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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE4627
2000-08-21 12:17:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

NEW HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER IS STILL FIGHTING

Tags:  PREL ECON EFIN EAGR PINR PHUM ZI 
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211217Z Aug 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ0149

PAGE 01        HARARE  04627  01 OF 03  211754Z 
ACTION AF-00    

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      SAS-00     /013W
                  ------------------7C262F  211754Z /02    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6881
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
NSC WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 004627 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AF/EPS, EB/IFD/ODF, EB/TPP/ODC
TREASURY FOR ED BARBER, GRACE SONE, AND HOFFMAN BARAK
USDOC FOR 2037/ERIC HENDERSON
STATE PASS USTR/RWHITTAKER
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 04627 01 OF 03 211754Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/17/05
TAGS: PREL ECON EFIN EAGR PINR PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: NEW HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER IS STILL FIGHTING
GUERRILLA STRUGGLE THROUGH LAND REFORM

REF: HARARE 3910

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR MCDONALD, REASON 1.5 (B), (D)

SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) IN A MEETING WITH THE AMBASSADOR ON AUGUST 16,
NEW HOME AFFARIS MINISTER -- AND ZANU-PF CHAIRMAN -- JOHN
NKOMO PROVIDED A CONFUSING AND SOMETIMES CONTRADICTORY
ACCOUNT OF THE GOVERNMENT'S NEXT STEPS ON LAND REFORM.
HIS COMMENTS CONFIRMED THE CLEAR ABSENCE OF ANY
SYSTEMATIC RESETTLEMENT PLAN. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT OLD
GUARD MEMBERS LIKE NKOMO ARE CONTINUING TO FIGHT THE
GUERRILLA STRUGGLE AGAINST WHITES THROUGH LAND REFORM.
ACCORDING TO NKOMO, ALL 3,000 FARMS IDENTIFIED FOR
SEIZURE WOULD BE GAZETTED BY AUGUST 18 (ALTHOUGH WE WERE
INFORMED SUBSEQUENTLY BY THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION
THAT THIS DID NOT OCCUR), BUT THERE MIGHT BE A NEED FOR
ADDITIONAL LAND IN THE FUTURE. OWNERS OF FARMS WILL HAVE
30 DAYS TO APPEAL AND, IF SUCCESSFUL, WILL BE TAKEN OFF
THE LIST. NKOMO AGREES THAT PRODUCTIVE FARMS SHOULD BE
REMOVED. OTHER FARMS WOULD THEN HAVE TO BE IDENTIFIED.



2. (C) NKOMO DENIED THE EXISTENCE OF SIGNIFICANT
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 04627 01 OF 03 211754Z
LAWLESSNESS ON COMMERCIAL FARMS, AND REITERATED THAT THE
WAR VETERANS WOULD BE ALLOWED TO REMAIN WHERE THEY ARE
PROVIDED THEY DO NOT ENGAGE IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.
ALTHOUGH HE ACKOWLEDGED THAT FARM OCCUPATIONS WERE
CAUSING ECONOMIC DAMAGE, NKOMO INSISTED THAT SOME
DISRUPTIONS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CORRECT THE INJUSTICE OF
CURRENT LAND OWNERSHIP. NKOMO CALLED THE NEW PARLIAMENT
"AMATEURS" AND DENIED THE EXISTENCE OF FACTIONS WITHIN
CABINET. THE EMBASSY HAD A POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH
NKOMO WHEN HE WAS MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND
HOUSING, AND WE INTEND TO MAINTAIN A POSITIVE DIALOGUE
WITH HIM IN HIS NEW PORTFOLIO. WE DO NOT EXPECT ANY
DEPARTURES FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S DISASTROUS POLICIES,
INCLUDING ON LAND, AND LIKELY WILL SEE MORE OF THE SAME
IN RURAL AREAS. END SUMMARY.



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


CONSTRUCTIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIP


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





3. (C) THE AMBASSADOR, ACCOMPANIED BY POLOFFS, CALLED
AUGUST 16 ON NEW HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER, AND ZANU-PF
CHAIRMAN, JOHN NKOMO. THE AMBASSADOR SAID HE HAD ENJOYED
WORKING WITH NKOMO IN HIS PREVIOUS POSITION AS LOCAL
GOVERNMENT AND HOUSING MINISTER, AND HE LOOKED FORWARD TO
CONTINUING A PRODUCTIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM AT HOME
AFFAIRS.



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


CONFUSING NEXT STEPS ON LAND


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


CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 04627 01 OF 03 211754Z



4. (C) THE AMBASSADOR EXPRESSED SERIOUS CONCERN THAT THE
VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION ON COMMERCIAL FARMS HAD
CONTINUED IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE JUNE ELECTIONS, AND
ASKED WHAT THE GOVERNMENT INTENDED TO DO ABOUT IT. NKOMO
BEGAN BY CLAIMING THAT THE 3,000 FARM FIGURE WAS
CONSISTENT WITH THE AMOUNT OF LAND TO BE TRANSFERRED AS
AGREED AT THE SEPTEMBER 1998 DONORS CONFERENCE. 804
FARMS, HE SAID, HAD ALREADY BEEN IDENTIFIED FOR
RESETTLEMENT, AND THE REMAINING APPROXIMATELY 2200 WOULD
BE GAZETTED ON AUGUST 18. (NOTE: WE WERE SUBSEQUENTLY
INFORMED BY THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION ON AUGUST 21
THAT NO FARMS WERE GAZETTED ON AUGUST 18. 229 FARMS WERE
IDENTIFIED FOR SEIZURE IN THE GOVERNMENT-INFLUENCED
NEWSPAPER "THE HERALD," BUT HAVE NOT YET BEEN LISTED IN
THE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. END NOTE.) NKOMO
CLAIMED THAT ALL OWNERS HAVE 30 DAYS TO APPEAL;
PRODUCTIVE FARMS SHOULD BE TAKEN OFF THE LIST. ASKED
WHETHER NEW FARMS WOULD THEN HAVE TO BE IDENTIFIED, NKOMO
SAID YES, BUT A NEW PROCESS WOULD BE REQUIRED. HE ADDED
CRYPTICALLY THAT THE GOVERNMENT LIKELY WOULD ALLOW SOME
FARMERS TO STAY ON THEIR FARMS FOR SEVERAL YEARS, BUT
WOULD TELL THEM THAT THEIR LAND WOULD BE ACQUIRED AT SOME
POINT IN THE FUTURE. THE AMBASSADOR NOTED THAT SUCH AN
ILLEGAL, UNCLEAR AND INCONSISTENT APPROACH CREATED
SIGNIFICANT ANXIETY AMONG FARMERS AND WREAKED HAVOC ON
THE ECONOMY.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ8623

PAGE 01 HARARE 04627 02 OF 03 211219Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00
SMEC-00 COME-00 CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 EXIM-01 E-00 FAAE-00
FBIE-00 VC-00 FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
ITC-01 LAB-01 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 SSO-00 SS-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 T-00 USIE-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/013W


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

7BF9DC 211220Z /38
P 211217Z AUG 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6882
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 004627

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AF/EPS, EB/IFD/ODF, EB/TPP/ODC
TREASURY FOR ED BARBER, GRACE SONE, AND HOFFMAN BARAK
USDOC FOR 2037/ERIC HENDERSON
STATE PASS USTR/RWHITTAKER
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 04627 02 OF 03 211219Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/17/05
TAGS: PREL ECON EFIN EAGR PINR PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: NEW HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER IS STILL FIGHTING
GUERRILLA STRUGGLE THROUGH LAND REFORM



5. (C) THE AMBASSADOR ASKED ABOUT THE PROPOSAL OF THE
COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION (CFU) TO SELL FARMS IN PHASES
OVER SEVERAL YEARS. NKOMO REPLIED THAT HE WAS IN DAILY
CONTACT WITH THE CFU, WHICH HAD OFFERED TO RELINQUISH 200
FARMS NOW, AND OTHER FARMS IN BETWEEN PLANTING SEASONS.
HE PROVIDED NO ADDITIONAL DETAILS ABOUT THE CFU PROPOSAL,
WHICH HE SAID HAD BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE MINISTERIAL GROUP
OVERSEEING THE FAST-TRACK RESETTLEMENT EFFORT.



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


VIOLENCE? WHAT VIOLENCE?


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





6. (C) NOTING THAT THE EMBASSY IS RECEIVING MANY REPORTS
OF CONTINUING FARM VIOLENCE, THE AMBASSADOR ASKED WHEN
PRESIDENT MUGABE PLANNED TO ORDER THE WAR VETERANS OFF
THE FARMS. THE PRESIDENT WOULD NOT, NKOMO REPLIED. HE
HIMSELF WAS DEALING WITH THE VETERANS. IN FACT, HE HAD
MET WITH THEM IN HIS OFFICE ON AUGUST 13. SO LONG AS
THEY ARE NOT ENGAGING IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, THEY WILL BE
PERMITTED TO REMAIN ON THE FARMS. HE DISAGREED THAT
THERE WAS WIDESPREAD LAWLESSNESS, INSISTING THAT
"MALICIOUS PEOPLE" WERE THE SOURCE OF SUCH REPORTS. HE
ACKNOWLEDGED ONLY THE EXISTENCE OF "CRIMINAL ELEMENTS"
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 04627 02 OF 03 211219Z
WHO HAD TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION, BUT INSISTED
THEY WOULD BE ARRESTED WHEN IDENTIFIED. THE WAR VETERANS
HAD BEEN TOLD TO BE PREPARED TO MOVE TO LAND IDENTIFIED
FOR THEM AS SOON AS THEY RECEIVED THE WORD, BUT NKOMO
COULD NOT SAY WHEN THAT WOULD HAPPEN. NKOMO THOUGHT THE
QUESTION OF LAWLESSNESS AND CRIMINAL ACTIVITY HAD BEEN
ADDRESSED ADEQUATELY. THE GOVERNMENT WAS CERTAINLY
TRYING ITS BEST.



7. THE AMBASSADOR STRONGLY DISAGREED THAT THE PROBLEM
HAD BEEN RESOLVED. HE SAID THAT THE VIOLENCE AND
INTIMIDATION WERE WRONG AND MUST BE STOPPED BY THE GOZ.
HE HAD TRAVELLED PERSONALLY TO AREAS AFFECTED BY LAND-
RELATED VIOLENCE, AND REPORTS OF VIOLENCE FROM RELIABLE
SOURCES WERE CONTINUING. THE AMBASSADOR AND OTHERS HAVE
THAT PERCEPTION, NKOMO SAID, BECAUSE THEY HEAR FROM
PEOPLE LIKE CFU OFFICIAL DAVID HASLUCK, WHOSE NEGATIVE
RHETORIC MADE THE SITUATION WORSE. TURNING EMOTIONAL,
NKOMO SAID ANGRILY THAT HE HAD FOUGHT IN THE INDEPENDENCE
WAR AND SUSTAINED INJURIES IN ORDER TO GET THE VOTE, AND
HAD LOST EVERYTHING IN THE PROCESS. THE FARMERS WERE THE
ONES HE HAD FOUGHT AGAINST AND WHO HAD LOCKED HIM UP
DURING THE COLONIAL DAYS. HIS FATHER HAD BEEN FORCED OFF
HIS LAND BY WHITES EARLY LAST CENTURY.



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


DISRUPTIONS NECESSARY TO CORRECT INJUSTICE


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





8. (C) WAS NKOMO CONCERNED ABOUT THE ECONOMIC DAMAGE
CAUSED BY THE LAWLESSNESS? YES, HE REPLIED, BUT IT WAS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 04627 02 OF 03 211219Z
ACCEPTABLE BECAUSE IT WAS IMPORTANT TO CORRECT A GLARING
INJUSTICE. WHEN A WHITE FARMER HAS 20,000 HECTARES OF
LAND ACROSS A FENCE FROM BLACK ZIMBABWEANS HUDDLED IN
CONGESTED POVERTY, "THE SITUATION MUST BE PUT RIGHT,"
NKOMO SAID. IT IS ONLY HUMANE TO ADDRESS THIS
DISCREPANCY, AND SOME DISRUPTIONS MAY BE UNAVOIDABLE
ALONG THE WAY. THE MINISTER WAS INCREDULOUS AT THE NERVE
OF IAN SMITH, WHO HE SAID CALLS HIM EVERY DAY ABOUT THE
STATUS OF HIS FARM. HE CRITICIZED WHITE FARMERS FOR
BEING TOO HARDLINE AND REFUSING TO ACCEPT ANY OF THE
GOVERNMENT'S PROPOSALS. EVINCING SIGNIFICANT DISLIKE FOR
CERTAIN ELEMENTS OF THE WHITE COMMUNITY, NKOMO INSISTED
THAT ONE COULD NOT "TEACH OLD DOGS NEW TRICKS." THE
AMBASSADOR NOTED THAT THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS HAD DRAGGED
THEIR FEET OVER THE YEARS, BUT THE GOVERNMENT ALSO HAD
ITS HARDLINERS. NKOMO REPLIED THAT PERHAPS IT IS AN
ADVANTAGE TO HAVE THEM, AS THEY REMIND THE GOVERNMENT OF
THE NATURE OF THE "OTHER SIDE." HE URGED THE UNITED
STATES TO LET ZIMBABWE RESOLVE THIS ISSUE ON ITS OWN.



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


BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP


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





9. (C) FRIENDSHIP, THE AMBASSADOR POINTED OUT, IS A TWO-
WAY STREET. AS FRIENDS OF ZIMBABWE, THE UNITED STATES
WANTED TO EXPRESS ITS CONCERNS, AND WE EXPECTED ZIMBABWE

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ8624

PAGE 01 HARARE 04627 03 OF 03 211220Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00
SMEC-00 COME-00 CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 EXIM-01 E-00 FAAE-00
FBIE-00 VC-00 FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
ITC-01 LAB-01 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 SSO-00 SS-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 T-00 USIE-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/013W


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

7BF9E9 211220Z /38
P 211217Z AUG 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6883
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 004627

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AF/EPS, EB/IFD/ODF, EB/TPP/ODC
TREASURY FOR ED BARBER, GRACE SONE, AND HOFFMAN BARAK
USDOC FOR 2037/ERIC HENDERSON
STATE PASS USTR/RWHITTAKER
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 04627 03 OF 03 211220Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/17/05
TAGS: PREL ECON EFIN EAGR PINR PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: NEW HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER IS STILL FIGHTING
GUERRILLA STRUGGLE THROUGH LAND REFORM

TO DO THE SAME. THE AMBASSADOR WAS CONCERNED, THOUGH, BY
RECENT ANTI-AMERICAN RHETORIC FROM GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS,
PROMPTED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS' CONSIDERATION OF THE
ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY ACT (ZDA). THE ZDA IS EVIDENCE OF
CONGRESSIONAL CONCERN ABOUT THE SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE,
AND THE EMBASSY SHARES THAT CONCERN. THE AMBASSADOR
EXPRESSED HIS HOPE THAT OUR TWO GOVERNMENTS COULD DISCUSS
OUR DIFFERENCES CONSTRUCTIVELY. NKOMO TERMED THE ZDA
"UNFORTUNATE," BUT AGREED WITH THE AMBASSADOR'S POINT.



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


PARLIAMENT AND CABINET


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





10. (C) NKOMO DESCRIBED PARLIAMENT AS A "BUNCH OF
AMATEURS." THAT WAS THE CASE ON BOTH SIDES, BUT HE ADDED
THAT HE AND OTHER SENIOR OFFICIALS HAD ALL BEGUN THEIR
POLITICAL CAREERS AT THE SAME STAGE. HE CRITICIZED THE
NEW MPS FOR FOCUSING THEIR EFFORTS ON PERSONAL ATTACKS
RATHER THAN ISSUES. NKOMO DENIED THAT THE CABINET HAD
SPLIT INTO FACTIONS, CLAIMING THAT CABINET MEMBERS WERE
UNITED IN THEIR DESIRE TO GET ZIMBABWE BACK ON THE RIGHT
TRACK.



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


CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 04627 03 OF 03 211220Z
COMMENT


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





11. (C) THE EMBASSY HAD A GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH
NKOMO WHEN HE WAS MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND WE
INTEND TO MAINTAIN A POSITIVE DIALOGUE WITH HIM. AS A
SENIOR MINISTER AND PARTY CHAIRMAN, HE WILL CONTINUE TO
BE AN IMPORTANT INTERLOCUTOR FOR THE MISSION. WE SHOULD
NOT EXPECT ANY DEPARTURES FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S RECENT
MISGUIDED POLICIES, HOWEVER. NKOMO IS A ZANU-PF STALWART
WHO TOES THE PARTY LINE ON LAND REFORM AND OTHER KEY
ISSUES. HIS CONFUSING, SOMETIMES CONTRADICTORY COMMENTS
ON LAND CONFIRMED THE CLEAR ABSENCE OF ANY SYSTEMATIC
RESETTLEMENT PLAN. JUDGING FROM NKOMO'S COMMENTS, THE
GOVERNMENT HAS NO INTENTION OF MOVING THE WAR VETERANS
OFF THE FARMS IN THE NEAR TERM NOR OF SERIOUSLY
ADDRESSING THE HAVOC THEY ARE WREAKING IN RURAL AREAS AND
IN UNDERMINING THE ECONOMY. NKOMO'S ATTITUDE ON LAND
REFORM IS SIGNIFICANTLY INFLUENCED BY LINGERING
RESENTMENT AGAINST THE WHITE FARMERS AS WELL AS, WE
BELIEVE, THE CALCULATION THAT THIS IS A WINNING POLITICAL
ISSUE FOR ZANU-PF.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

>