US embassy cable - 00HARARE4479

ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION MAKES A COUNTEROFFER TO THE GOVERNMENT'S 3,000 FARMS PROGRAM

Identifier: 00HARARE4479
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE4479 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-08-14 15:13:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: EAGR ECON PGOV ZI Land Reform
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.

141513Z Aug 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO3431

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      EB-00    EUR-00   EXIM-01  E-00     FAAE-00  VC-00    FRB-00   
      H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   ITC-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    
      NSAE-00  OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   
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      PMB-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /009W
                  ------------------79A618  141515Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6821
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 004479 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AF/EPS 
STATE PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA RCOHEN 
STATE PASS USTR/RWHITTAKER 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
LONDON FOR CGURNEY 
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS 
PRETORIA FOR AG ATTACHE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/14/05 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  04479  141515Z 
TAGS: EAGR, ECON, PGOV, ZI, Land Reform 
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION MAKES A 
COUNTEROFFER TO THE GOVERNMENT'S 3,000 FARMS PROGRAM 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR MCDONALD, REASON 1.5 (B), 
(D) 
 
REFS: A) HARARE 4362, B) HARARE 4297 
 
1.  (C) ON AUGUST 14 THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION 
(CFU) DELIVERED A PROPOSAL TO VICE PRESIDENT MSIKA 
(IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE ZIMBABWE NATIONAL 
LAND ACQUISITION COMMITTEE), LAYING OUT A 
COUNTEROFFER TO THE GOVERNMENT'S ANNOUNCED PLANS TO 
GAZETTE OVER 3000 FARMS FOR IMMEDIATE SEIZURE AND 
RESETTLEMENT (REF A).  THIS FOLLOWS THE ANNOUNCEMENT 
LAST WEEK ON AUGUST 10 THAT IT WAS WITHDRAWING ITS 
LEGAL ACTION AGAINST PRESIDENT MUGABE, POLICE 
COMMISSIONER CHIHURI, AND WAR VETERANS LEADER HUNZVI 
OVER THE FARM ACQUISITIONS AND OCCUPATIONS, AND THE 
DISINTEGRATION OF THE RULE OF LAW.  IN ADDITION, 
ACCORDING TO WILLIAM HUGHES, VICE PRESIDENT FOR 
REGIONS AT CFU, THE PETITION THE UNION HAD SENT TO 
PRESIDENT MUGABE ASKING FOR HIS DIRECT INTERVENTION 
TO STOP THE INVASIONS "HAS FALLEN AWAY."  IN A PRESS 
ANNOUNCEMENT, THE CFU'S PRESIDENT TIM HENWOOD STATED 
THAT THE MOVES WOULD ENABLE "MORE MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE 
BETWEEN THE CFU AND THE GOVERNMENT TO RESOLVE THE 
ONGOING FARM CRISIS."  THE CFU'S ACTIONS ON THE 10TH 
WERE CLEARLY INTENDED TO SET THE STAGE FOR THE CFU'S 
LATEST REBUTTAL OFFER TO THE GOZ. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  04479  141515Z 
 
2.  (C) IN THE PROPOSAL, THE CFU OFFERS THE GOZ 200 
FARMS NOW (ON A WILLING SELLER, COMMERCIAL VALUE 
BASIS), ANOTHER 400 BY APRIL 30, 2001, AND 400 MORE 
ANNUALLY FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS (A TOTAL OF 2,200 
FARMS).  THE CFU PROPOSAL IS CONTINGENT UPON A 
COMPLETE AND IMMEDIATE STOPPAGE OF THE INVASIONS AND 
LAWLESSNESS, AND THE REMOVAL OF THE WAR VETERANS FROM 
THE FARMS THEY CURRENTLY OCCUPY, HUGHES TOLD US.  IN 
ADDITION HE FLATLY DENIED (CONTRARY TO RUMORS WE HAD 
HEARD OVER THE WEEKEND) THAT A DEADLINE HAD BEEN SET 
BY THE CFU FOR THE WAR VETS REMOVAL, OR THAT THE 
UNION WOULD BACK A NATIONWIDE BOYCOTT OF TOBACCO 
PLANTING IF THE LAWLESSNESS CONTINUES. 
 
3.  (C) COMMENT: BECAUSE THE CFU PROPOSAL CONTAINS NO 
RADICAL NEW OFFERS, NOR ANY QUICK-TO-EXECUTE 
SOLUTIONS THAT WOULD YIELD POLITICAL CAPITAL FOR THE 
PRESIDENT, WE DOUBT THAT THIS LATEST PACKAGE WILL BE 
EMBRACED BY EITHER MUGABE OR THE GOZ.  IN ADDITION, 
WE ARE NOT SURE THAT THE FARM UNION'S MEMBERSHIP 
WOULD ENDORSE THE OFFER IF A REFERNDUM OR VOTE WAS 
HELD TODAY ON THE MATTER.  THIS IS BECAUSE WE ARE 
BEGINNING TO SEE AND SENSE THAT THE AVERAGE 
COMMERCIAL FARMER IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY 
DISILLUSIONED WITH NOT ONLY HIS OWN PLIGHT, BUT ALSO 
THE LACK OF RESULTS COMING FROM CFU'S NEGOTIATIONS 
WITH THE GOVERNMENT SINCE THE INVASIONS BEGAN IN LATE 
FEBRUARY.  BEING TOLD TO "KEEP COOL" FOR A FEW MONTHS 
IS ONE THING, BUT BEING TOLD THIS FOR GOING ON SIX 
MONTHS IS ANOTHER.  AT THE MOMENT WE PREDICT THAT THE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  04479  141515Z 
GOZ'S LAND JUGGERNAUT WILL ROLL ON IN ITS HAPHAZARD 
MANNER, CRUSHING ALL IN ITS PATH REGARDLESS OF 
PROTESTS, LOUD OR SOFT, COMING FROM WITHIN THE 
COUNTRY OR ABROAD.  MUGABE, WITH HIS EYES ON THE 2002 
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WILL GO IT ALONE AND CONTINUE 
TO USE THE LAND PROBLEM AS A BLATANT POLITICAL TOOL 
EVEN THOUGH IT WAS A FAILED STRATEGY IN THE JUNE 
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.  END COMMENT. 
 
MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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