US embassy cable - 00HARARE4319

ZIMBABWE/SOUTH AFRICA TALKS

Identifier: 00HARARE4319
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE4319 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-08-03 16:44:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL ZI PGOV EAGR ZI
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.

031644Z Aug 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6224

PAGE 01        HARARE  04319  01 OF 02  031647Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AGRE-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  DODE-00  DS-00    
      EB-00    FBIE-00  VC-00    TEDE-00  INR-00   VCE-00   NSAE-00  
      SSO-00   SS-00    DSCC-00  DRL-02   NFAT-00  SAS-00     /002W
                  ------------------75E86C  031651Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6768
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 004319 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/03/10 
TAGS: PREL, ZI, PGOV, EAGR, ZI 
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE/SOUTH AFRICA TALKS 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY ECON OFFICER MARK PROKOP FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND 
(D) 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  04319  01 OF 02  031647Z 
REF: HARARE 4317 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY: THE AUGUST 2 ZIMBABWE/SOUTH AFRICA REGULAR 
BIANNUAL SUMMIT FOCUSED LARGELY ON BILATERAL ECONOMIC 
ISSUES, MBEKI'S AFRICAN RENAISSANCE PLAN AND ISSUES OF LAND AND 
LAWLESSNESS.  THE ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT EXPLAINED THAT THE 
WAR VETERANS' ACTIONS CONSTITUTED A DEMONSTRATION, BUT 
OCCUPIED FARMS WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY BE ALLOCATED TO THEM. 
INSTEAD THE GOZ HAS STRUCTURES AND A PLAN, ACCORDING TO 
PRESIDENT MUGABE, AIMED AT ENSURING THAT THE LAND ACQUISITION 
PROCESS IS AS DIVERSE AND EQUITABLE AS POSSIBLE.  IN THE NEAR 
FUTURE THE WAR VETS WILL BE REMOVED FROM FARMS THAT ARE NOT 
LISTED, MUGABE TOLD HIS SOUTH AFRICAN COUNTERPART.  HE 
APOLOGIZED TO MBEKI FOR THE LOSS OF LIFE DURING THE PRE-ELECTION 
PERIOD ON THE FARMS, NOTING THAT BOTH SIDES SHARED BLAME FOR 
IT.  THE SOUTH AFRICANS SEEMED PLEASED WITH THEIR MEETINGS HERE, 
AND CONSCIOUS OF NOT APPEARING TO BE THE REGIONAL HEAVY.  THEY 
TOOK THE ZIMBABWEANS EXPLANATIONS AND RATIONALIZATIONS FOR 
THE LAWLESSNESS, AT LEAST PUBLICLY, AT FACE VALUE.  END 
SUMMARY 
 
2.  (C) ON AUGUST 3 THE CHARGE CALLED ON VICTOR MDITSHWA, SOUTH 
AFRICAN DEPUTY HIGH COMMISSIONER, TO GET A READOUT ON THE VISIT 
ON AUGUST 2 OF A SENIOR GOVERNMENT DELEGATION FROM SOUTH 
AFRICA,  LED BY PRESIDENT MBEKI.  THE GROUP INCLUDED THE 
MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, FINANCE, TRADE, AGRICULTURE, AND 
MINERALS AND ENERGY, AS WELL AS THE GOVERNOR GENERAL OF THE 
SOUTH AFRICAN RESERVE BANK, THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE 
MINISTRY OF FINANCE, THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE 
MINISTRY OF TRADE, AND DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE PRESIDENT'S 
OFFICE CHIKANE.  THE ZIMBABWEAN AND SOUTH AFRICAN HEADS OF 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  04319  01 OF 02  031647Z 
STATE MEET REGULARLY ON A BIANNUAL BASIS; THEIR LAST MEETING 
TOOK PLACE IN PRETORIA IN FEBRUARY.  A WEEK EARLIER SOUTH 
AFRICAN MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY ALEC ERWIN HAD VISITED 
HARARE TO MEET HIS NEW COUNTERPART, NKOSANA MOYO, AND BRIEF 
HIM ON THE PROCESS OF BILATERAL ECONOMIC INTERACTION AS WELL 
AS THE SADC TRADE PROTOCOL. 
 
3.  (C) WE WERE TOLD THAT THE TWO LEADERS HAD OVER A TWO-HOUR 
ONE-ON-ONE DISCUSSION COVERING A RANGE OF TOPICS, ALTHOUGH 
NONE IN GREAT DEPTH.  TOPICS INCLUDED THE FUEL CRISIS, THE 
ELECTRICITY BILL AND THE GENERAL STATUS OF THE ECONOMY 
PARTICULARLY THE MILLENIUM ECONOMIC RECOVERY PROGRAM.  THEY 
REFLECTED ON REGIONAL, CONTINENTAL AND GLOBAL ISSUES.  MBEKI 
VIGOROUSLY FLOGGED HIS AFRICAN RECOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT 
PLAN, STATING THAT ZIMBABWE AND THE SADC COUNTRIES WERE ALL 
STRATEGIC PARTNERS IN ITS EXECUTION.  THE MINISTERS ALSO MET 
THEIR COUNTERPARTS IN SIMILARLY RESTRICTED CIRCUMSTANCES.  THE 
TALKS WERE A PRELIMINARY ENCOUNTER AND THE MINISTERIAL TEAMS 
(TO WHICH THE TWO GOVERNMENTS ARE REFERRING AS THE STANDING 
OMMITTEE) WOULD BE LOOKING TO MEET AGAIN SOON AFTE THIS 
COMING WEEKEND'S WINDHOEK SUMMIT PROVIDINGTHE CHANCE TO RE- 
ENGAGE IN MORE DETAIL. 
 
4.  C) THE SOUTH AFRICANS' THEME HAD BEEN THAT THE TWOCOUNTRIES 
MUST EITHER SWIM TOGETHER IN THE REGIONOR SINK TOGETHER. THEY 
WERE STRUCK BY A MORE FLEIBLE AND POSITIVE APPROACH BY THE 
POST-ELECTION ANU-PF GOVERNMENT.  ACCORDING TO MDITSHWA 
THERE PPEARED TO BE A WILLINGNESS (AT LAST) TO FACE UP T 
MAKING DIFFICULT DECISIONS, PARTICULARLY ON THE CONOMIC 
ISSUES (MBEKI REPORTEDLY TOLD ZIMBABWEANMINISTER MAKONI AND 
MOYO THAT IN THIS RESPECT THY MUST HELP THEIR PRESIDENT TO THE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  04319  01 OF 02  031647Z 
FULLEST).  ITWAS ALSO ENCOURAGING, TO THE SOUTH AFRICANS, THAT 
THE LAW AND ORDER ISSUE WAS BEING ADDRESSED, WITH PLANS FOR 
THE WAR VETERANS TO BE MOVED OFF NON-LISTED FARMS WITHIN A 
MONTH.  MUGABE SPECIFICALLY STATED THAT THE VETS WOULD COME 
OFF THE FARMS NOT ON THE ACQUISITION LIST, BUT WOULD BE 
ALLOWED TO REMAIN ON THE LISTED PROPERTIES.  BOTH PRESIDENTS 
AGREED THAT THE LAND ISSUE WAS AN IMPORTANT ONE FOR ZIMBABWE. 
MUGABE ADDED THAT NOW THAT HIS GOVERNMENT HAD COME UP WITH 
A LIST OF FARMS TO BE RESETTLED, THE WAR VETS COULD BE DEALT 
WITH, THOUGH THE SPECIFICS OF THIS PROCESS WERE LEFT UNSTATED. 
 
5.  (C) MUGABE WENT INTO A DETAILED EXPLANATION OF HOW THE 
PROCESS WOULD WORK WITH SEVERAL LAYERS OF FAIL SAFE MEASURES 
AGAINST UNJUST LAND GRABS.  ZIMBABWE'S PRESIDENT ALSO POINTED 
OUT THAT THE PLAN WOULD AIM TO BE AS INCLUSIVE AS POSSIBLE. 
PROVINCIAL LAND ACQUISITION COMMITTEES WOULD IDENTIFY LAND 
FOR COMPULSORY ACQUISITION ACCORDING TO TRANSPARENT 
CRITERIA, WHILE A VERIFYING COMMISSION CHAIRED BY VICE 
PRESIDENT MSIKA WOULD REVIEW THE LISTS.  THE PROPERTIES WOULD 
BE GAZETTED AND OWNERS WOULD HAVE 30 DAYS WITHIN WHICH TO 
REGISTER THEIR OBJECTIONS.  THE ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT NOTED 
THAT OCCUPIED FARMS WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY BE ALLOCATED TO 
WAR VETERANS.  HE ALSO MADE THE POINT (THAT HE HAS REPEATEDLY 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6226 
 
PAGE 01        HARARE  04319  02 OF 02  031647Z 
ACTION AF-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AGRE-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  DODE-00  DS-00 
      EB-00    FBIE-00  VC-00    TEDE-00  INR-00   VCE-00   NSAE-00 
      SSO-00   SS-00    DSCC-00  DRL-02   NFAT-00  SAS-00     /002W 
                  ------------------75E879  031652Z /38 
O 031644Z AUG 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6769 
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 004319 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
 
LONDON FOR PFLAUMER 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/03/10 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, EAGR, ZI, SF 
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE/SOUTH AFRICA TALKS 
 
WITH US) THAT HE CONSIDERS THE WAR VETERANS ACTION TO BE A 
DEMONSTRATION.  THE SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT TOOK AT FACE 
VALUE MUGABE'S LINE THAT VIOLENCE ON THE FARMS WAS 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  04319  02 OF 02  031647Z 
REGRETTABLE, BUT THAT BOTH SIDES SHARED BLAME FOR IT.  THE 
ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT SAID THAT THE POLICE DID NOT HAVE THE 
CAPACITY TO DEAL WITH THE INVADERS AND SENDING IN THE ARMY, 
WITH NO ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE, AGAINST SEASONED MILITARY CADRES 
COULD PRODUCE A NASTY OUTCOME. 
 
6.  (C) THE SOUTH AFRICANS SEEM BROADLY SATISFIED WITH THIS INITIAL 
RAFT OF MEETINGS.  MDITSHWA EXHIBITED THE CLASSIC SOUTH 
AFRICAN CONCERN NOT TO GIVE ANY IMPRESSION OF DICTATING TO 
THEIR NEIGHBORS, THOUGH HE HINTED THAT IN THE COURSE OF THESE 
SUMMITS IT WAS HOPED THAT THE ZIMBABWEANS COULD LEARN 
SOMETHING FROM SOUTH AFRICA.  THIS DOUBTLESS IS THE REASON FOR 
THEIR CAUTIOUS COMMENTS TO THE MEDIA AT THE JOINT PRESS 
CONFERENCE AFTERWARDS. 
 
7.  (C) COMMENT: IN THE PRESIDENTIAL DIALOGUE MBEKI DOES NOT 
APPEAR TO HAVE LAID A GLOVE ON MUGABE ON THE TOPIC OF RESPECT 
FOR THE RULE OF LAW.  HE DEFERRED TO HIS SENIOR NEIGHBOR.  WHILE 
MUGABE INTIMATED THAT THE WAR VETS WERE A TOOL TO APPLY 
PRESSURE ON THE COMMERCIAL FARMING COMMUNITY, HIS APOLOGY 
FOR DEATHS NEARING THE 40 COUNT RINGS HOLLOW AND EMPTY TO US. 
EMBASSY PRETORIA MAY BE ABLE TO GLEAN MORE FROM THEIR 
CONTACTS, ALTHOUGH ATTENTION WILL NO DOUBT NOW BE FOCUSED 
ON THE UPCOMING WINDHOEK SADC SUMMIT. 
 
IRVING 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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