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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE1306 2001-04-12 11:46:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWEAN DEFENSE MINISTER DISCUSSES PROSPECTS FOR

Tags:   PGOV PREL KDEM PINS PINR ZI 
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121146Z Apr 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO3461

PAGE 01        HARARE  01306  121142Z 
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      DSCC-00  DRL-02   NFAT-00  SAS-00     /003W
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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8634
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001306 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: DECL. 04/12/11
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM PINS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWEAN DEFENSE MINISTER DISCUSSES PROSPECTS FOR
IMPOSITION OF STATE OF EMERGENCY


CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL IRVING. REASONS: 1.5
(B) AND (D).

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PAGE 02 HARARE 01306 121142Z
REF: A) HARARE 1259 B) HARARE 1079



1. (C) ON APRIL 11, A ZIMBABWEAN EMPLOYEE OF THE EMBASSY MET ALONE
WITH MINISTER OF DEFENSE MOVEN MAHACHI, A LONGTIME CLOSE FRIEND OF
THE FAMILY, AT MAHACHI'S REQUEST. IN THE MEETING IN THE MINISTER'S
OFFICE, MAHACHI SOLICITED THE INFORMAL LEGAL ADVICE OF OUR EMPLOYEE
--A LAWYER BY TRAINING -- REGARDING THE MDC'S PENDING COURT
CHALLENGE OF HIS VICTORY IN LAST JUNE'S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION (ONE
OF THE 37 SEATS UNDER CHALLENGE). THE EMPLOYEE DEMURRED, STATING
THAT SHE HAD NOT FOLLOWED THE DETAILS OF HIS CASE CLOSELY.



2. (C) OUR EMPLOYEE TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO ASK MAHACHI ABOUT

FOREIGN MINISTER MUDENGE'S COMMENTS IN PARLIAMENT ON APRIL 4
THREATENING IMPOSITION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY (REF A). MAHACHI
APPEARED UNEASY AT THE QUESTION BUT CONFIRMED IT IS ZANU-PF'S
INTENTION TO DECLARE A STATE OF EMERGENCY "IF SANCTIONS ARE IMPOSED
ON THE ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT." HE EMPHASIZED THAT THE LAW PERMITS
SUCH AN ACTION. MAHACHI MENTIONED SPECIFICALLY THE GOVERNMENT'S
CONCERN THAT PASSAGE OF THE ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMIC
RECOVERY ACT WOULD PREVENT THE WORLD BANK AND IMF FROM PROVIDING
ANY ASSISTANCE TO ZIMBABWE. IN SUCH A CIRCUMSTANCE, THE GOVERNMENT
WOULD HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO DECLARE A STATE OF EMERGENCY, AS
THE NATION COULD NOT SURVIVE WITHOUT AID FROM THE IFIS. THE
MINISTER CRITICIZED THE IMF AND WORLD BANK FOR PROVIDING ASSISTANCE
TO RWANDA AND UGANDA -- WHICH HAD INVADED THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
OF CONGO -- WHILE CUTTING OFF ZIMBABWE, WHICH HAD GOTTEN INVOLVED
IN THE CONFLICT TO DEFEND A NATION'S SOVEREIGNTY. (COMMENT: THE
MINISTER'S HOARY AND ERRONEOUS CORRELATION OF ZIMBABWE'S DRC
INVOLVEMENT WITH SUSPENSION OF FUND FLOWS FROM THE IFIS REFLECTS
THE US VS. THEM ATTITUDE PREVALENT IN THE POLITBURO. IT IGNORES
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PAGE 03 HARARE 01306 121142Z
THE HOST OF OTHER FACTORS, INCLUDING ARREARS AND TECHNICAL DEFAULT,
WRONG POLICIES, BAD MANAGEMENT AND INACTION THAT THE GOZ ITSELF IS
DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR. END COMMENT.)



3. (C) UNPROMPTED, THE DEFENSE MINISTER WENT ON TO EXPLAIN IN SOME
DETAIL THAT A STATE OF EMERGENCY WOULD GIVE THE GOVERNMENT THE
POWERS IT NEEDS TO REASSERT CONTROL OVER THE ECONOMY.
SPECIFICALLY, THE GOZ WOULD DIRECT THAT ALL OF THE COUNTRY'S SCARCE
FOREIGN EXCHANGE BE TRANSFERRED TO THE RESERVE BANK OF ZIMBABWE.
IN ADDITION, LIMITED FUEL SUPPLIES WOULD BE STRICTLY RATIONED AND
ALL POLITICAL ACTIVITY PROHIBITED. ASKED ABOUT THE IMPACT OF A
STATE OF EMERGENCY ON THE TIMING OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
EXPECTED IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2002, MAHACHI REPLIED THAT IT
WOULD HAVE TO BE POSTPONED UNTIL AN ENVIRONMENT CONDUCIVE TO
ZIMBABWEANS FREELY EXERCISING THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE WAS POSSIBLE. HE
SAID UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT AN EARLY ELECTION WOULD NOT BE HELD.

COMMENT


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





4. (C) MOVEN MAHACHI IS A CLOSE PERSONAL FRIEND OF PRESIDENT
MUGABE AND A MEMBER OF THE RULING PARTY POLITBURO. HE, THEREFORE,
CAN SPEAK AUTHORITATIVELY ABOUT THE PRESIDENT'S THINKING AND THAT
OF OTHER SENIOR ZANU-PF INSIDERS. IT IS CLEAR FROM HIS COMMENTS --
AND THOSE OFFOREIGN MINISTER MUDENGE -- THAT HE AND OTHERS WIT
INFLUENCE HAVE DONE SOME THINKING ABOUT THE POSIBILITY OF A STATE
OF EMERGENCY, INCLUDING THE LEGAL BASIS FOR SUCH ACTION, WHAT MIGHT
PROMPT IT, ND WHAT STEPS THE GOVERNMENT WOULD TAKE IF ONE WER
IMPOSED. IT IS LESS CERTAIN, HOWEVER, WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT IS
LOOKING FOR AN EXCUSE TO IMPOSE A STATE OF EMERGENCY -- BECAUSE IT
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PAGE 04 HARARE 01306 121142Z
REALIZES THAT IT CANNOT WIN A FREE AND FAIR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION -
- OR WHETHER THE OMINOUS REMARKS ARE A BLUFF INTENDED TO PRESSURE
MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY NOT TO IMPOSE PUNITIVE
MEASURES. ALTHOUGH AT THIS TIME WE ARE INCLINED MORE TOWARD THE
SECOND INTERPRETATION, THE FACT THAT MAHACHI WAS ABLE TO PROVIDE A
FAIRLY DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF WHAT ZIMBABWE WOULD LOOK LIKE UNDER
A STATE OF EMERGENCY STRONGLY INDICATES THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS
EXAMINED AND DISCUSSED SUCH AN EVENTUALITY, AND IS OUT OF THE GATE
IN PREPARING FOR IT.



5. (C) MAHACHI'S REMARKS ON THE GOVERNMENT'S WISH TO ASSERT
GREATER CONTROL OVER THE ECONOMY REFLECT THE THINKING OF A
PARTICULARLY HARDLINE TENDENCY WITHIN THE PARTY AND, TO OUR
KNOWLEDGE, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE OFFICIAL POLICY. ON THE CONTRARY,
FINANCE MINISTER MAKONI ASSURED US ON APRIL 11 THAT HE WOULD LIKE
TO FIND WAYS TO STIMULATE REAL GROWTH AND BROADER PARTICIPATION IN
THE ECONOMY AND LURE FOREIGN INVESTMENT BACK TO ZIMBABWE.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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