US embassy cable - 00HARARE5051

ZIMBABWE LAND REFORM ASSISTANCE UPDATE - PROPOSAL TO TERMINATE PROGRAM

Identifier: 00HARARE5051
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE5051 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-09-11 15:41:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: EAID EAGR 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.

111541Z Sep 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4920

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ACTION AID-00   

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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7052
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 005051 
 
SIPDIS 
 
AIDAC 
 
A/AID FOR R. MCCALL; AFR/SD FOR D. WELLER; AFR/SA FOR 
N. NEWMAN, C. PALMA 
 
STATE FOR AF DAS SCHNEIDMAN, AF/S DIRECTOR RENDER AND 
DESK OFFICER KRAFT 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 1 
TAGS: EAID, EAGR, ZI, Land Reform 
SUBJECT:  ZIMBABWE LAND REFORM ASSISTANCE UPDATE - 
PROPOSAL TO TERMINATE PROGRAM 
 
REFS: (A) HARARE 2271; (B) HARARE 1609 
 
1. FROM AMBASSADOR MCDONALD TO AF DAS SCHNEIDMAN, AND 
AF/S DIRECTOR RENDER:  I WOULD APPRECIATE RECEIVING 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  05051  01 OF 02  111542Z 
YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ISSUE AT YOUR EARLIEST 
CONVENIENCE.  WE NEED TO COME TO SOME CONSENSUS 
QUICKLY ON TERMINATING THIS PROJECT. 
 
2. DONORS INVOLVED IN THE UNDP/TECHNICAL SUPPORT UNIT 
(TSU) LAND REFORM SUPPORT ACTIVITY, INCLUDING THE 
U.S., NORWAY, SWEDEN, AND THE NETHERLANDS, MET ON 
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 AT UNDP WITH ACTING UNDP RESIDENT 
REPRESENTATIVE (RESREP) CHINWE TO DISCUSS THE STATUS 
AND RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION OF THIS ACTIVITY GIVEN THE 
CONTINUING ILLEGAL FARM OCCUPATIONS AND ASSOCIATED 
PROBLEMS.  NOTE:  ALTHOUGH NOT A CONTRIBUTING DONOR TO 
THIS SPECIFIC ACTIVITY, GIVEN THEIR CLOSE ASSOCIATION 
WITH THIS PROGRAM, A WORLD BANK REPRESENTATIVE ALSO 
ATTENDED THIS MEETING.  END NOTE.  SEE REFTEL A FOR A 
FULLER DESCRIPTION OF THIS MULTI-DONOR LAND REFORM 
SUPPORT PROJECT ACTIVITY. 
 
3. PER REFTEL B, THIS ACTIVITY WAS OFFICIALLY 'FROZEN' 
(I.E., NO NEW FUNDING COMMITMENTS) AFTER DONOR AND 
STATE DEPARTMENT CONSULTATIONS IN MARCH 2000.  A 
LETTER WAS SENT TO THE GOZ OULY REFLECTING THIS 
DECISION.  NOTE:  TO DATE, WE HAVE RECEIVED NO 
RESPONSE FROM THE GOZ TO THIS 'FREEZE' 
LETTER/DECISION.  END NOTE.  AS A RESULT, THE PROJECT 
HAS ONLY BEEN PAYING SALARIES OF RECRUITED TSU STAFF 
SINCE THAT TIME, AS NO ADDITIONAL MATERIALS, EQUIPMENT 
OR OPERATING COSTS ARE PERMITTED UNDER THE SUSPENSION 
OR FREEZE.  ACCORDINGLY, EXACERBATED BY THE MORE 
RECENT DRAMATIC AOVERSE TURN OF IN-COUNTRY EVENTS, TSU 
STAFF HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH LITTLE OF THEIR 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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EXPECTED SCOPE OF WORK SINCE MARCH 2000.  RESREP 
CHINWE ALSO INFORMED THE MEETING THAT THERE WAS NEED 
FOR A TIMELY DECISION IN THIS MATTER AS, GIVEN ITS 
CURRENT LOCATION WITHIN THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT 
AND CABINET, THE TSU IS COMING UNDER INCREASING 
PRESSURE FROM THE GOZ TO USE THEIR EQUIPMENT AND STAFF 
IN SUPPORT OF THE GOVERNMENT'S 'FAST-TRACK' PROGRAM 
WHICH THE DONORS DO NOT SUPPORT IN ITS CURRENT FORM. 
 
4. CONSIDERING THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND THE CURRENT 
BLEAK PROSPECTS FOR ANY RAPID IMPROVEMENT IN THIS 
SITUATION, ALL DONORS TO THIS PROGRAM RECOMMEND THAT 
IT IS BEST TO 'CUT OUR LOSSES' AT THIS TIME, AND 
TERMINATE OUR SUPPORT FOR THIS ACTIVITY. 
 
5. LESS DRASTIC OPTIONS DISCUSSED (E.G., RETAINING 
SOME MODIFIED SEMBLANCE OF THIS ACTIVITY FOR SUPPORT 
OF ON-GOING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE ACTIVITIES WITH 
REMAINING PROJECT FUNDS, SUCH AS MONITORING OF ON- 
GOING ZIMBABWE LAND REFORM ACTIVITIES/EVENTS, 
CONSTRUCTIVE TECHNICAL STUDIES, AND/OR FACILITATION OF 
A DONOR-GOVERNMENT DIALOGUE ON THIS SUBJECT) WERE 
REJECTED DUE TO THE FORMAL NATURE OF THE AGREEMENT FOR 
THIS ACTIVITY BETWEEN THE UNDP AND THE GOZ REQUIRING 
THAT ANY/ALL SUCH MODIFIED USES OF PROJECT RESOURCES 
WOULD HAVE TO APPROVED BY THE GOZ.  UNDER THESE 
CIRCUMSTANCES, AND IN THE INTEREST OF MAINTAINING A 
DESIRED DEGREE OF AUTONOMY AND FLEXIBILITY VIS-A-VIS 
THE GOVERNMENT'S EXPRESSED PLANS AND ACTIONS ON THIS 
SUBJECT, ALL PRESENT AGREED THAT IT WAS BEST TO 
TERMINATE THIS ACTIVITY ALTOGETHER.  THEREAFTER, ONCE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  05051  01 OF 02  111542Z 
WE HAVE A CLEARER IDEA WHERE THE 'FAST-TRACK' PROGRAM 
IS GOING AND WHAT OUR POSSIBLE STRATEGIC POINTS OF 
ENTRY MIGHT BE, A NEW PROGRAM COULD BE DEVELOPED. 
NOTE: IN THIS LATTER REGARD, THE MISSION NOTES THAT 
THE U.S.G. WILL RETAIN THE CAPABILITY FOR SUCH ON- 
GOING TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR ZIMBABWE LAND REFORM, 
REGARDLESS OF THE FINAL STATUS OF THIS MULTI-DONOR 
UNDP/TSU ACTIVITY, UNDER OUR SEPARATE, COMPLEMENTARY 
AND DIRECT AGREEMENT WITH THE UNVIERSITY OF 
WISCONSIN'S LAND TENURE CENTER (SEE REFTEL A). 
 
6. NEXT STEPS: 
 
-A. AFTER DONOR CONCURRENCE, UNOP WILL DRAFT A FORMAL 
LETTER TO GOVERNMENT INDICATING OUR OECISION TO 
TERMINATE OUR SUPPORT UNDER THIS ACTIVITY.  NOTE: IT 
WAS AGREED AT THIS MEETING THAT THIS DRAFT LETTER 
WOULD BE CLEARED BY ALL CONCERNED PARTIES PRIOR TO 
FINALIZATION/TRANSMITTAL.  END NOTE. 
 
-B. UNDP WILL COMPLETE A FINAL ACCOUNTING OF PROJECT 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4922 
 
PAGE 01        HARARE  05051  02 OF 02  111543Z 
ACTION AID-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AF-00    AGRE-00  CIAE-00  DODE-00  SRPP-00 
      EB-00    TEDE-00  IRM-00   SAS-00     /000W 
                  ------------------83D637  111543Z /38 
P 111541Z SEP 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7053 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 005051 
 
SIPDIS 
 
AIDAC 
 
A/AID FOR R. MCCALL; AFR/SD FOR D. WELLER; AFR/SA FOR 
N. NEWMAN, C. PALMA 
 
STATE FOR AF DAS SCHNEIDMAN, AF/S DIRECTOR RENDER AND 
DESK OFFICER KRAFT 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 1 
TAGS: EAID, EAGR, ZI 
SUBJECT:  ZIMBABWE LAND REFORM ASSISTANCE UPDATE - 
PROPOSAL TO TERMINATE PROGRAM 
 
EXPENSES TO DATE (INCLUDING ANY TSU STAFF TERMINATION 
COSTS) WHICH WILL THEN BE ALLOCATED EQUALLY AMONG THE 
FOUR DONORS CONTRIBUTING TO THIS ACTIVITY FOR A FINAL 
ACTIVITY ACCOUNTING IN PREPARATION FOR ITS CLOSEOUT. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  05051  02 OF 02  111543Z 
 
-C. IN THE INTERIM, PARTICIPATING DONORS WILL CONSIDER 
THE POSSIBILITY/INTEREST IN CONTINUING TO SUPPORT SOME 
TYPE OF SUCCESSOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE (TA) ACTIVITY 
WITH REMAINING PROJECT FUNDS AS DISCUSSED ABOVE. 
 
7. ONCE THESE STEPS ARE COMPLETE, THE DONORS WILL MEET 
AGAIN TO FINALIZE OUR RESPECTIVE FUNDING ALLOCATIONS 
AND CLOSE-OUT PROCEDURES UNOER THE EXISTING ACTIVITY, 
AND TO DETERMINE THE EXTENT OF ANY SUPPORT FOR A 
SUCCESSOR ACTIVITY. 
8. COMMENT: FOR THE SEVERAL REASONS STATED ABOVE, 
EMBASSY BELIEVES THIS ACTIVITY TERMINATION DECISION IS 
THE CORRECT ONE AT THIS TIME.  ALL OTHER DONORS 
PARTICIPATING IN THIS ACTIVITY CLEARLY SUPPORT THE 
NECESSITY FOR THIS ACTION AT THIS TIME.  IN THE 
PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES, AT BEST, WE ARE SIMPLY WASTING 
MONEY BY CONTINUING TO FUND THE TSU; AND, AT WORST, WE 
COULD SEE OUR RESOURCES CO-OPTED TO SUPPORT THE 
GOVERNMENT'S CURRENT ILLEGAL 'FAST-TRACK' LAND REFORM 
ACTIVITIES.  IN ADDITION, ALTHOUGH A FINAL ACCOUNTING 
IS YET TO BE COMPLETED, IT IS ESTIMATED THAT, AT MOST, 
WE HAVE US$100,000 TO 150,000 OF U.S.G. FUNDS 
REMAINING UNDER THIS ACTIVITY AT THIS TIME. 
THEREFORE, EVEN IF WE OPTED TO 'GO IT ALONE', WE COULD 
ACCOMPLISH LITTLE ON OUR OWN WITHOUT THE CONTINUING 
PARTICIPATION OF THE OTHER THREE DONORS TO THIS 
ACTIVITY.  FINALLY, IT IS NOTEO THAT THERE IS 
CONSIDERABLE MERIT TO MAINTAINING A UNITED OONOR FRONT 
ON THIS ISSUE.  HOWEVER, AS THE TERMINATION LETTER TO 
THE GOZ IS ONLY BEING ORAFTED NOW, WE WILL HAVE TIME 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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TO RECONSIOER THIS OECISION BEFORE IT BECOMES FINAL, 
IF, FOR EXAMPLE, THE RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AT THE UNITED 
NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING IN NEW YORK (UNGA) 
MERIT SUCH A RECONSIDERATION.  NOTE: THE UNDP HAS 
SINCE CALLED AN INFORMAL DONORS MEETING FOR THIS WEEK 
TO DISCUSS THE RECENT UNGA DELIBERATIONS AND THEIR 
POSSIBLE IMPACT ON THE SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE.  FURTHER 
POST NOTES DAS SCHEIDMAN'S DISCUSSION LAST WEEK WITH 
THE DIRECTOR OF UNDP.  END NOTE.  MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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