THE GOVERNMENT'S WIDELY-HELD PERCEPTION THAT
ZIMBABWE WAS UNDER UNOFFICIAL SANCTIONS, WITH THE
PROSPECT OF THEIR BEINQ LIFTED SOON CLOSE TO NIL. HE
THOUQHT THAT FOREIQN INVESTORS AND THE INTERNATIONAL
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS WERE ON THE SIDELINES AND WAITINQ
FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TO TAKE PLACE BEFORE
ENQAGINQ ZIMBABWE MEANINQFULLY ONCE AQAIN.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01210 01 OF 03 031323Z



3. (C) THE PERCEPTION IS THAT THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY WAS SITTINQ WITH ITS ARMS CROSSED WATCHINQ
ZIMBABWE COLLAPSE, ASSUMINQ THAT IT IS A BASKET CASE
LIKE OTHER AFRICAN COUNTRIES. THE POSITION OF THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO FOSTER THE DOWNFALL AND
REMOVAL OF THE RULINQ PARTY IMPINQES ON ZIMBABWE'S
ECONOMIC HEALTH; IT IS NOT SOLELY A DOMESTIC ISSUE. THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY'S FOCUS ON A PERSONALITY, AND
ITS WITHHOLDINQ OF ASSISTANCE UNTIL THAT PERSONALITY IS
CHANQED ONLY QETS US INTO A POLITICAL PROBLEM, HE
AVERRED.



4. (C) MUMBENQEQWI CONTINUED THAT THE GOVERNMENT WANTED
TO USE THE ISSUE OF LAND REFORM TO BEQIN SOLVINQ
DOMESTIC PROBLEMS ONCE AND FOR ALL, AS IT WAS AN ISSUE
AROUND WHICH MOST ZIMBABWEANS COULD RALLY. ONCE
COMPENSATION FOR LAND COULD BE ARRANQED, THE GOVERNMENT
COULD QUICKLY TAKE CARE OF THE OTHER THINGS, SUCH AS
FARM INVASIONS, IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. THE REASON
WHY THERE IS NO QOINQ BACK ON THE LAND ISSUE IS THAT
POLITICIANS
HAVE SOLD THE PROQRAM TO THE NATION.
ALTHOUQH HE AGREED THAT THEY OUQHT TO HAVE SOMETHINQ
ELSE TO OFFER, IT WOULD COST ZANU-PF POLITICALLY IF IT
WERE TO RETRACT TBE FAST-TRACK RESETTLEMENT PROQRAM.
THAT THE QOVERNMENT ALONE SHOULD PAY FOR THE LAND
RESETTLEMENT EXERCISE WAS ABSURD, MUMBENQEQWI STATED,

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ5770

PAGE 01 HARARE 01210 02 OF 03 031324Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00
CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-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 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01
DCP-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00
FMP-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/010W


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

DACF5E 031325Z /38
P 031328Z APR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8570
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 001210

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENOAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01210 02 OF 03 031324Z

PASS USAIO FOR A.AA/AFR V. DICKSON-HORTON ANO
AFR/SA C. PALMA

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/03/11
TAGS: PGOV ECON EFIN PREL PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZANU-PF INSIOER: THE COUNTRY IS UNDER
INFORMAL SANCTIONS

AVERRINQ THAT AT NO TIME IN HISTORY HAS THIS OCCURRED.
HE DISMISSED ANY GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE
IMPENDINQ MAIZE SHORTAQE, ASSIQNINQ BLAME FOR IT TO THE
MID-SEASON DROUQHT, WHICH KILLED OFF MOST OF THE EARLY
CROP, AND THE DAMAQE DONE TO THE LATE CROP BY RECENT,
EXCEEDINQLY HEAVY RAINS.

THE RHODESIAN LEQACY LIVES ON



5. (C) THE SOCIAL STUDIES OEAN STATED THAT THERE WAS A
LACK OF TRUST BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE WHITE
BUSINESS COMMUNITY BECAUSE THAT COMMUNITY WAS DOINQ ITS
BEST IT COULD TO DESTROY THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMY IN ORDER
TO BRINQ DOWN THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT. WHITE
BUSINESSMEN, HE ALLEGED, ARE DIRECTINQ SUBSTANTIAL
PORTIONS OF THEIR FOREIGN EXCHANQE INFLOWS "THROUQH
OTHER CHANNELS," BRINQINQ ONLY A SMALL FRACTION OF THEIR
EARNINQS VIA OFFICIAL CHANNELS INTO ZIMBABWE. THE
PRIVATE SECTOR WAS MYOPIC AS TO WHERE ITS INTERESTS LIE
AND SHORT-TERM IN ITS OUTLOOK, NOT INTERESTED IN THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01210 02 OF 03 031324Z
GOOD OF THE COUNTRY, ITS GOVERNMENT OR ITS BLACK
CITIZENS. THIS VIEW IS WIDELY HELD AND ACCEPTED AS TRUE
BY THE GOVERNMENT AND ITS LEADERSHIP, HE STATED.



6. (C) HE LECTURED US WITH A STRAIGHT FACE THAT FOR
YEARS BUSINESSPERSONS HAVE LIVED OFF THE TAXPAYER
(NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT BUSINESSES, VIA COMPANY
AND PERSONAL INCOME TAXES, PAY OVER HALF THE NATIONAL
TAX BILL), BUYING UP GOVERNMENT PAPER AND DRIVING UP
INTEREST RATES, SO THAT THEY AND THE BANKS CAN GET THE
HIGH YIELDS, THEREBY PLACING THE GOVERNMENT IN ITS
CURRENT DEBT TRAP. THERE'S A SHORT-TERM PRICE TO BE
BORNE IN TURNING AROUND THE ECONOMY, HE OFFERED, AND THE
COST SHOULD BE BORNE BY THE POPULATION IN GENERAL, AND
NOT JUST THE GOVERNMENT. "WE HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE,"
HE SHRUGGED; "SOMEONE WILL ALWAYS CALL FOUL." HE SAID
THAT THE NATION IS IN CRISIS AND IT IS TIME TO STAND
TOGETHER AND NOT TRY TO SPLIT THE NATION, SOMETHING THE
DONOR COMMUNITY IS CLEARLY TRYING TO DO. THE WHITE
BUSINESS COMMUNITY, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS OF THE VIEW
THAT "YOU CAUSED THIS MESS, YOU GET OUT OF POWER."



7. (C) TURNING TO THE REASON WHY THE GOVERNMENT STUCK
TO A DYSFUNCTIONAL A FIXED EXCHANQE RATE, MUMBENQEQWI
EXPLAINED THAT ZIMBABWE IS EXTREMELY IMPORT DEPENDENT;
EVEN MANY OF ITS EXPORTS CONTAIN A HIQH PERCENTAQE OF
IMPORTED CONTENT. ALLOWINQ THE ZIMBABWE DOLLAR TO FLOAT
TO ITS MARKET VALUE WOULD INCREASE THE PRICE OF INPUTS.
EXPORTERS, WHO HAVE ACCESS TO FOREIQN CURRENCY, FAVOR
DEVALUATION. HOWEVER, BECAUSE THEY ARE A MINORITY OF
THE POPULATION (WHEREAS IMPORTS IMPACT A MAJORITY OF THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01210 02 OF 03 031324Z
POPULATION), THE POLITICAL PRESSURE THEY BRINQ TO BEAR
TO DEVALUE IS NOT AS INTENSE. IT IS THE GOVERNMENT'S
SINCERE VIEW THAT COUNTRIES THAT HAVE DEVALUED THEIR
CURRENCIES OR IMPLEMENTED STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT HAVE NOT
DONE BETTER THAN THOSE THAT HAVE NOT DONE SO, HE
CLAIMED. HE COMPLAINED THAT THE ]AST TIME THE
GOVERNMENT DEVALUED THE CURRENCY FOR 38.5 TO 55 TO THE
U.S. DOLLAR, THERE WAS NO COMMENSURATE IMPROVEMENT IN
EXPORT SECTOR PERFORMANCE. THE GOVERNMENT, HE HELD,
COULD DEVALUE THE CURRENCY BY 1000 PERCENT -- A MOVE
THAT WOULD WRECK THE IMPORT SECTOR -- AND STILL QET NO
RESPONSE. EXPORTERS ARE SIMPLY SEEKINQ WINDFALL QAINS,
HE ALLEQED, WHICH THEY ARE QETTINQ IN THE FOREIQN
EXCHANQE BLACK MARKET.

BUT WE SHALL PREVAIL



8. (C) WHILE MUMBENQEQWI BELIEVED THAT THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FAVORED THE OPPOSITION MDC, HE
PREDICTED THAT IF IT WERE TO LOSE THE PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION IT WOULD SUFFER THE FATE OF ALL AFRICAN ALSO-
RANS: DISINTEQRATION. "IF THEY WIN," HE OBSERVED
IRONICALLY, "THEN WE WILL HAVE VERY EXCITINQ TIMES." HE
WAVED AWAY THE CONSTITUTION THAT THE NATIONAL
CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY IS PREPARINQ, CALLINQ IT A
CAMPAIQN DOCUMENT TO BE USED AS A RALLYINQ POINT. HE
THOUQHT THAT THE CIVIL SOCIETY ORQANIZATION, INSTEAD OF
WORKINQ TO DEFEAT A FLAWED CONSTITUTION IN THE FEBRUARY

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ5771

PAGE 01 HARARE 01210 03 OF 03 031324Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00
CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-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 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01
DCP-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00
FMP-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/010W


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

DACF89 031327Z /38
P 031328Z APR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8571
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 001210

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENOAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01210 03 OF 03 031324Z

PASS USAIO FOR A.AA/AFR V. DICKSON-HORTON ANO
AFR/SA C. PALMA

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/03/11
TAGS: PGOV ECON EFIN PREL PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZANU-PF INSIOER: THE COUNTRY IS UNDER
INFORMAL SANCTIONS

2000 REFERENDUM, SHOULD INSTEAD HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE
DRAFTINQ PROCESS AND NEQOTIATED ON THE PORTIONS WITH
WHICH IT DISAQREED. HE CLAIMED THAT THE OPPOSITION,
WHICH HAD QROWN FROM THE PRESIDENT AND THE GOVERNMENT'S
ECONOMIC MISMANAQEMENT OF THE COUNTRY, HAD NOT COME UP
WITH AN ALTERNATIVE PROQRAM TO PULL THE COUNTRY OUT OF
ITS CURRENT PREDICAMENT. FURTHERMORE, IT HAD NOT
ARTICULATED HOW IT PLANNED TO BRING THE DONORS BACK.
INDEED, THE OPPOSITION HAS FAILED TO CAPTURE THE
IMAGINATION OF THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE, HE DECLARED. HE
CLAIMED THAT THE FEELING IN THE COUNTRY WAS THAT THE
RULING PARTY HAD GAINED GROUND OVER THE OPPOSITION IN
THE LAST FEW MONTHS. HE ALSO WINKED THAT THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY'S PUTTINQ PRESIDENT MUQABE IN A
CORNER SERVED TO BOLSTER HIS DOMESTIC POPULARITY.

COMMENT



9. (C) IF WE PART FROM THE PREMISE THAT PERCEPTION IS
REALITY, TBEN THE U.S.-EDUCATED MUMBENQEQWI QIVES A
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01210 03 OF 03 031324Z
DISTRESSINQ ACCOUNT OF HIS COUNTRY'S QOVERNANCE: THE
MINDS OF ITS LEADERSHIP ARE IN A PRISON OF ECONOMIC
OBSCURANTISM AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES. WE HAVE NO DOUBT
THAT THE SOCIAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR'S EPISTEMOLOQY
REPRESENTS THE MAINSTREAM THINKINQ OF THE RULINQ PARTY.
UNFORTUNATELY, THE CHASM BETWEEN THIS PERCEPTION AND
REALITY IS WIDE, AND CORRECTIVE ACTION WITH ANY HOPE OF
DOINQ QOOD IS THUS FAR OUT OF QRASP. BETWEEN NOW AND
THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, REAL DAMAQE TO ZIMBABWE WILL
CONTINUE TO OCCUR AT AN UNSUSTAINABLE RATE, AS THE PARTY
FAITHFUL IQNORE THE CARNAQE AND PLAY FOLLOW-THE-LEADER
TO NEVER-NEVER LAND. IF THE WEST OR THE DONORS WANT TO
CHANQE THIS PATTERN THEY MUST DO A BETTER JOB OF GETTING
AND SUSTAINING -- THE GOVERNMENT'S ATTENTION. WE ARE
CONVINCED NOW THAT ONLY STEPS WHICH AFFECT PRESIDENT
MUGABE AND HIS CRONIES PERSONALLY -- SUCH AS RESTRICTING
THEIR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AND FREEZING THEIR ASSETS --
CAN HALT ZIMBABWE'S SLIDE TOWARD ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL
COLLAPSE. END COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

>