Cablegate: Zimbabwe's Lack of Progress Toward Agoa

Published: Tue 15 Apr 2003 05:14 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
150514Z Apr 03
E. O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Zimbabwe's Lack of Progress Toward AGOA
Ref: State 53658
Zimbabwe remains unqualified for AGOA. We address the 6
broad areas from reftel below:
1) AGOA Trade and Investment: N/A Zimbabwe's
sophisticated textile sector is clearly losing business
to AGOA-qualified countries.
2) Market Economy/Economic Reform/Elimination of Trade
Barriers: Zimbabwe's economic decline accelerated in
2002. Gross Domestic Product lost about 12 percent. The
Government's land redistribution demolished Zimbabwe's
agricultural sector, which traditionally accounted for
half of exports. The country's infrastructure is
collapsing, with basic commodities increasing
unavailable. Foreign direct investment is nearly zero.
3) Rule of Law/Political Pluralism/Anti-Corruption: In
the aftermath of the deeply flawed March 2002
presidential election, which most serious observer groups
dismissed as unfree and unfair, Government intensified
its repression of the opposition, the judiciary, and the
independent press. President Mugabe regularly disparaged
the principal opposition party -- which, by the
Government's count, won 1.2 million of the 2.8 million
votes cast in the presidential election -- as a puppet of
the United Kingdom which should be crushed. Corruption
at all levels of government appears to be increasing --
exacerbated by the economy's implosion. A government-
sanctioned audit of the chaotic land redistribution
program - the centerpiece of the ruling party's political
agenda -- revealed widespread abuse of the announced
resettlement rules by ruling party cronies, who benefited
handsomely from a policy bearing large responsibility for
Zimbabwe's rapid economic contraction.
4) Poverty Reduction: Poverty expanded rapidly.
Zimbabweans have had increasingly difficulty affording
food, health-care and transport. In 2002, the U.S.
contributed over US$ 120 million in food aid.
5) Human Rights/Labor/Child Labor: Zimbabwe's human
rights record continued to worsen, as an increasingly
unpopular government escalated its repression of
suspected opposition supporters. In 2002, there were
1397 reported cases of torture, unlawful arrest, murder,
rape, and other politically-motivated crimes. More than
90 percent of these attacks were perpetrated by ruling
party supporters and security services, according to
reputable human rights organizations. The Government
frequently singled out labor leaders for intimidation.
6) AGOA Outreach: N/A
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