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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE2894
2000-05-31 17:15:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZANU-PF LEGAL SECRETARY ON LAND INVASIONS AND

Tags:  PGOV PHUM KDEM EAGR PINR ZI PREL 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

311715Z May 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3482

PAGE 01        HARARE  02894  01 OF 02  311712Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AGRE-00  AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  COME-00  
      DINT-00  DODE-00  DOTE-00  ANHR-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    
      FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    
      L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  
      PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    STR-00   
      TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     
      NFAT-00  SAS-00     /009W
                  ------------------5D772C  311712Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6174
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
NSC WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002894 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/31/00
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM EAGR PINR ZI PREL
SUBJECT: ZANU-PF LEGAL SECRETARY ON LAND INVASIONS AND
ELECTION VIOLENCE


NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02894 01 OF 02 311712Z
DEPARTMENT PASS TO USTR FOR ROSA WITAKER

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL OFFICER MAKILA JAMES, REASONS
1.5 (B) AND (D).

REFTEL: HARARE 2820



1. (C) SUMMARY: ZANU-PF'S LEGAL SECRETARY, EDDISON
ZVOGBO TOLD AMBASSADOR MCDONALD MAY 31 THAT THE "WAR
VETERANS" WHO ARE OCCUPYING COMMERCIAL FARMS WILL BE
REMOVED SHORTLY AFTER THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION AT THE
END OF JUNE. IN RESPONSE TO THE AMBASSADOR'S EXPRESSION
OF SERIOUS CONCERN, ZVOGBO DISMISSED THE LEVEL OF
POLITICAL VIOLENCE ACROSS THE COUNTRY AS LESS THAN WHAT
HAS OCCURRED IN OTHER COUNTRIES, NOTABLY SOUTH AFRICA,
DURING RECENT ELECTIONS. THE MINISTER IS CONFIDENT THAT
THE MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) WILL GET ONLY A
HANDFUL OF THE PARLIAMENTARY SEATS AND ASSERTED THAT THE
OPPOSITION PARTY WAS LOSING SUPPORT EVEN IN ITS URBAN
BASE. THE MINISTER REITERATED THAT INTERNATIONAL
ELECTION OBSERVERS ARE WELCOME AND THAT THE RULING PARTY
WOULD ENSURE A PEACEFUL PROCESS. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD, ACCOMPANIED BY DCM IRVING
AND POLOFF, CALLED ON MINISTER WITHOUT PORTFOLIO AND
ZANU-PF LEGAL SECRETARY EDDISON ZVOGBO ON MAY 31 FOR AN
UPDATE ON THE RULING PARTY'S VIEWS ON THE LAND
OCCUPATIONS AND ELECTION CHANCES, AND TO EXPRESS THE
USG'S SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT THE LEVEL OF POLITICAL
VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION OCCURRING IN THE COUNTRY.
ZVOGBO, A HARVARD-TRAINED LAWYER, WAS IN A COMBATIVE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02894 01 OF 02 311712Z
MOOD AS HE EXPOUNDED ON THE PROBLEMS HE EXPERIENCED IN
CONVINCING THE COMMERCIAL FARM OCCUPIERS TO PREPARE TO
VACATE THOSE PROPERTIES. ZVOGBO SAID THAT PRESIDENT
MUGABE HAD DIRECTED HIM AND MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS,
DUMISO DABENGWA, TO TALK TO THE OCCUPIERS ON FARMS IN
MASVINGO PROVINCE WHERE THERE HAD BEEN PROBLEMS AMONG
THE "WAR VETS" AND THE WHITE FARMERS, AND THEIR BLACK
FARM WORKERS. THE PRESIDENT HAD INSTRUCTED THE
MINISTERS TO INFORM THE OCCUPIERS THAT THEY MUST VACATE
THE FARMS BEGINNING ON MAY 29 NOW THAT THE GOVERNMENT
HAD ENACTED LEGISLATION THAT WOULD ALLOW FOR AN
EXPEDITED RESETTLEMENT PLAN (REFTEL).



3. (C) ZVOGBO SAID THE TWO MINISTERS, ACCOMPANIED BY
WAR VETS LEADER, CHENJERAI "HITLER" HUNZVI, WERE
UNSUCCESSFUL IN GETTING THE OCCUPIERS TO LISTEN TO THEIR
MESSAGE TO VACATE THE PROPERTIES. THE MINISTER SAID HE
"DETESTED" HUNZVI, THAT THE MAN WAS "CLEARLY CERTIFIABLY
UNSTABLE," AND THAT HE HAD DISRUPTED THE MINISTERS'
SPEECHES AND FRUSTRATED THEIR MISSION BY INSTRUCTING THE
OCCUPIERS TO REMAIN ON THE LAND UNTIL THE PRESIDENT TOLD
THEM TO LEAVE. HUNZVI WILL, HOWEVER, BE DISPOSED OF BY
THE GOVERNMENT AS SOON AS THE JUNE 24-25 PARLIAMENTARY
ELECTION IS COMPLETED, THE MINISTER STATED AND WILL NOT
BE THE ZANU-PF CANDIDATE FOR THE CHIKOMBA CONSTITUENCY.
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION (CFU)
WITH WHOM THE AMBASSADOR MET ON MAY 30 ALSO OPINED THAT
HUNZVI WOULD LIKELY BE ARRESTED FOR ANY ONE OF THE
SEVERAL LEGAL CHARGES PENDING AGAINST HIM AS SOON AS HE
FINISHED SERVING THE RULING PARTY'S REELECTION PURPOSES.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 02894 01 OF 02 311712Z


4. (C) DESPITE THESE DIFFICULTIES, ZVOGBO SAID THE WAR
VETS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS COULD BE REMOVED IN ABOUT FIVE
HOURS, AS SOON AS PRESIDENT MUGABE GAVE THE GO AHEAD TO
DO SO. THIS COULD BE DONE WITHOUT ANY MILITARY
INVOLVEMENT, MERELY EFFECTIVE POLICE ACTION, HE ADDED.
THE MINISTER ASSERTED THAT THE LAND ISSUE NEEDS TO BE
FINALLY RESOLVED AND THAT THE WAR VETS HAD ONLY FORCED
THE GOVERNMENT TO ACCELERATE ITS EFFORTS TO ACQUIRE
COMMERCIAL FARMS AND BEGIN TO RESETTLE PEOPLE. ONLY THE
GOVERNMENT, HOWEVER, IS EMPOWERED TO RESETTLE PEOPLE, HE
EMPHASIZED. THE MINISTER THEN STATED THAT THE PROBLEM
IS LESS COMPLEX THAN IMAGINED, AS THE GOVERNMENT DOES
NOT EVEN NEED ALL THE LAND IT HAS DESIGNATED FOR
RESETTLEMENT (841 FARMS) TO MEET THE DEMAND THAT EXISTS.
SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT MBEKI IS FACING A SIMILAR LAND
DISTRIBUTION CRISIS AND SHOULD TAKE A LESSON FROM
ZIMBABWE AND NOT WAIT TOO LONG TO ADDRESS IT, ZVOGBO
STATED. THE MINISTER ALSO COMMENDED MBEKI FOR
REPORTEDLY WORKING TO HELP IDENTIFY POSSIBLE FINANCING
FOR ZIMBABWE'S LAND REFORM PROGRAM.



5. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD THEN PROBED THE GOVERNMENT'S
ABILITY TO EFFECT AN ORDERLY LAND REFORM PROGRAM AFTER
HAVING ENCOURAGED, AND IN MANY CASES, FACILITATED THE
ILLEGAL LAND OCCUPATIONS OF THESE COMMERCIAL FARMS.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ3484

PAGE 01 HARARE 02894 02 OF 02 311712Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 COME-00
DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 ANHR-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00
FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01
PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 STR-00
TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /009W


--------------------------

5D7738 311713Z /38
P 311715Z MAY 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6175
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 002894

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/31/00
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM EAGR PINR ZI PREL
SUBJECT: ZANU-PF LEGAL SECRETARY ON LAND INVASIONS AND
ELECTION VIOLENCE

ADDITIONALLY, THE AMBASSADOR EMPHASIZED THAT THE SERIOUS
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS OCCURRING ON THESE OCCUPIED
PROPERTIES, INCLUDING MURDER, BEATINGS AND RAPES, WAS IN
LARGE PART BECAUSE OF THE PERCEPTION THAT THE GOVERNMENT
CONDONED SUCH ACTION THROUGH ITS FAILURE TO ENFORCE THE
LAW. THE GOVERNMENT'S ABDICATION OF ITS RESPONSIBILITY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02894 02 OF 02 311712Z
TO PROTECT ITS CITIZENS WAS UNACCEPTABLE TO THE USG, THE
AMBASSADOR EMPHASIZED.

ELECTION OUTLOOK


--------------------------





6. (C) THE MDC IS NO SERIOUS THREAT TO ZANU-PF, BUT
MERELY "BOYS" PLAYING POLITICS IN A MAN'S WORLD,
ACCORDING TO ZVOGBO. THE MINISTER ESTIMATED THAT THE
MDC WOULD GET NO MORE THAN TEN OF THE 120 CONTESTED
PARLIAMENTARY SEATS. THE MDC WAS MOST LIKELY TO TAKE
SEATS IN BULAWAYO AND HARARE, ALTHOUGH ZVOGBO ASSERTED
THAT THE OPPOSITION PARTY WAS LOSING SUPPORT IN THE
LATTER AREA. ZVOGBO DOWNPLAYED THE WIDESPREAD POLITICAL
VIOLENCE THAT IS OCCURRING AND ARGUED THAT ZIMBABWE'S
PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE WAS MUCH LESS THAN WHAT TOOK PLACE
IN SOUTH AFRICA AND OTHER PLACES.



7. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD STRESSED THAT THERE WERE
CLEARLY GOZ AND ZANU-PF ORGANIZED AND SYSTEMATIC HUMAN
RIGHTS VIOLATIONS TAKING PLACE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE,
TARGETING FARM WORKERS AND TEACHERS, AS ALLEGED
SUPPORTERS OF THE MDC. THE HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL PEACE
CORPS PROGRAM, WHICH PRIMARILY ASSISTED RURAL ZIMBABWEAN
SCHOOLS, WAS RECENTLY REDUCED BY TWO-THIRDS ITS
VOLUNTEER STAFF BECAUSE OF THE INSECURITY CREATED BY
THIS GOVERNMENT-CONDONED VIOLENCE, THE AMBASSADOR
INFORMED. THE MINISTER JUSTIFIED THIS VIOLENCE BY
NOTING THAT IN SOME COMMUNITIES PARENTS HAD COMPLAINED
THAT TEACHERS WERE OPENLY SUPPORTING MDC AND TEACHING
OPPOSITION SLOGANS IN THE CLASSROOMS. THE AMBASSADOR
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02894 02 OF 02 311712Z
RESPONDED THAT THE RURAL SCHOOLS AND ZIMBABWEAN CHILDREN
ARE MOST ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THE THREATS AGAINST
TEACHERS AND OTHER CIVIL SERVANTS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE AND
THE GOVERNMENT HAD TO ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS
SITUATION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. THE MINISTER WHILE
DEPLORING VIOLENCE THEN REITERATED HIS POSITION THAT
EVERYONE ELSE IN THE REGION HAS HAD WORSE ELECTIONS.
ZVOGBO CONCEDED, HOWEVER, THAT WHILE ZIMBABWE WOULD HAVE
A "FREE" ELECTION, IT WOULD NOT BE A "FAIR" ONE, WHICH
HE ATTRIBUTED TO THE RULING PARTY'S NUMERICAL AND
INCUMBENCY ADVANTAGES.



8. (C) THE MINISTER FEIGNED OFFENSE THAT WE WOULD
QUESTION THE TRANSPARENCY AND INTEGRITY OF ZIMBABWE'S
ELECTORAL PROCESS. HE NOTED THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD TOLD
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT THAT INTERNATIONAL ELECTION OBSERVERS

SIPDIS
WERE WELCOME AND THAT HIS GOVERNMENT STOOD BY THAT
POSITION AS IT HAD NOTHING TO HIDE FROM THE WORLD.
(NOTE: CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS HAVE TOLD EMBOFFS
THAT THEY ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE PRIVACY OF THE
BALLOT BASED ON PREVIOUS HISTORY OF NUMBERING BALLOTS
AND CORRELATING THEM WITH INDIVIDUAL VOTER NAMES. END
NOTE). NEVERTHELESS, ZVOGBO REPEATED THAT INTERNATIONAL
OBSERVERS WERE WELCOME AND STRESSED THAT ZANU-PF HAD
EMBARKED UPON A CAMPAIGN TO ENSURE A PEACEFUL ELECTION.

COMMENT


--------------------------





9. (C) ZVOGBO IS A FEISTY, INTELLIGENT, AND FRANK
SPEAKING INTERLOCUTOR WHO MAY NOT ALWAYS BELIEVE HIS OWN
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 02894 02 OF 02 311712Z
RHETORIC, BUT IS WILLING TO TELL US BLUNTLY WHAT SENIOR
GOZ OFFICIALS MAY BE THINKING ABOUT US POLICY AND
POSITIONS. IN THIS REGARD, THE LAND ISSUE IS AN AREA
THAT THE RULING PARTY APPEARS TO BELIEVE IT NOW HAS THE
UPPER HAND ON AND THAT IT CAN CONTROL. CONSEQUENTLY,
THE GOVERNMENT IS UNRECEPTIVE TO ANY ARGUMENT THAT ITS
APPROACH IS WRONG. THE CFU IS APPARENTLY STRIKING THE
BEST DEAL IT CAN AND, PERHAPS ALONG WITH PRESIDENT
MBEKI, HAS JOINED THE CHORUS OF THOSE SEEKING FUNDS TO
HELP ZIMBABWE FIND A PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM.
ADDITIONALLY, ZVOGBO IS REPEATING THE PARTY LINE BY
DOWNPLAYING THE PROBLEM OF VIOLENCE.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

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