US embassy cable - 00HARARE4999

NEW TALE OF CORRUPTION IN ZIMBABWE'S ENERGY SECTOR

Identifier: 00HARARE4999
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE4999 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-09-08 11:14:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PREL PINR ECON SENV ZI SA
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

081114Z Sep 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO7301

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ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    ACQ-00   CIAE-00  COME-00  INL-00   DODE-00  
      DOEE-00  DOTE-00  DS-00    EB-00    FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    
      TEDE-00  INR-00   VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  OES-01   ACE-00   
      SSO-00   SS-00    TRSE-00  EPAE-00  DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     
      NFAT-00  SAS-00     /004W
                  ------------------82ED3B  081116Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7043
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 004999 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR AF, AF/S 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/08/05 
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PINR, ECON, SENV, ZI, SA 
SUBJECT: NEW TALE OF CORRUPTION IN ZIMBABWE'S ENERGY 
SECTOR 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD, REASON 1.5 (B), 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  04999  081116Z 
(D) 
 
1.  (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD ATTENDED A DINNER SEPTEMBER 
7 WITH A VARIETY OF RESIDENT AMBASSADORS AND A FEW 
ZIMBABWEANS, DURING WHICH GIDEON GONO (PROTECT), 
MANAGING DIRECTOR OF COMMERCIAL BANK OF ZIMBABWE (CBZ), 
REPORTED A CREDIBLE STORY ABOUT NEW GOVERNMENT 
MALFEASANCE IN THE ENERGY SECTOR.  BEFORE MUGABE 
APPOINTED HIS NEW CABINET IN JULY, GONO HAD BEEN THE 
GOVERNMENT'S GO-TO MAN ON FINDING NEW SOURCES OF FUNDING 
FOR ZIMBABWE'S DWINDLING FUEL SUPPLIES.  GONO, A ZANU-PF 
STALWART AND FRIEND OF MUGABE, WAS THE PRINCIPAL 
NEGOTIATOR OF A KUWAITI/EUROPEAN BANKS OIL CREDIT LINE 
EARLIER THIS YEAR DURING THE BEGINNING STAGES OF THE 
FUEL CRISIS.  CBZ IS ALSO OFTEN THE LAST RESORT BANK TO 
WHICH THE GOVERNMENT TURNS WHEN A PARTICULARLY ACUTE OR 
ELEVENTH HOUR HARD CURRENCY PAYMENT MUST BE MADE. 
 
2.  (C) AN IRRITATED GONO REPORTED, HOWEVER, THAT SINCE 
THE CABINET RESHUFFLE HE HAS BEEN SIDELINED ON OIL DEALS 
IN FAVOR OF NEW MINES AND ENERGY MINISTER SIDNEY 
SEKERAMAYI, HIS STAFF, AND OFFICIALS OF THE ZIMBABWE OIL 
PARASTATAL NOCZIM.  APPARENTLY OUT OF DESPERATION, 
SEKERAMAYI RECENTLY CALLED GONO FOR HELP IN RETAINING 
AND TRYING TO EXPAND LINES OF CREDIT FROM SOUTH AFRICA'S 
ELECTRICITY AND OIL PARASTATALS.  GONO INFORMED THE 
AMBASSADOR AND A FEW OTHERS AT THE DINNER PARTY THAT AS 
A RESULT, HE TRAVELED TO SOUTH AFRICA IN THE LAST WEEK 
TO UNDERTAKE THESE CREDIT NEGOTIATIONS ON BEHALF OF THE 
ENERGY MINISTRY AND NOCZIM.  WHILE THERE, GONO LEARNED 
FROM ESKOM AND SASOL OFFICIALS THAT "MORE THAN ONE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  04999  081116Z 
ZIMBABWE MINISTER AND A FEW OTHER NOTABLES FROM NORTH OF 
THE BORDER" (GONO DID NOT NAME NAMES, ALTHOUGH 
PRESUMEDLY ONE IS SEKERAMAYI) HAD ALREADY SENT LETTERS 
TO ESKOM AND SASOL REQUESTING A CUT OF ALL NEW ENERGY 
DEALS BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND ZIMBABWE BECAUSE THEY 
OPERATED PERSONAL BUSINESSES THAT COULD ACT AS 
MIDDLEMEN.  GONO DID NOT PROVIDE ANY FURTHER DETAILS OF 
THE REQUEST OR PRODUCE THE LETTERS.  CHARITY NZENZA 
(PROTECT), UNDERSECRETARY FOR THE MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA 
IN ZIMBABWE'S MFA, WAS AGHAST AT GONO'S DISCLOSURE AND 
LAMENTED THAT IT WAS OFFICIALS LIKE THOSE WHO CAUSED HER 
TO WAIT IN LONG PETROL QUEUES WITH OTHER AVERAGE 
ZIMBABWEANS.  SHE SAID "WE ARE NOT STUPID; THE PUBLIC 
KNOWS WHAT IS GOING ON." 
 
3.  (C) COMMENT: GIVEN HIS HISTORY AS THE GOZ'S ENERGY 
POINT MAN AND HIS VISIBLE DISPLEASURE AT BEING CUT OUT 
OF THE LOOP, GONO'S STORY APPEARS HIGHLY CREDIBLE TO US. 
THE TALE IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF THE GOZ LEADERSHIP'S 
GROWING DETERMINATION TO GET WHILE THE GETTING IS STILL 
POSSIBLE.  IF THIS STORY EVER FINDS ITS WAY INTO THE 
MEDIA, THE PUBLIC OUTCRY WOULD BE ENORMOUS, WITH 
SEKERAMAYI COMING UNDER VERY STRONG PRESSURE TO RESIGN. 
WE ALSO STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT ANALAGOUS CASES OF 
CORRUPTION AND PROFITEERING EXIST AT MANY OF THE OTHER 
PARASTATALS, WITH A NUMBER OF CABINET OFFICIALS, TOP 
RULING PARTY OFFICIALS, AND POLITICAL APPOINTEES ON THE 
TAKE AT PUBLIC EXPENSE. 
 
MCDONALD 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  04999  081116Z 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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