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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE1102 2001-03-23 05:31:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS AGREE AT CONGRESS

Tags:   EAGR PGOV PHUM EAID 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.

230531Z Mar 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5118

PAGE 01        HARARE  01102  01 OF 03  230533Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AGRE-00  AID-00   AMAD-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  
      COME-00  DINT-00  DODE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    
      EUR-00   FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00  
      INR-00   IO-00    LAB-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  BBG-00   PMB-00   
      DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /009W
                  ------------------D60F66  230534Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8489
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 03 HARARE 001102 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AFR/SA - CPALMA,
NNEWMAN, AA/AFR - VDICKSON-HORTON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/22/11
TAGS: EAGR PGOV PHUM EAID PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS AGREE AT CONGRESS
CONFIDENTIAL


PAGE 02 HARARE 01102 01 OF 03 230533Z
ON A STRATEGY TO RE-ENGAGE WITH THE GOZ ON LAND

REFS: A. HARARE 898, B. HARARE 815, C. HARARE 743

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D' AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR
REASONS 1.5 (B/D).

-------
SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) ON MARCH 22, ECONOFF MET WITH COLLIN CLOETE, VICE
PRESIDENT FOR COMMODITIES OF THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS
UNION (CFU), TO DISCUSS THE RESULTS OF THE CFU SPECIAL
CONGRESS HELD THE PREVIOUS DAY. THE ISSUE OF REPLACING
THE CURRENT CFU LEADERSHIP (REFS A, B AND C) WAS NOT
RAISED AT THE CONGRESS, BECAUSE THE MEMBERSHIP WAS
UNITED BEHIND THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP. NICK SWANEPOEL, A
FORMER CFU PRESIDENT WHO HAD ENGAGED IN SECRET,
UNSANCTIONED NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF
ZIMBABWE (GOZ) ON THE LAND ISSUE (REF B), WAS GIVEN THE
OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THE CONGRESS, FOLLOWING WHICH IT
WAS DETERMINED THAT HE WILL PROCEED WITH HIS EFFORTS TO
NEGOTIATE WITH THE GOZ IN A MODIFIED FASHION WITH THE
BACKING OF THE CFU. THERE WAS A ONE AND A HALF HOUR
PRESENTATION OF A NEW PLAN BY THE CFU LEADERSHIP TO RE-
ENGAGE WITH THE GOZ ON THE ISSUES OF COMMERCIAL FARMING
AND LAND REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT, WITH SHORT-, MEDIUM-,
AND LONG-TERM COMPONENTS. THE CFU HAS HELD REPEATED
DISCUSSIONS WITH THE FINANCE MINISTER, SIMBA MAKONI, ON
THE LAND ISSUE, AND THE MEMBERSHIP VIEWS HIM AS THE ONE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01102 01 OF 03 230533Z
PERSON IN THE GOZ WHO MIGHT BE ABLE TO BRIDGE THE SHARP
DIVISION BETWEEN THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS AND THE GOZ.
THE CFU IS PACKAGING THE PLAN UNVEILED AT THE CONGRESS
FOR PRESENTATION TO THE GOZ, AND WILL MAKE IT CLEAR THAT
THE FARMERS WANT TO ESTABLISH A CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE ON
THE LAND ISSUE AND HAVE SET NO PRECONDITIONS FOR SUCH
TALKS. END SUMMARY.



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


A MORE PERFECT UNION


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





2. (C) CLOETE REVEALED THAT THE CFU HELD A FULL COUNCIL
MEETING THE NIGHT BEFORE THE CONGRESS THAT WAS ATTENDED
BY SWANEPOEL. SWANEPOEL AND THE COUNCIL MUTUALLY AGREED
THAT EVIDENCE OF SCHISMS WITHIN THE CFU AT THE CONGRESS
WOULD ONLY HURT COMMERCIAL FARMERS. IT WAS AGREED THAT
SWANEPOEL WOULD BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY AT THE CONGRESS
TO PRESENT AND EXPLAIN HIS UNSANCTIONED AND SECRETIVE
EFFORT TO NEGOTIATE AN END TO THE IMPASSE OVER LAND WITH
THE GOZ. IT WAS ALSO AGREED THAT HE WOULD NOT RAISE THE
ISSUE OF REPLACING THE CURRENT CFU LEADERSHIP. CLOETE
STATED THAT SWANEPOEL HAD NO CHOICE ON THE LATTER ISSUE
FOR TWO REASONS: THE ASSOCIATION OF JOHN BREDENKAMP (A
REPUTED ARMS DEALER WITH CLOSE TIES TO ZANU-PF) WITH HIS
SECRET TALKS HAD CAUSED MANY FARMERS TO QUESTION THE

SIPDIS
REAL MOTIVES BEHIND SWANEPOEL'S EFFORT, AND, THE RESULTS
OF THE CFU LEADERSHIP'S CANVASSING OF OVER 1000 FARMERS
IN THE WEEKS BEFORE THE CONGRESS, WHICH REVEALED NEAR
UNANIMOUS SUPPORT FOR THE INCUMBENT LEADERSHIP.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01102 01 OF 03 230533Z


3. (C) THE CONGRESS THE FOLLOWING DAY WENT VERY
SMOOTHLY. THE CFU PRESIDENT, TIM HENWOOD, OPENED WITH A
15 MINUTE SPEECH, FOLLOWED BY SWANEPOEL WITH A 20 MINUTE
EXPOSITION ON HIS TALKS, FOLLOWED BY A ONE-AND-A-HALF
HOUR PRESENTATION OF THE CFU PLAN TO RE-ENGAGE THE GOZ
ON THE LAND ISSUE, WHICH WAS GIVEN BY CFU VICE PRESIDENT
FOR REGIONS, WILLIAM HUGHES. AFTER THE PRESENTATION,
THERE WAS AN OPEN PERIOD OF Q & A'S WITH THE LEADERSHIP
OVER THE PLAN, WITH A FEW QUESTIONS DIRECTED TO
SWANEPOEL REGARDING HIS DEALINGS WITH THE GOZ. AT THE
END OF THE DAY-LONG CONGRESS THERE WAS A UNANIMOUS
CONSENSUS BY THE DELEGATES FOR THE LEADERSHIP TO MOVE
FORWARD WITH THE PROPOSED PLAN.



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


THE PLAN


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





4. (C) THE PLAN PRESENTED BY THE CFU LEADERSHIP IS A
MULTIFACETED APPROACH TO ENGAGING THE GOZ ON THE
QUESTIONS OF THE FUTURE OF COMMERCIAL FARMING, LAND
REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT. THE PLAN IS DIVIDED INTO
SHORT-, MEDIUM, AND LONG-TERM COMPONENTS DEALING WITH
ALL ASPECTS OF COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE AND LAND REFORM
AND RESETTLEMENT. IN A BROAD STROKE, THE KEY ELEMENTS

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ5119

PAGE 01 HARARE 01102 02 OF 03 230534Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00
COME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00
EUR-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 LAB-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 BBG-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /009W


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

D60F6B 230534Z /38
P 230531Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8490
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 03 HARARE 001102

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AFR/SA - CPALMA,
NNEWMAN, AA/AFR - VDICKSON-HORTON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/22/11
TAGS: EAGR PGOV PHUM EAID PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS AGREE AT CONGRESS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01102 02 OF 03 230534Z
ON A STRATEGY TO RE-ENGAGE WITH THE GOZ ON LAND

OF THE PLAN ARE COMMITMENTS BY THE CFU AND COMMERCIAL
FARMERS TO: WORK WITH THE GOZ TO SEE THAT LAND REFORM
AND RESETTLEMENT IS A SUCCESS IN ZIMBABWE; INTEGRATE THE
CFU FULLY INTO THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL FABRIC OF THE
NATION; ASSIST SMALL-SCALE AND COMMUNAL FARMERS TO
BECOME MORE PRODUCTIVE AND ECONOMICALLY VIABLE; AND
DEVELOP FINANCIAL MECHANISMS WITH BANKS, IFIS, AND DONOR
COUNTRIES TO FUND LAND REFORM, RESETTLEMENT, AND
COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE. AS PART OF THE EFFORT TO
INTEGRATE MORE FULLY INTO PRESENT-DAY ZIMBABWE, THE CFU
WILL VIGOROUSLY PURSUE EFFORTS TO BROADEN ITS MEMBERSHIP
TO INCLUDE THE MEMBERS OF THE INDIGENOUS COMMERCIAL
FARMERS UNION AND SMALL-HOLDER FARMERS ENGAGED IN
COMMERCIAL FARMING, AND TO DEVELOP A NEW CFU
CONSTITUTION AND SYMBOLS THAT WILL BE PROPOSED FOR
ADOPTION AT THE AUGUST CONGRESS. CLOETE STATED THAT THE
CFU IS NOW PREPARING THIS PLAN FOR FORMAL PRESENTATION
TO THE GOZ. THE PLAN DOES NOT INCLUDE SPECIFIC FIGURES
LISTED AS GOALS, BECAUSE ZANU-PF CONTACTS TOLD THE CFU
LEADERSHIP THAT IT WAS BETTER TO LEAVE THIS OPEN FOR
NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE GOZ. CLOETE SAID THAT THERE WAS
NOT A SPECIFIC DATE FOR PRESENTING THE PLAN TO THE GOZ.
IT WILL BE PRESENTED AS SOON AS THE UNION HAS IT
PROPERLY PACKAGED FOR PRESENTATION.



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


A ROLE FOR SWANEPOEL


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



CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01102 02 OF 03 230534Z


5. (C) THE CONGRESS ALSO AGREED THAT THERE WAS SOME
MERIT IN THE SECRET EFFORT THAT SWANEPOEL HAD BEGUN, AND
AUTHORIZED HIM TO SPEAK FOR THE UNION AND ITS MEMBERSHIP
IN HIS ROLE AS THE CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC
CONSULTATIVE FORUM (NECF) TASK FORCE ON LAND. ACCORDING
TO CLOETE, WHILE THIS IS A POSITION SWANEPOEL HAS FILLED
FOR THE LAST YEAR, HE HAD ILLEGALLY USURPED IT FROM A
CFU-BACKED DELEGATE. WHILE THE NECF TASK FORCE HAS BEEN
LARGELY INACTIVE SINCE THE FARM INVASIONS BEGAN LAST
YEAR, THE CFU LEADERSHIP IS HOPING THAT IT MAY BECOME
THE FORUM FOR REENGAGING THE GOZ WITH THE NEW PLAN.



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


MAKONI SEEN AS A KEY PLAYER


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





6. (C) ACCORDING TO CLOETE, THE CFU HAS BEEN QUIETLY
CULTIVATING CONTACTS WITH THE FINANCE MINISTER, SIMBA
MAKONI. THEY VIEW HIM AS A KEY GOZ OFFICIAL WHO,
BECAUSE OF HIS ROLE IN TRYING TO STABILIZE THE ZIMBABWE
ECONOMY, MAY HAVE SUFFICIENT INFLUENCE WITH PRESIDENT
MUGABE AND HIS CIRCLE OF ADVISORS TO HELP GET BOTH SIDES
SERIOUSLY TALKING AGAIN. THE CFU LEADERSHIP BELIEVES
THAT MAKONI UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANT ROLE THAT
COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE PLAYS IN THE ECONOMY, AND THAT IT
IS ONE SECTOR THAT CAN BE QUICKLY STIMULATED TO GENERATE
ECONOMIC GROWTH, FOREIGN EXCHANGE EARNINGS, AND
EMPLOYMENT, AS WELL AS FEED THE NATION. FOR THIS REASON
THE CFU PLAN TO USE MAKONI AS A CONDUIT TO PRESENT THEIR
NEW PLAN TO MUGABE.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01102 02 OF 03 230534Z


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


WILL THE GOZ RESPOND?


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





7. (C) CLOETE SAID THAT ONCE THE CFU PLAN IS PRESENTED
TO THE GOZ, THE BALL IS IN THE LATTER'S COURT. HOWEVER,
TO ENCOURAGE A POSITIVE RESPONSE THE CONGRESS AGREED
THAT THE CFU MUST MAKE CLEAR TO PRESIDENT MUGABE THAT IT
WANTS TO BE A HELPFUL PARTNER IN RESOLVING THE IMPASSE
OVER LAND, THAT IT IS SETTING NO PRECONDITIONS TO TALK,
AND THAT THE UNION WILL PURSUE NO ADDITIONAL LEGAL
ACTIONS AGAINST THE GOZ. THE CFU IS GOING TO USE ALL
AVENUES TO GET THEIR MESSAGE ACROSS TO MUGABE AND THE
GOZ, INCLUDING INVOLVING THE GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH AFRICA.
THE CFU WILL TRY TO DO THIS OUT OF THE PUBLIC EYE,
HOPING THAT THEY CAN CONVINCE MUGABE THAT HE CAN ENGAGE
WITH THE UNION AND COMMERCIAL FARMERS IN A WIN-WIN
SITUATION THAT WILL ALLOW HIM TO TAKE CREDIT FOR SOLVING
THE LAND ISSUE. CLOETE STATED THAT THE CFU RECOGNIZES
THAT THIS LAST POINT IS A CRITICAL ELEMENT OF THEIR
PLAN, BECAUSE IF MUGABE AND ZANU-PF CANNOT SUCCESSFULLY
USE THE LAND ISSUE TO TRY AND REGAIN POPULAR SUPPORT,
THE NEW PLAN WILL BE STILLBORN.



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



CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ5120

PAGE 01 HARARE 01102 03 OF 03 230534Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00
COME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00
EUR-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 LAB-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 BBG-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /009W


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

D60F6F 230534Z /38
P 230531Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8491
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 001102

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AFR/SA - CPALMA,
NNEWMAN, AA/AFR - VDICKSON-HORTON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/22/11
TAGS: EAGR PGOV PHUM EAID PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS AGREE AT CONGRESS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01102 03 OF 03 230534Z
ON A STRATEGY TO RE-ENGAGE WITH THE GOZ ON LAND

COMMENT


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





8. (C) IN OUR OPINION, THE ACTION PLAN AGREED TO AT THE
SPECIAL CONGRESS IS A COMPREHENSIVE AND WELL-THOUGHT OUT
STRATEGY FOR ADDRESSING THE NEED FOR LAND REFORM AND
RESETTLEMENT IN ZIMBABWE, WHILE MAINTAINING THE
VIABILITY OF COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE. WHETHER THE CFU
LEADERSHIP WILL BE ABLE TO GET PRESIDENT MUGABE TO
SERIOUSLY CONSIDER THE PLAN, AND THEN TO WORK WITH THE
FARMERS IN FINDING A WAY FORWARD WILL DEPEND ON THE
EXTENT TO WHICH MUGABE CAN CLAIM PERSONAL AND ZANU-PF
CREDIT FOR GIVING LAND TO THE BLACK MAJORITY AS A
RESULT. THE ROLE THAT MAKONI MAY PLAY IN PROMOTING THIS
PLAN TO MUGABE WILL BE CRITICAL. HE HAS A LIMITED
WINDOW IN WHICH TO DO SO BECAUSE WE FIGURE THAT AFTER
JUNE THE MAJORITY PARTY WILL BE FOCUSED ON THE
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TO THE EXCLUSION OF ALMOST ALL
OTHER ISSUES. THE SEVERE ECONOMIC CRISIS FACING
ZIMBABWE GIVES MAKONI SOME LEVERAGE IN THIS EFFORT, BUT
IT MAY NOT SUFFICE TO OVERCOME THOSE IN ZANU-PF,
INCLUDING MUGABE HIMSELF, WHO SEE THE CURRENT "FAST-
TRACK" LAND PROGRAM AS THE ONLY WAY TO INCREASE THE
PARTY'S, AND ITS CANDIDATE'S, POPULARITY PRIOR TO THE
UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. END COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01102 03 OF 03 230534Z

CONFIDENTIAL

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