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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE6283
2000-11-07 16:43:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

THE AMBASSADOR CALLS ON A MUGABE LOYALIST

Tags:  PGOV EAGR PINR 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.

071643Z Nov 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ8378

PAGE 01        HARARE  06283  01 OF 02  071644Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AGRE-00  AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  COME-00  
      INL-00   DINT-00  DODE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EUR-00   
      FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   L-00     
      VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    
      PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  
      USIE-00  R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  
      SAS-00     /006W
                  ------------------9C0372  071649Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7581
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 006283 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AND AFR/SA - CPALMA,
NNEWMAN

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USTR - ROSA WHITAKER
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 06283 01 OF 02 071644Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/07/10
TAGS: PGOV EAGR PINR ZI
SUBJECT: THE AMBASSADOR CALLS ON A MUGABE LOYALIST


CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD. REASONS 1.5 (B)
AND (D).



1. (C) SUMMARY: AMBASSADOR MCDONALD, ACCOMPANIED BY
LABOFF, PAID A CALL NOVEMBER 6 ON OLIVIA MUCHENA,
MINISTER OF STATE FOR VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH MSIKA, A
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, AND A MEMBER OF THE ZANU-PF
CENTRAL COMMITTEE. THE PURPOSE OF THE VISIT WAS TO
GAUGE THE WILLINGNESS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE
(GOZ) TO ENTER INTO DIALOGUE WITH THE OPPOSITION
POLITICAL PARTY MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC), AS
WELL AS OTHER CIVIL SOCIETY STAKEHOLDERS. WHILE THE
VISIT WAS GENERALLY CORDIAL, THE MINISTER DISPLAYED
COMPLETE INTRANSIGENCE ON THE POSSIBILITY OF THE GOZ
ENTERING INTO DIALOGUE WITH THE OPPOSITION. PERHAPS OF
EVEN GREATER CONCERN, SHE MADE CLEAR THAT THE GOZ WAS
MOVING FORWARD WITH ITS FAST TRACK LAND REFORM AND
RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM COME HELL-OR-HIGH-WATER, AND THAT
SHE EXPECTED THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO ANTE UP AT
THE END OF THE PROCESS TO MAKE IT ALL WORK. A PINPOINT
OF HOPE WAS HER RECOGNITION THAT COMBATING THE HIV/AIDS
PANDEMIC IS AN ISSUE THAT REQUIRES COOPERATION BETWEEN
ALL SIDES. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD PAID A VISIT TO OLIVIA
MUCHENA, THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR VICE PRESIDENT MSIKA
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 06283 01 OF 02 071644Z
WHO HAS ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LAND
RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM. MUCHENA IS ALSO A MEMBER OF
PARLIAMENT, A MEMBER OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF ZANU-
PF, AND A TWENTY-YEAR SUPPORTER OF PRESIDENT MUGABE.



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


NO REASON FOR DIALOGUE WITH THE MDC


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





3. (C) AFTER EXCHANGING PLEASANTRIES, THE AMBASSADOR
EXPLAINED THAT HE WANTED TO USE HIS OFFICE TO HELP
BRIDGE THE GULF THAT CURRENTLY EXISTS BETWEEN THE GOZ
AND ZANU-PF ON ONE SIDE, AND THE OPPOSITION MDC ON THE
OTHER. THE AMBASSADOR REVEALED HIS CONCERN THAT
PRESSURE WAS INCREASING IN ZIMBABWE, AND THAT FOOD RIOTS
TWO WEEKS AGO MAY BE JUST THE FIRST INDICATION OF MORE
DISTURBANCES TO COME. WHAT WAS NEEDED IS TO GET THE TWO
SIDES TALKING, AND THE AMBASSADOR WISHED TO BE A
CATALYST. HE ASKED MINISTER MUCHENA WHAT WAS NEEDED TO
GET THE GOZ AND ZANU-PF TO SIT DOWN WITH THE MDC TO
START TALKING. MINISTER MUCHENA STATED THERE WAS
NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT WITH THE MDC. WHEN THE MDC MADE
THE MOTION TO IMPEACH PRESIDENT MUGABE, IT CLEARLY
INDICATED THERE WAS TO BE NO DIALOGUE. THIS STEP,
COMBINED WITH REPEATED CALLS BY THE MDC LEADERSHIP FOR
PRESIDENT MUGABE'S RESIGNATION BY DECEMBER, HAD SLAMMED
THE DOOR SHUT ON THE POSSIBILITY OF ANY TALKS BETWEEN
THE TWO SIDES. SHE STATED THERE COULD BE NO TALKS UNTIL
THE MDC WITHDREW ITS MOTION FOR IMPEACHMENT AND
RENOUNCED ITS CALLS FOR MUGABE TO RESIGN.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 06283 01 OF 02 071644Z


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


NO REASON FOR DIALOGUE WITH THE CFU


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





4. (C) THE AMBASSADOR THEN EXPRESSED HIS CONCERNS ABOUT
THE ONGOING FAST TRACK LAND REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT
PROGRAM, AND ITS MOVEMENT FORWARD WITHOUT THE
COOPERATION OF THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION (CFU) OR THE
INTERNATIONAL DONOR COMMUNITY. HE ASKED IF IT WOULDN'T
BE USEFUL FOR THE GOZ TO TAKE A PAUSE IN THE PROGRAM,
SIT DOWN WITH THE CFU AND COME TO AN AGREEMENT ON A
PROGRAM THAT BOTH COULD SUPPORT, AND THEN PRESENT IT TO
THE DONORS FOR THEIR SUPPORT. AT THIS POINT MINISTER
MUCHENA EMBARKED ON A VITRIOLIC DIATRIBE AGAINST THE
CFU. SHE STATED THAT WHEN SHE HAD TRIED TO TALK WITH
THE CFU THEY HAD MOCKED HER AS A PERSON OF NO
CONSEQUENCE. IN HER OPINION THE CFU HAD CONSISTENTLY
SABOTAGED EVERY REASONABLE ATTEMPT AT LAND REFORM OVER
THE LAST TWENTY YEARS, AND YET THEY ARE THE DARLINGS OF
THE INTERNATIONAL DONOR COMMUNITY. THE AMBASSADOR
RESPONDED BY INDICATING THAT THE CFU WAS PART OF THE
PROBLEM, BUT THAT THEIR COOPERATION WAS STILL ESSENTIAL
TO STRIKING ANY DEAL.

AMBASSADOR MCDONALD THEN CHANGED TACK AT THIS POINT AND
INDICATED THAT A SPECIFIC CONCERN OF HIS WERE THE FARM
WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES ON THE COMMERCIAL FARMS WHO

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ8379

PAGE 01 HARARE 06283 02 OF 02 071644Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 COME-00
INL-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EUR-00
FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 L-00
VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00
PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 STR-00 TRSE-00
USIE-00 R-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 /006W


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

9C037C 071649Z /38
P 071643Z NOV 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7582
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 006283

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AND AFR/SA - CPALMA,
NNEWMAN

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USTR - ROSA WHITAKER
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 06283 02 OF 02 071644Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/07/10
TAGS: PGOV EAGR PINR ZI
SUBJECT: THE AMBASSADOR CALLS ON A MUGABE LOYALIST

HAD BEEN THREATENED AND AT TIMES ASSAULTED SINCE
FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR, AND WERE NOT BEING PLANNED FOR AS
FAR AS HE COULD TELL IN THE GOZ'S RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM.
RATHER THAN RESPOND TO THIS ISSUE, MINISTER MUCHENA
LAUNCHED INTO ANOTHER DIATRIBE ON HOW BLACK ZIMBABWEANS
HAD BEEN UPROOTED IN THE 1952 - 1965 PERIOD, WITH THEIR
LAND AND ANIMALS STOLEN, FORCED TO BURN THEIR OWN HOUSES
AND POSSESSIONS. SHE SAID THERE COULD BE NO DIALOGUE ON
LAND REFORM. THE PEOPLE SUPPORT THE PROGRAM, AND THEY
WANT THE GOZ TO COMPLETE IT BY THE END OF NOVEMBER SO
THAT THE GOZ CAN GET ON TO OTHER BUSINESS.



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


THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL SAVE THE DAY


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





5. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD RETURNED TO THE GENERAL THEME
OF HIS CONCERN THAT TENSIONS WERE DANGEROUSLY INCREASING
IN ZIMBABWE AND THERE WAS A NEED FOR THE GOZ TO BEGIN
DIALOGUE WITH THE OPPOSITION. HE STATED HE WAS
CONCERNED WITH THE ANGER OF THE YOUTH IN THE HIGH-
DENSITY SUBURBS OF HARARE AND OTHER URBAN AREAS. ANGER
OVER RISING FOOD PRICES, FUEL COSTS, AND ESPECIALLY THE
LACK OF JOBS, THE AMBASSADOR EXPLAINED, COMPOUNDED BY
THE POSSIBILITY THAT ZIMBABWE MAY FACE FOOD SHORTAGES IN
THE FUTURE DUE TO THE CURRENT RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 06283 02 OF 02 071644Z
LANDLESS PEOPLE ARE JUST BEING TAKEN OUT TO COMMERCIAL
FARMS AND DROPPED OFF, WITHOUT THE GOZ BEING ABLE TO
PROVIDE THE NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE AND INPUTS SUCH AS
SEEDS, FERTILIZER, AND TRACTORS THEY WILL NEED TO BE
SUCCESSFUL FARMERS, AND THIS SITUATION WOULD INEVITABLY
LEAD TO PROBLEMS FOR ZIMBABWE. MINISTER MUCHENA
RESPONDED THAT HER VISITS TO THE HIGH-DENSITY SUBURBS
HAD REVEALED THAT THE YOUNG PEOPLE SUPPORTED THE GOZ AND
ZANU-PF AND THEY NOW REALIZE THEY HAD BEEN MISLED BY THE
MDC. ON THE ISSUE OF PEOPLE BEING DUMPED ON FARMS
WITHOUT THE NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE, INPUTS, AND
SUPPORT, SHE LOOKED RIGHT AT THE AMBASSADOR AND STATED,
"YOUR GOVERNMENT CAN EASILY PROVIDE THESE THINGS."



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


AN ISSUE TO UNITE ZANU-PF AND THE MDC


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





6. (C) IN A CLOSING EFFORT TO ELICIT SOME SLIVER OF
COMPROMISE FROM THE MINISTER, THE AMBASSADOR RAISED THE
AIDS EPIDEMIC RAVAGING ZIMBABWE. HE POINTED OUT THAT
THIS DISEASE DIDN'T RECOGNIZE PARTY AFFILIATION, BUT IS
AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY KILLER OF BOTH ZANU-PF AND MDC
MEMBERS. THIS ISSUE APPEARED TO STRIKE A CHORD WITH THE
MINISTER AND SHE LET HER GUARD DOWN SOMEWHAT, AGREEING
THAT ALL ZIMBABWEANS NEEDED TO WORK TOGETHER ON IT.
IGNORING THE PARTY ISSUE, SHE WENT TO HER DESK AND
HANDED THE AMBASSADOR A PAMPHLET ON A PROGRAM SHE HAD
DEVISED TO DEVELOP SPORTS LEAGUES FOR YOUTH IN RURAL
AREAS AND TO USE SPORTING EVENTS TO SPREAD THE MESSAGE
ABOUT HIV/AIDS AND ITS PREVENTION.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 06283 02 OF 02 071644Z



7. (C) COMMENT: MINISTER MUCHENA'S HARDLINE ATTITUDE IS
REFLECTIVE OF THE FORTRESS MENTALITY THAT HAS TAKEN HOLD
OF PRESIDENT MUGABE AND HIS SUPPORTERS IN THE GOZ AND
ZANU-PF. HER DENIAL OF THE LOSS OF SUPPORT AND NON-
RECOGNITION THAT PRESSURE IS BUILDING FOR CHANGE,
NECESSITATING DIALOGUE WITH THE OPPOSITION, REFLECTS
ACCURATELY HOW OUT OF TOUCH THE HARDLINERS ARE. MOST
WORRISOME, THOUGH, WAS HER STATEMENT THAT THE GOZ WOULD
PUSH AHEAD WITH AND COMPLETE BY THE END OF NOVEMBER THE
FAST TRACK LAND REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM,
IGNORING CONCERNS EXPRESSED BY AGRICULTURAL EXPERTS,
DOMESTIC PUBLIC OPINION, AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
THAT IT WILL BE DISASTROUS FOR ZIMBABWE. END COMMENT.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

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