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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE4767
2000-08-29 11:37:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR CALLS ON NEW ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

Tags:   PGOV  PINR  SENV  EIND  EAID  ZI 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

291137Z Aug 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5875

PAGE 01        HARARE  04767  01 OF 03  291137Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  DODE-00  DOEE-00  
      DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    
      TEDE-00  INR-00   VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  OES-01   ACE-00   
      SSO-00   SS-00    USIE-00  EPAE-00  IIP-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   
      G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /004W
                  ------------------7F28EB  291138Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6951
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 004767 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/S
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/29/05
TAGS: PGOV PINR SENV EIND EAID ZI
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR CALLS ON NEW ENVIRONMENT MINISTER
FRANCIS NHEMA

REF HARARE 4695

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD, REASON 1.5 (B),
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 04767 01 OF 03 291137Z
(D)

SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) SUMMARY: ON AUGUST 24, AMBASSADOR MCDONALD PAID
AN INTRODUCTORY VISIT TO NEW MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT
AND TOURISM FRANCIS NHEMA, WHO IS ONE OF THE YOUNGEST
MEMBERS OF THE NEW CABINET. HAVING SPENT MOST OF THE
LAST 11 YEARS IN THE U.S. AND CANADA, NHEMA GENERALLY
SEES THE U.S.-ZIMBABWE RELATIONSHIP IN A POSITIVE LIGHT.
STILL LEARNING THE MINISTERIAL ROPES, HE ACKNOWLEDGED
THE EFFECTS OF THIS YEAR'S POLITICAL VIOLENCE ON
ZIMBABWE'S TOURISM INDUSTRY, BUT HAD ONLY THE GOVERNMENT
LINE TO OFFER ON LAND REFORM. ALTHOUGH ASSOCIATED WITH
THE YOUNGER GENERATION, NHEMA DOES NOT YET APPEAR TO
HAVE THE POLITICAL WHEREWITHAL OR PERSONALITY TO AFFECT
ANY REAL CHANGE IN CABINET. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) THE AMBASSADOR, ACCOMPANIED BY POLOFF AND
USAIDOFF, PAID AN INTRODUCTORY VISIT TO NEW MINISTER FOR
ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM FRANCIS NHEMA. NHEMA IS ONE OF
THE NEW YOUNG BLOODS IN CABINET, AND, AS HE TOLD US, IS
THE SECOND-YOUNGEST MEMBER AFTER YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
MINISTER BORDER GEZI. THE SOFT-SPOKEN NHEMA INFORMED
THE AMBASSADOR THAT THIS IS HIS SECOND POSTING IN THE
ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY, WHERE HE WORKED IN THE 1980S AS A
SPECIAL ADVISOR TO THE VENERABLE VICTORIA CHITEPO (WIDOW
OF LIBERATION WAR HERO HERBERT CHITEPO), THEN
ENVIRONMENT MINISTER.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 04767 01 OF 03 291137Z


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


U.S.-ZIMBABWE RELATIONSHIP UNCHANGED


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





3. (C) THE AMBASSADOR BEGAN THE DISCUSSION BY ASKING
NHEMA HOW HE ASSESSES THE U.S.-ZIMBABWE RELATIONSHIP.
THE MINISTER CONSIDERS IT ESSENTIALLY UNCHANGED UNLESS
ONE CONSIDERS THE SUSPENSION OF IMF AND WORLD BANK
SUPPORT. HE CHARACTERIZED IT AS BETTER THAN THE
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE U.K. WHEN ASKED TO EXPLAIN THE
INCREASE IN ANTI-AMERICAN RHETORIC, NHEMA BLAMED MEDIA
BIAS AND THE BRITISH FOR COMING BETWEEN ZIMBABWE AND THE
U.S. ZIMBABWEANS TEND TO LUMP THE U.S. AND U.K.
TOGETHER AS "THE WEST," SO WHEN THE BRITISH RELATIONSHIP
SUFFERS, THE AMERICAN ONE DOES AS WELL, NHEMA OFFERED.
THE AMBASSADOR ENCOURAGED NHEMA AND OTHER OFFICIALS TO
DISCUSS THEIR DIFFERENCES WITH THE U.S. PRIVATELY AND
NOT IN THE PRESS, TO WHICH NHEMA AGREED.



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


TOURISM SUFFERS...


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





4. (C) THE DISCUSSION TURNED TO TOURISM AND THE EFFECT
THIS YEAR'S POLITICAL VIOLENCE HAS HAD ON THE INDUSTRY.
THE AMBASSADOR STATED THAT DESPITE ZIMBABWE'S MANY
PROBLEMS, AMERICAN VISITORS CONTINUE TO COME TO THE
COUNTRY. HOWEVER, AMERICANS ARE DIRECTED TO FOLLOW THE
STATE DEPARTMENT'S TRAVEL ADVISORY BEFORE PLANNING THEIR
TRIP. THE AMBASSADOR SAID A PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN
TO PROMOTE ZIMBABWE TOURISM WOULD NOT BE EFFECTIVE SO
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 04767 01 OF 03 291137Z
LONG AS SQUATTERS CONTINUE TO ILLEGALLY OCCUPY FARMS AND
INTIMIDATE THEIR OWNERS. THE MINISTER ACKNOWLEDGED,
SOMEWHAT GRUDGINGLY, THAT THERE IS LITTLE HE CAN DO TO
IMPROVE ZIMBABWEAN TOURISM UNTIL THE LAND ISSUE IS
SETTLED. BEFORE THE PROBLEMS DEVELOPED EARLIER THIS
YEAR, PROMOTING ZIMBABWE AS A TOURIST DESTINATION FOR
AMERICANS WAS AN IMPORTANT UNDERTAKING BY THE EMBASSY.



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


...WHILE LAND REFORM GRINDS ON


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





5. (C) PARROTING THE GOVERNMENT LINE, NHEMA REITERATED
THAT THE FARM OCCUPIERS WERE TO BE OFF THE FARMS NOT
IDENTIFIED FOR COMPULSORY ACQUISTION BY THE END OF
SEPTEMBER AND THAT FIVE MILLION HECTARES WERE TO BE
REDISTRIBUTED BY DECEMBER. OCCUPIERS ALREADY ON FARMS
DESIGNATED FOR REDISTRIBUTION WOULD BE ALLOWED TO
REMAIN, HOWEVER. ASKED ABOUT THE EVICTIONS OF THE WEEK
OF AUGUST 21 (REFTEL), NHEMA SAID THE POLICE DID NOT
FOLLOW GOVERNMENT POLICY AS THOSE EVICTED DID NOT HAVE
OTHER LAND ON WHICH TO SETTLE. THE AMBASSADOR POINTED
OUT THAT THE GOZ DOES NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO RESETTLE

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ5876

PAGE 01 HARARE 04767 02 OF 03 291138Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00
DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00
TEDE-00 INR-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 OES-01 ACE-00
SSO-00 SS-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00 IIP-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02
G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /004W


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

7F28FB 291138Z /38
O 291137Z AUG 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6952
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 004767

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/S
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/29/05
TAGS: PGOV PINR SENV EIND EAID ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR CALLS ON NEW ENVIRONMENT MINISTER
FRANCIS NHEMA

SO MANY PEOPLE IN SUCH A SHORT TIME. UPHOLDING THE
PRINCIPLES OF THE OWNERSHIP OF PRIVATE PROPERTY AND RULE
OF LAW, IN THE U.S. VIEW, IS ESSENTIAL TO RESTORING
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 04767 02 OF 03 291138Z
INTERNATIONAL DONOR SUPPORT, AND, THUS, ENSURING
ZIMBABWE'S LAND REFORM PROGRAM IS A SUCCESS.



6. (C) WHEN ASKED WHY THE GOZ SHOULD NOT REDISTRIBUTE
LAND GIVEN TO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND CRONIES OVER THE
YEARS, NHEMA FLATLY DENIED THAT ANY LAND HAD BEEN GIVEN
TO GOVERNMENT MINISTERS, BUT DID NOT RULE OUT THAT
LOWER-LEVEL OFFICIALS HAD RECEIVED FARMS. MOST
PROPERTIES WERE TOO SMALL FOR SENIOR GOVERNMENT
OFFICIALS, NHEMA EXPLAINED, AND EVEN IF THEY DID RECEIVE
FARMS, THEY WERE STILL LEASED FROM THE GOVERNMENT. IF
THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT PROVIDE INPUTS OR TRAINING TO
NEW FARMERS, IS IT NOT SETTING THEM UP FOR FAILURE?
SIDESTEPPING THE ISSUE, THE MINISTER RESPONSED THAT FOR
THE COMMUNAL FARMER, RESETTLEMENT IS "HEAVEN." ALL HE
WANTS IS LAND. WHAT ABOUT THE URBAN POOR WHO ARE MORE
INTERESTED IN FINDING JOBS THAN OBTAINING LAND? EVERY
ZIMBABWEAN, ESPECIALLY URBAN DWELLERS, DREAM OF RETIRING
TO THEIR HOME AREAS TO FARM THEIR NATIVE SOIL, ACCORDING
TO NHEMA. MORE AND MORE URBAN ZIMBABWEANS ARE APPLYING
FOR COMMUNAL LAND, BUT CANNOT GET IT BECAUSE OF
OVERCROWDED CONDITIONS IN THE COMMUNAL AREAS.



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


U.S. HELP ON WILDLIFE PROTECTION


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





7. (U) USAIDOFF BRIEFED THE ENVIRONMENT AND TOURSIM
MINISTER ON TWO PROGRAMS OF MUTUAL INTEREST. THE
CAMPFIRE (COMMUNAL AREAS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM FOR
INDIGENOUS RESOURCES) PROGRAM WAS STARTED IN 1989 TO
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 04767 02 OF 03 291138Z
HELP RURAL ZIMBABWEANS CONSERVE THEIR NATURAL RESOURCES
AND ACQUIRE INCOME FROM PROPER GAME MANAGEMENT. THE
PROGRAM IS IN ITS FINAL TWO YEARS OF IMPLEMENTATON AND
MAJOR EFFORTS ARE UNDERWAY TO COMPLETE REMAINING
ACTIVITIES AND OBJECTIVES. THE U.S. HAS PROVIDED $13
MILLION TO THE WIDELY EMULATED PROGRAM SINCE ITS
INCEPTION, AND WILL BE LOOKING FOR CONTINUED GOZ
SUPPORT. REGARDING CITES (CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL
TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF FAUNA AND FLORA), THE
EMBASSY HAS SUPPORTED ZIMBABWE'S ELEPHANT AND IVORY
POLICY. IN ORDER TO CONTINUE THAT SUPPORT, IT IS
IMPORTANT FOR ZIMBABWE TO CONTINUE TO MANAGE ITS
WILDLIFE AND IVORY STOCKS IN A SUSTAINABLE MANNER.



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


NOT A PLAYER YET


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





8. (C) COMMENT: STILL LEARNING THE MINISTERIAL ROPES,
NHEMA STUCK CLOSELY TO THE GOVERNMENT SCRIPT ON LAND
REFORM BUT DID ACCEPT, SOMEWHAT GRUDGINGLY, THAT THE
TOURISM INDUSTRY WOULD CONTINUE TO SUFFER UNTIL THE LAND
ISSUE IS RESOLVED. NHEMA ASKED QUESTIONS AND APPEARED
INTERESTED IN LEARNING THE U.S. POSITION ON A VARIETY OF
ISSUES. WE SUSPECT THAT WITH HIS RELATIVE YOUTH,
WESTERN EDUCATION AND WORKING EXPERIENCE IN THE BANKING
INDUSTRY, NHEMA IS FULLY AWARE OF THE LINKAGES BETWEEN
GOVERNMENT-MOTIVATED POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND ECONOMIC
DECLINE. HOWEVER, HE IS STILL TOO NEW TO THE CURRENT
GOVERNMENT TO GO OUT ON A LIMB. IN ANY CASE, NHEMA DOES
NOT APPEAR TO HAVE THE POLITICAL WHEREWITHAL OR
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 04767 02 OF 03 291138Z
PERSONALITY TO AFFECT ANY REAL CHANGE IN CABINET, AND WE
DO NOT EXPECT HIM TO WIELD MUCH INFLUENCE IN THE
ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT ANY TIME SOON.



9. (U) BIO NOTE: FRANCIS NHEMA IS APPROXIMATELY 45
YEARS OLD AND HAILS FROM THE SHURUGWI DISTRICT OF
MIDLANDS PROVINCE. NHEMA WORKED IN THE ENVIRONMENT
MINISTRY BETWEEN 1985 AND 1989 AS A SPECIAL TOURISM
ADVISOR FOR VICTORIA CHITEPO, WHO WAS ENVIRONMENT
MINISTER AT THE TIME. HE THEN WORKED AS A PUBLICIST IN
THE BANKING AND TOURISM INDUSTRIES IN NEW YORK,
WASHINGTON, AND OTTAWA, CANADA UNTIL ABOUT 1996. NHEMA
RETURNED TO ZIMBABWE TO BECOME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE
ZIMBABWE BUILDING SOCIETY (ZBS), THE FIRST INDIGENOUS
FIRM TO PROVIDE MORTGAGES TO LOW-INCOME HOUSING BUYERS.
ALLEGATIONS AROSE IN THE PRESS THAT NHEMA SIPHONED OFF
MILLIONS OF U.S. DOLLARS FROM ZBS FOR HIS PERSONAL USE.
CHARGES OF FRAUD WERE FILED, AND ALL BUT ONE WAS LATER
DROPPED. ONE IS APPARENTLY STILL PENDING. IN 1999, THE
GOVERNMENT BAILED ZBS OUT OF BANKRUPTCY, AND NHEMA LEFT
THE ORGANIZATION. NHEMA RETURNED TO GOVERNMENT IN 2000
AFTER HIS ELECTION TO PARLIAMENT FROM HIS NATIVE
MIDLANDS PROVINCE, AND WAS APPOINTED MINISTER IN JULY.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ5877

PAGE 01 HARARE 04767 03 OF 03 291138Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00
DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00
TEDE-00 INR-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 OES-01 ACE-00
SSO-00 SS-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00 IIP-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02
G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /004W


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

7F28FE 291138Z /38
O 291137Z AUG 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6953
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 004767

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/S
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/29/05
TAGS: PGOV PINR SENV EIND EAID ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR CALLS ON NEW ENVIRONMENT MINISTER
FRANCIS NHEMA

NHEMA IS MARRIED TO MATADI NHEMA, A DAUGHTER OF THE LATE
VICE-PRESIDENT JOSHUA NKOMO, AND IS A MEMBER OF ZANU-PF.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 04767 03 OF 03 291138Z

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

>