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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE5337
2000-09-21 13:21:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION FILES BROAD LAWSUIT

Tags:  PGOV PHUM EAGR PREL EAID ZI 
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211321Z Sep 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ1407

PAGE 01        HARARE  05337  01 OF 02  211320Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AGRE-00  AID-00   AMAD-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  
      DODE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    EUR-00   VC-00    FRB-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   USIE-00  R-00     PMB-00   
      DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /009W
                  ------------------8809B8  211320Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7161
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
USDOC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 005337 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS

USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL 09/20/10
TAGS: PGOV PHUM EAGR PREL EAID ZI
SUBJECT: COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION FILES BROAD LAWSUIT
CONFIDENTIAL


PAGE 02 HARARE 05337 01 OF 02 211320Z
AGAINST ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT.

REFS: A) HARARE 4695 B) HARARE 4818



1. (C) SUMMARY: THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION (CFU) FILED
A BROAD LAWSUIT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ)
ON SEPTEMBER 18 WITH THE SUPREME COURT OVER THE
BREAKDOWN IN LAW AND ORDER AND CHALLENGING THE
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE GOZ'S FAST TRACK RESETTLEMENT
EFFORT. THE LAWSUIT CITES PRESIDENT MUGABE AS A
RESPONDENT, ALONG WITH FOUR MEMBERS OF THE CABINET AND
THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE. THE CFU HAD PREVIOUSLY FILED
A MORE LIMTIED LAWSUIT AGAINST THE GOZ, BUT HAD
WITHDRAWN IT IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE DIALOGUE WITH THE GOZ
(REF A). CFU DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR REGIONS, JERRY GRANT,
TOLD ECONOFF ON SEPTEMBER 19 THAT IT HAD BEEN A MISTAKE
TO WITHDRAW THE PREVIOUS LAWSUIT AS MUGABE HAD TAKEN
THIS AS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS. THE CFU HOPED THAT THE NEW
LAWSUIT WOULD LEAD TO A SUSPENSION OF POSSIBLE FARMER
EVICTIONS DUE AT THE END OF SEPTEMBER AND ENCOURAGE
BANKS TO PROVIDE FINANCING FOR THE PLANTING SEASON. END
SUMMARY.



2. (C) ECONOFF MET ON SEPTEMBER 19 WITH CFU OFFICIALS
COLIN CLOETE, VICE PRESIDENT FOR COMMODITIES; RICHARD
AMIOT, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR COMMODITIES; AND JERRY GRANT,
DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR REGIONS; TO DISCUSS THE LAWSUIT
FILED THE PREVIOUS DAY. CLOETE SAID THE NEW LAWSUIT
ENCOMPASSED MORE CHARGES THAN THE EARLIER ONE. THE
LAWSUIT WAS FILED WITH AN "URGENT INTERLOCUTORY CHAMBER
APPLICATION", MEANING THAT THE SUPREME COURT SHOULD
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 05337 01 OF 02 211320Z
AGREE TO HEAR THE CASE WITHIN A WEEK, POSSIBLY BY
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22. THIS IS IMPORTANT AS ONE OF THE
GOALS OF THE LAWSUIT IS TO GET A COURT INJUNCTION
AGAINST EVICTIONS OF FARMERS, SOME OF WHICH COULD OCCUR
AS EARLY AS SEPTEMBER 27.



3. (C) THE LAWSUIT, OVER 1000 PAGES LONG, CHALLENGES IN
SEVEN POINTS THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF PLANNED FARM
SEIZURES AND THE INFRINGEMENT OF THE RIGHTS OF CFU
FARMERS AND FARM WORKERS DURING THE FARM OCCUPATIONS.
THE LAWSUIT NAMES SIX RESPONDENTS: PRESIDENT MUGABE;
JOSEPH MADE, MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, AND RURAL
RESETTLEMENT; JOHN NKOMO, MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS;
IGNATIUS CHOMBO, MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL
HOUSING; JOYCE MUJURU, MINISTER OF RURAL RESOURCES AND
WATER DEVELOPMENT; AND AUGUSTINE CHIHURI, COMMISIONER OF
POLICE.



4. (C) JERRY GRANT SAID THE CFU HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO
FILE THE LAWSUIT BECAUSE THE GOZ HAD REFUSED TO ENTER
INTO A GENUINE DIALOGUE ON LAND AND FAILED TO PROTECT
FARMERS BY MAINTAINING LAW AND ORDER. THE DECISION TO
FILE THE LAWSUIT WAS TAKEN AFTER THE CFU ANNUAL CONGRESS
LAST WEEK, DURING WHICH INDIVIDUAL CFU MEMBERS MADE
CLEAR THEIR ANGER AT THE FACT THAT THE FIRST LAWSUIT HAD
BEEN WITHDRAWN. ACCORDING TO GRANT, THE NEW LAWSUIT WAS
FILED ON BEHALF OF THE CFU RATHER THAN INDIVIDUAL CFU
FARMERS, IN THE HOPE THAT THIS WOULD BETTER PROTECT THEM
AGAINST RETRIBUTION. MEMBERS OF THE CFU EXECUTIVE BODY
HAVE ALREADY BEEN TARGETED BY THE GOZ, WITH THEIR OWN
FARMS BEING OCCUPIED AND IDENTIFIED BY THE GOZ FOR
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 05337 01 OF 02 211320Z
COMPULSORY ACQUISITION.



5. (C) GRANT EXPECTS THE ZIMBABWE SUPREME COURT TO
RAPIDLY HEAR THE LAWSUIT AND TO RULE IN FAVOR OF THE
CFU, BUT RESERVED JUDGEMENT ON WHETHER THE GOZ WOULD
ABIDE BY THE RULING. HE DID SURMISE THAT ONE PROBABLE
COURSE OF ACTION WILL BE FOR MUGABE TO CRACK DOWN ON THE
INDEPENDENCE OF THE SUPREME COURT AND THE JUDICIAL
BRANCH AS A WHOLE.



6. (C) COMMENT: THE CFU OFFICIALS MADE CLEAR THAT THEY
DON'T BELIEVE THIS LAWSUIT WILL BRING AN END TO THE LAND
CRISIS OR IMMEDIATELY RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW. THEIR
IMMEDIATE HOPE IS THAT THE SUPREME COURT WILL QUICKLY
ISSUE AN INJUNCTION AGAINST FARM SEIZURES AND THE
SUBSEQUENT EVICTIONS OF THE FARM OWNERS, THEREBY
ALLOWING FARMERS TO OBTAIN FINANCING FOR THE CURRENT
PLANTING SEASON. IN THE LONGER RUN, THE CFU CLEARLY
HOPES THAT A FAVORABLE SUPREME COURT RULING WILL
ENCOURAGE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO BRING
SIGNIFICANT PRESSURE TO BEAR ON PRESIDENT MUGABE TO END
THE DESTRUCTIVE FAST TRACK RESETTLEMENT EFFORT AND
UNDERTAKE A FAIR, TRANSPARENT LAND REFORM PROCESS. END
COMMENT.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ1409

PAGE 01 HARARE 05337 02 OF 02 211320Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00
DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 VC-00 FRB-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 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /009W


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

8809BA 211320Z /38
P 211321Z SEP 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7162
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
USDOC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 005337

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS

USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL 09/20/10
TAGS: PGOV PHUM EAGR PREL EAID ZI
SUBJECT: COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION FILES BROAD LAWSUIT
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 05337 02 OF 02 211320Z
AGAINST ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

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