US embassy cable - 00HARARE5514

UNDP RESREP BRIEFS DONORS ON UN/UNDP MISSION TO REVIEW ZIMBABWE'S LAND REFORM PROGRAM

Identifier: 00HARARE5514
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE5514 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-09-28 14:53:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: EAGR PGOV PINS PINR 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.



                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7402

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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7227
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
USDOC WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 005514 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
 
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AFR/SA - CPALMA, 
NNEWMAN, AA/AFR - VNEWTON, AND A/AID RMCCALL 
 
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER 
 
LONDON FOR GURNEY 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  05514  01 OF 02  281451Z 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/28/2010 
TAGS: EAGR, PGOV, PINS, PINR, ZI, Land Reform 
SUBJECT: UNDP RESREP BRIEFS DONORS ON UN/UNDP 
MISSION TO REVIEW ZIMBABWE'S LAND REFORM PROGRAM 
 
REF: (A). STATE 186563, (B) HARARE 5201 
 
CLASSIFIED BY DCM EARL M. IRVING FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND 
(D). 
 
1.  (SBU) UNDP RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE AND UN RESIDENT 
COORDINATOR IN ZIMBABWE VICTOR ANGELO BRIEFED DONORS ON 
SEPTEMBER 28 ON THE TERMS OF REFERENCE OF A FIVE-PERSON 
MISSION SENT TO LOOK FOR POSSIBLE AREAS OF ENGAGEMENT ON 
ZIMBABWE'S LAND REFORM PROGRAM.  THIS MISSION IS A 
FOLLOW-UP TO THE RECENT "MINI-LAND SUMMIT" AT UNGA IN 
NEW YORK, WHERE IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT THE UN MIGHT PLAY 
A "FOCAL ROLE" IN ASSISTING TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE (REF 
B).  PRINCIPALLY THE TEAM WILL DETERMINE WHETHER A SOUND 
TECHNICAL PROCESS CAN BE ESTABLISHED GUIDED BY AND 
CONSISTENT WITH THE PRINCIPLES AGREED AT THE 1998 LAND 
DONORS' CONFERENCE.  THE IMPRESSIVELY QUALIFIED TEAM, 
WHICH ARRIVED ON SEPTEMBER 26 AND WILL DEPART ON OCTOBER 
13, CONSISTS OF DR. JACQUES CHONCHOL (CHILE), AN EXPERT 
ON LAND REFORM; PLINIO SAMPAIO (BRAZIL) AN EXPERT IN 
ANALYSIS AND APPRAISAL OF LAND REFORM AND AGRICULTURE; 
PROFESSOR H.W.O. OKOTH-OGENDO (KENYA) AN EXPERT IN LAND 
LAW AND LEGISLATION; KENNETH ALLISON (JAMAICA), AN 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  05514  01 OF 02  281451Z 
EXPERT IN PROPERTY EVALUATION; AND JEAN BARUT, (BURUNDI) 
A SENIOR UNDP ECONOMIST.  THE UNDP RESIDENT COORDINATOR 
INVITED THE HEAVILY ATTENDED MEETING PARTICIPANTS TO 
RETURN OCTOBER 12 FOR AN OUT-BRIEFING BY THE TEAM ON ITS 
FINDINGS. 
 
2.  (SBU) THE UNDP RESREP REPORTED THAT THE TEAM'S FIRST 
MEETING HAD BEEN WITH NEWLY INSTALLED MINISTRY OF 
FOREIGN AFFAIRS PERMANENT SECRETARY WILLARD CHIWEWE, WHO 
WILL BE THE TEAM'S GOVERNMENT POINT OF CONTACT, AND WILL 
CHAIR ALL MEETINGS ON THE GOVERNMENT SIDE.  WHILE 
CALLING THE MISSION'S VISIT "A NEW BEGINNING," CHIWEWE 
IMMEDIATELY LAID DOWN A MARKER: THE GOVERNMENT'S "FAST 
TRACK" APPROACH TO LAND REFORM WAS "NON-NEGOTIABLE" AND 
COULD NOT BE CHALLENGED.  ANGELO SUGGESTED THAT TO 
OVERCOME THE ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT'S INITIAL HARD-LINE 
POSITION THE TEAM WOULD PROBABLY PROPOSE THREE 
SCENARIOS, STARTING WITH A SHORT-TERM ONE (LEAST 
FEASIBLE) AND PROCEEDING TO A LONG-TERM (MOST FEASIBLE) 
ONE.  THE SENIOR ZIMBABWEAN DIPLOMAT HOPED THE MISSION 
WOULD BREAK NEW GROUND IN FINDING A WAY OF RELAUNCHING 
THE DIALOGUE ON LAND.  ANGELO CONTINUED THAT THE UNITED 
NATIONS WOULD DEPLOY A "MIRROR MISSION" TO LOOK INTO THE 
RULE OF LAW, WHICH HE SAID WAS A SINE QUA NON FOR A 
TECHNICALLY SOUND LAND REFORM PROCESS.  THE UNDP RESREP 
TOOK PAINS TO ASSURE HIS DONOR LISTENERS THAT THE TEAM 
WOULD CONSULT AS BROADLY AS POSSIBLY WITH ALL 
STAKEHOLDERS.  A SUBTEXT OF ITS ENGAGEMENT WITH THE 
GOVERNMENT WAS THE NEED TO REACH DOMESTIC CONSENSUS ON A 
MUTUALLY ACCEPTABLE PLAN OF ACTION, AND THUS IT WOULD AT 
EVERY OPPORTUNITY REMIND ITS GOVERNMENT INTERLOCUTORS TO 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  05514  01 OF 02  281451Z 
ENTER INTO DIALOGUE WITH CIVIL SOCIETY.  BY OCTOBER 12 
THE TEAM HOPED TO PRESENT ITS ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT 
OF THE FAST TRACK PLAN.  AMONG THOSE ASPECTS IT WILL 
INVESTIGATE IS WHETHER THE PROGRAM IS SUSTAINABLE, WHAT 
IS ITS IMPACT ON CONSIDERATIONS OF SOCIAL JUSTICE, 
EQUITY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE COUNTRY'S NATURAL 
RESOURCE BASE.  THE TEAM WILL ALSO LOOK AT THE IMPACT OF 
THE FAST TRACK PROCESS ON THE SUB-REGION. 
 
3.  (C) ALTHOUGH ANGELO'S PRESENTATION GENERATED LITTLE 
DEBATE OR QUESTIONING OF THE MISSION'S PURPOSE, VARIOUS 
DONORS INTERVENED WITH OBSERVATIONS OF WHICH THE UNDP 
RESREP TOOK NOTE.  THE SWEDISH AMBASSADOR SUGGESTED THAT 
IN TERMS OF DONOR ASSISTANCE TO ZIMBABWE'S LAND REFORM 
PROGRAM IT WAS NOT NECESSARY TO REINVENT THE WHEEL.  THE 
1998 DONORS' CONFERENCE HAD PRODUCED MUCH LITERATURE AND 
WILLARD CHIWEWE HAD BEEN CHAIRMAN OF A KEY WORKING GROUP 
AT THE CONFERENCE HAMMERING OUT GOVERNMENT DONOR 
AGREEMENTS.  THE AMBASSADOR STRESSED THAT UNLESS RULE OF 
LAW WAS ESTABLISHED ON THE FARMS THERE WAS NO POINT IN 
GOING AHEAD WITH LAND REFORM ASSISTANCE, AND URGED THE 
UN/UNDP MISSION TO TAKE ZIMBABWE'S CURRENT ECONOMIC 
SITUATION INTO ACCOUNT AS IT FORMULATED ITS 
RECOMMENDATIONS.  A EUROPEAN UNION (EU) REPRESENTATIVE 
STRESSED THE NEED FOR DOMESTIC DIALOGUE AND NOTED THAT 
FEW DONORS UNDERSTOOD WHAT THE GOVERNMENT'S FAST TRACK 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7403 
 
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      SMEC-00  DINT-00  DODE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00 
      EUR-00   FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    HHS-01   H-01     SSA-01 
      TEDE-00  INR-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  OES-01 
      OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00 
      P-00     SP-00    IRM-00   SSO-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  R-00 
      PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00 
        /012W 
                  ------------------8AFA87  281455Z /38 
O 281453Z SEP 00 
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7228 
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY 
USDOC WASHDC 
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 005514 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
 
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AFR/SA - CPALMA, 
NNEWMAN, AA/AFR - VNEWTON, AND A/AID RMCCALL 
 
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER 
 
LONDON FOR GURNEY 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  05514  02 OF 02  281451Z 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/28/2010 
TAGS: EAGR, PGOV, UNDP, PINS, PINR, ZI 
SUBJECT: UNDP RESREP BRIEFS DONORS ON UN/UNDP 
MISSION TO REVIEW ZIMBABWE'S LAND REFORM PROGRAM 
 
PROGRAM ENTAILED.  HE CAUTIONED THE MISSION MEMBERS THAT 
INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LAND REFORM AND 
RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM WAS NOT CLEAR AND DIVIDED AMONG 
SEVERAL CENTERS, BUT PRESIDENT MUGABE ALWAYS HAD THE 
LAST WORD.  ANOTHER EU REPRESENTATIVE ADVISED THE 
MISSION NOT TO REPORT IT HAD REACHED EVEN PARTIAL 
CONSENSUS WHEN NONE IN FACT EXISTED, AS HAD BEEN THE 
EXPERIENCE OF SEVERAL MISSIONS THAT HAD COME TO ZIMBABWE 
WITH SIMILAR MANDATES.  THE AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER 
RECEIVED ASSURANCES FROM THE TEAM THAT THE MISSION WOULD 
COORDINATE ITS WORK WITH THE WORLD BANK, WHICH IS 
STARTING WORK ON A MODELING ACTIVITY DESIGNED TO ASSESS 
THE VARIOUS SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF DIFFERENT ZIMBABWE 
LAND REFORM SCENARIOS.  A JAPANESE AID OFFICER URGED THE 
TEAM TO INCLUDE IN ITS REPORT SOME MENTION OF THE IMPACT 
ON THE SOME 2 MILLION FARM WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES 
WHO STAND TO BE DISPLACED BY THE FAST TRACK PROGRAM. 
THE JAPANESE DIPLOMAT ALSO ASKED THE MISSION TO LOOK 
CLOSELY AT THE CRITERIA FOR BENEFICIARIES OF LAND 
REFORM, AND FOR AN ASSESSMENT OF THE FAST TRACK PROGRAM 
TO DATE.  THE NEW ZEALAND HIGH COMMISSIONER CALLED FOR A 
PROGRAM THAT WOULD BE SUCCESSFUL NO MATTER WHAT THE 
POLITICAL CIRCUMSTANCES, AND NOTED THAT CARE SHOULD BE 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  05514  02 OF 02  281451Z 
TAKEN TO ASSIGN LAND TO THOSE WHO WERE CAPABLE OF 
FARMING IT, WHO WERE FEW.  RESPONDING TO A DUTCH 
DIPLOMAT'S QUESTION OF WHAT WOULD BE THE NEXT STEP 
FOLLOWING SUBMISSION OF THE TEAM'S REPORT, VICTOR ANGELO 
REPLIED THAT THE UN SECRETARY GENERAL WOULD HAVE TO 
DECIDE, BUT THAT BEYOND THAT, NOT MUCH THOUGHT HAD BEEN 
GIVEN TO THE MATTER.  FINALLY, A SWEDISH AID OFFICIAL 
COMMENTED THAT THE TEAM LIKELY WOULD FIND MANY BRIDGES 
ON TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE PROGRAM THAT WOULD BE SHARED 
BY VERY SENIOR OFFICIALS, INCLUDING MINISTERS.  HE 
ADVISED THE TEAM TO STAY IN CLOSE CONSULTATION WITH 
CHIWEWE, ARGUABLY MUGABE'S MOST TRUSTED CIVIL SERVANT, 
TO DETERMINE THE POLITICAL FEASIBILITY OF THOSE 
TECHNICAL PROPOSALS. 
 
4.  (C) COMMENT: OUR COLLEAGUES WERE FOR THE MOST PART 
THE VERY MODEL OF OLD-FASHIONED DIPLOMATS FACED WITH A 
PROPOSITION ABOUT WHICH THEY WERE LESS THAN 
ENTHUSIASTIC: OBLIQUE, POLITE, AND NON-COMMITTAL.  THOSE 
WHO SPOKE CLEARLY, HOWEVER, MADE IT PLAIN THAT RULE OF 
LAW IS THE ISSUE FOR THE DONOR COMMUNITY, AND IF FAST 
TRACK IS THE ISSUE FOR THE GOVERNMENT, THEN POTENTIALLY 
SERIOUS PROBLEMS LIE AHEAD.  FOR OUR PART, WHILE WE ARE 
IMPRESSED WITH THE ASSEMBLED TEAM, WE QUESTION HOW WE 
CAN GET SOMETHING USEFUL OUT OF SUCH A SHORT TDY, 
PARTICULARLY IN ZIMBABWE'S POLARIZED POLITICAL CLIMATE. 
RESREP ANGELO, FOR HIS PART, HAS WALKED INTO A TIGHT 
SPOT.  IF HE IS SEEN AS TOO ACCOMMODATING OF THE 
GOVERNMENT, HE RISKS A CONTENTIOUS TENURE HERE.  END 
COMMENT. 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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