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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE1583 2001-05-11 11:12:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE MINISTER ANNOUNCES START OF NEW "ULTRA

Tags:   PGOV EAGR PHUM PINR PINS ZI 
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111112Z May 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO6927

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                  ------------------EA502F  111104Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8849
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001583 

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: 05/11/11
TAGS: PGOV EAGR PHUM PINR PINS ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE MINISTER ANNOUNCES START OF NEW "ULTRA
CONFIDENTIAL


PAGE 02 HARARE 01583 111104Z
FAST-TRACK" LAND PLAN

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



1. (SBU) IN AN INTERVIEW IN THE MAY 4-10 ISSUE OF THE
PRO-RULING PARTY NEWSPAPER "THE ZIMBABWE MIRROR", THE
MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL
HOUSING, IGNATIUS CHOMBO, ANNOUNCED THAT THE GOVERNMENT
OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ) HAD RECENTLY INITIATED A NEW PHASE OF
THE "FAST-TRACK" LAND REFORM PROGRAM, CALLED "ULTRA
FAST-TRACK", WITH THE INTENT OF RESETTLING 35,000 PEOPLE
ON COMMERCIAL FARMS BY THE END OF MAY. THERE WAS NO
EXPLANATION GIVEN IN THE ARTICLE REGARDING HOW THE GOZ
WAS GOING TO ACHIEVE THIS GOAL, GIVEN THE WIDESPREAD
DISORGANIZATION, LACK OF PLANNING AND CORRUPTION THAT
HAS CHARACTERIZED "FAST-TRACK" UP TO NOW. CHOMBO ALSO
STATED IN THE INTERVIEW THAT THE GOZ MIGHT NOW
COMPULSORILY ACQUIRE UP TO EIGHT MILLION HECTARES OF
LAND FROM WHITE COMMERCIAL FARMERS. EVEN THIS WAS NOT A
FINAL LIMIT AS HE ADDED, "WE WILL SETTLE PEOPLE AS LONG
AS THERE IS A NEED TO REDISTRIBUTE THE LAND."



2. (SBU) MINISTER CHOMBO IS ALSO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE
INTER-MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE ON LAND RESETTLEMENT. IN
THIS ROLE, AND AS PART OF HIS CABINET PORTFOLIO, HE HAS
BEEN THE POINT MAN ON GOZ PLANS FOR PHYSICALLY
RESETTLING THE PEOPLE ON THE OCCUPIED COMMERCIAL FARMS.
IN THE INTERVIEW, HE STATED THAT THE GOZ EXPECTS THE
RESETTLED PEOPLE TO BEGIN BUILDING PROPER, PERMANENT
HOUSING FOR THEMSELVES AND NOT THE TEMPORARY HUTS THAT
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01583 111104Z
THE OCCUPIERS HAVE BEEN BUILDING SINCE THE INVASIONS
BEGAN IN FEBRUARY OF LAST YEAR. HE ALSO STATES THAT THE
RESETTLED PEOPLE ARE TO PLAN THOROUGHLY SO THAT THEY
ESTABLISH PROPER VILLAGES WITH RUNNING WATER,
ELECTRICITY, TOILETS, AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE.
HOWEVER, NOWHERE IN THE INTERVIEW DOES HE MENTION PLANS
FOR THE GOZ TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE OR
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT TO THE RESETTLED PEOPLE TO
ENABLE THEM TO BUILD NEW HOMES AND MODERN VILLAGES.



3. (SBU) THE MAY 4-10 EDITION OF THE "ZIMBABWE
INDEPENDENT" NEWSPAPER STATED THAT THE MOST RECENT
LISTING OF FARMS THAT THE GOZ HAS GAZETTED FOR
COMPULSORY ACQUISITION INCLUDES SOME OF ZIMBABWE'S MOST
PRODUCTIVE COFFEE AND TEA ESTATES, AS WELL AS PIECES OF
LAND IN THE EASTERN HIGHLANDS OF THE COUNTRY ON WHICH
ARE LOCATED TOURIST HOTELS AND TIMBER FARMS. THE LIST
ALSO INCLUDES LAND ALREADY OWNED BY THE NATIONAL
GOVERNMENT AND RURAL COUNCIL GOVERNMENTS. THE PRESIDENT
OF THE ZIMBABWE COUNCIL OF TOURISM, PEDIA MOYO, STATED
THAT IT DID NOT MAKE SENSE FOR THE GOZ TO ATTEMPT TO
RESETTLE PEOPLE IN THE MOUNTAINOUS EASTERN HIGHLANDS.
SHE POINTED OUT THAT, "RESETTLED FARMERS WOULD HAVE TO
SPECIALIZE IN GROWING PINE, WATTLE, OR OTHER SUCH TREES
FROM WHICH THEY WILL ONLY REALIZE A RETURN AFTER ABOUT
20 YEARS."



4. (C) COMMENT: THE NEW "ULTRA FAST-TRACK" PLAN, AS WELL
AS THE LATEST LIST OF PROPERTIES GAZETTED FOR COMPULSORY
ACQUISITION, AMPLY DEMONSTRATE THAT THE GOZ HAS NO
RATIONAL OR THOUGHT-OUT PLAN FOR LAND REFORM OR
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PAGE 04 HARARE 01583 111104Z
RESETTLEMENT. THE IDEA THAT THE GOZ CAN RESETTLE 35,000
PEOPLE BY THE END OF MAY IS PATENTLY ABSURD. IT IS ALSO
CLEAR FROM THIS SKETCHY PLAN THAT RESETTLED PEOPLE WOULD
HAVE TO RELY ON THEIR OWN RESOURCES FOR BUILDING HOMES
AND ESTABLISHING VILLAGES. GIVEN THAT THE PEOPLE BEING
RESETTLED ARE BY THE GOZ'S OWN ADMISSION POOR AND
LANDLESS, IT IS EASY TO SEE THAT THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE
TO CONSTRUCT MORE THAN THE MOST RUDIMENTARY STRUCTURES,
MEANING THE MUD AND WOOD THATCHED HUTS THEY HAVE BEEN
BUILDING TO THIS POINT. THE LISTING OF PROPERTIES WITH
TOURIST FACILITIES ON THEM INDICATES THAT THE GOZ IS
EITHER BLINDLY LISTING PROPERTIES, OR THAT SUCH
PROPERTIES MAY NOW BE VIEWED AS POLITICAL PATRONAGE
PLUMS FOR TRUE SUPPORTERS OF THE RULING PARTY. THE
LIKELY TRUTH IS THAT BOTH FACTORS ACCOUNT FOR SUCH
LISTINGS. END COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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