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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE815
2001-02-23 11:07:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION TO HOLD

Tags:  EAGR PGOV PHUM EAID ZI 
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231107Z Feb 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2767

PAGE 01        HARARE  00815  01 OF 03  231109Z 
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        /009W
                  ------------------C95CBC  231109Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8280
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000815 

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: 02/23/11
TAGS: EAGR PGOV PHUM EAID ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION TO HOLD
CONFIDENTIAL


PAGE 02 HARARE 00815 01 OF 03 231109Z
SPECIAL CONGRESS OVER LAND REFORM AND ITS FUTURE PATH

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

REF: HARARE 743

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



1. (C) ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION (CFU)
ANNOUNCED FEBRUARY 15 THAT IT WILL HOLD A SPECIAL
CONGRESS ON MARCH 21 TO EXAMINE WAYS TO RE-ENGAGE THE
GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ) ON THE LAND ISSUE. AN
INDEPENDENT APPROACH TO THE GOZ ON THE LAND ISSUE BY A
FORMER CFU PRESIDENT WAS SLAPPED BACK WITH HARDLY
MEASURED DISDAIN. THE GOZ RESPONSE IN THE PRESS IS THAT
IT WOULD ONLY TALK TO INDIVIDUAL COMMERCIAL FARMERS, NOT
THE CFU, WHOSE ONLY GOAL IS TO FRUSTRATE THE "FAST-
TRACK" LAND REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM. THE
MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT,
JOSEPH MADE, RECENTLY ANNOUNCED THAT THE GOZ HAD
GAZETTED ANOTHER 33 COMMERCIAL FARMS FOR COMPULSORY
ACQUISITION, AND THAT THE 5 MILLION HECTARES OF LAND
PREVIOUSLY TARGETED UNDER "FAST-TRACK" IS ONLY A
"MINIMUM" QUANTITY NEEDED FOR THE PROGRAM, ALTHOUGH NO
NEW TARGET HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED. MEANWHILE, TENSIONS
CONTINUE TO SIMMER ON ZIMBABWE'S OCCUPIED COMMERCIAL
FARMS, WITH TWO INCIDENTS IN THE LAST WEEK INVOLVING THE
SHOOTING OF OCCUPIERS BY FARM GUARDS. END SUMMARY.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00815 01 OF 03 231109Z



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


CFU TO CONVENE SPECIAL CONGRESS


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





2. (U) THE PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS
UNION (CFU), TIM HENWOOD, ANNOUNCED ON FEBRUARY 15 THAT
THE CFU WOULD HOLD A SPECIAL CONGRESS ON MARCH 21 TO TRY
AND FIND A WAY TO RE-ENGAGE THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE
(GOZ) ON LAND REFORM. THE CONGRESS WILL ALSO DECIDE ON
POSSIBLE CHANGES IN THE CFU'S NATIONAL LEADERSHIP. THIS
ANNOUNCEMENT FOLLOWED A CONTENTIOUS MEETING OF THE CFU'S
25-MEMBER COUNCIL ON FEBRUARY 13, AT WHICH DIVISIONS
EMERGED REGARDING A CONSENSUS APPROACH TO THE GOZ'S
"FAST-TRACK" RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM. THE GOZ-CONTROLLED
"THE HERALD" NEWSPAPER REPORTED ON FEBRUARY 17 THAT SOME
COUNCIL MEMBERS, INCLUDING PAST PRESIDENTS OF THE CFU,
BLAMED THE CURRENT CFU NATIONAL LEADERSHIP FOR THE
BREAKDOWN IN DIALOGUE WITH THE GOZ. THESE COUNCIL
MEMBERS REPORTEDLY WANT THE CFU TO ENDORSE THE "FAST-
TRACK" PROGRAM AND WORK WITH THE GOZ TO SEE THAT THE
PROGRAM SUCCEEDS.



3. (C) ON FEBRUARY 21, ECONOFF SPOKE WITH RICHARD AMYOT,
CFU DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR COMMODITIES, REGARDING THE
UPCOMING SPECIAL CONGRESS. AMYOT SAID THAT THE GOZ-
CONTROLLED PRESS ACCOUNT OF A STORMY CFU COUNCIL MEETING
WAS AN EXAGGERATION. ACCORDING TO AMYOT, THERE WAS NO
"BLOOD ON THE WALLS" AFTERWARDS. AMYOT SAID THE COUNCIL
MEETING WAS TRIGGERED BY BEHIND-THE-SCENES PRESSURE FROM
GOZ MINISTERS INVOLVED IN "FAST-TRACK" (MINISTER OF
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00815 01 OF 03 231109Z
LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING,
IGNATIUS CHOMBO, MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND
RURAL RESETTLEMENT, JOSEPH MADE, AND MINISTER OF RURAL
RESOURCES AND WATER DEVELOPMENT, JOYCE MUJURU), AND
PRESIDENT MUGABE HIMSELF, TO REMOVE CFU PRESIDENT TIM
HENWOOD, AND DIRECTOR DAVID HASLUCK. AMYOT WAS ADAMANT
THAT THE CFU WOULD NOT BE COWED BY THE GOZ, AND MADE
CLEAR THAT THE CFU ELECTS ITS OWN LEADERSHIP IN A
DEMOCRATIC FASHION. THE SPECIAL CONGRESS, ACCORDING TO
AMYOT, WILL CONSIDER WAYS TO RE-ENGAGE THE GOZ ON THE
LAND ISSUE, AND WILL DECIDE WHETHER TO CHANGE ITS
CURRENT NATIONAL LEADERSHIP. HE ADDED THAT HE IS NOT
SURE OF THE BENEFITS OF A SPECIAL CONGRESS, SINCE THE
GOZ AND ZANU-PF ARE TREATING LAND AS A POLITICAL ISSUE
AND DO NOT APPEAR INTERESTED IN ACHIEVING A
COMPREHENSIVE SOLUTION THROUGH A REASONED DIALOGUE AMONG
ALL STAKEHOLDERS.



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


THE GOZ REJECTS DIALOGUE WITH THE CFU


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





4. (C) THE GOZ CONTINUES TO REJECT PUBLICLY ANY DIALOGUE
WITH THE CFU. MINISTER CHOMBO, WHO CHAIRS THE INTER-
MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE ON LAND ACQUISITION, TOLD

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ2768

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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 TRSE-00 USIE-00 BBG-00
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/009W


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

C95CC7 231110Z /38
R 231107Z FEB 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8281
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 000815

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: 02/23/11
TAGS: EAGR PGOV PHUM EAID ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION TO HOLD
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00815 02 OF 03 231109Z
SPECIAL CONGRESS OVER LAND REFORM AND ITS FUTURE PATH

JOURNALISTS ON FEBRUARY 19 THAT THE GOZ "WILL HAVE
DIALOGUE WITH THE FARMERS BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONES WHO
HAVE THE LAND AND NOT THE CFU. THE CFU HAS BEEN USING
FOREIGN FUNDING TO FIGHT GOVERNMENT'S PROGRAM, INCLUDING
LAND REFORM. HOW THEN ARE WE EXPECTED TO ENTER INTO
DIALOGUE WITH THE UNION?" HE ADDED THAT "IT WAS CLEAR
THAT THE CFU WAS NO LONGER SPEAKING FOR FARMERS BUT HAD
TURNED INTO A POLITICAL GROUP AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS
CONSIDERING DE-REGISTERING THE UNION FOR ITS NEFARIOUS
ACTIVITIES." (COMMENT: THIS APPEARS TO BE A CLASSIC
EXAMPLE OF ZANU-PF USING THEIR "DIVIDE AND CONQUER"
STRATEGY BY ENCOURAGING DISSENT AMONG THE COMMECIAL
FARMERS.) MINISTER CHOMBO ALSO DISMISSED A PRIVATE
SECTOR INITIATIVE UNDERTAKEN BY VARIOUS ZIMBABWEAN
BUSINESS PEOPLE AND COMMERCIAL FARMERS AS AN ALTERNATIVE
TO THE COMPULSORY ACQUISITION MODEL OF "FAST-TRACK"
(REFTEL). REGARDING THE PEOPLE BEHIND THIS INITIATIVE,
CHOMBO SAID, "THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE LOOKING FOR
BUSINESS. WHERE HAVE THEY BEEN ALL THESE YEARS?"



5. (C) POST OBTAINED FROM CONFIDENTIAL SOURCES THREE
DOCUMENTS RELATED TO COMMERCIAL FARMERS' EFFORTS TO
ENGAGE THE GOZ ANEW ON LAND REFORM. THE FIRST IS A
LETTER, DATED FEBRUARY 9, LABELED "SECRET" BY THE
WRITER, FROM NICK SWANEPOEL, A FORMER CFU PRESIDENT, TO
MINISTER CHOMBO, OFFERING TO MAKE CHANGES AT THE CFU IN
ORDER TO BREAK THE IMPASSE ON LAND. THIS OFFER
INCLUDES:

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00815 02 OF 03 231109Z
= 1. CHANGING THE NAME AND LEADERSHIP OF THE CFU

= 2. ASSURING THAT THE CFU WOULD BE STRICTLY APOLITICAL

= 3. ACCEPTING THE GOZ REQUIREMENT OF 5 MILLION
HECTARES OF COMMERCIAL FARMLAND FOR RESETTLEMENT

= 4. DROPPING ALL LAWSUITS AGAINST THE GOZ OVER
"FAST-TRACK"

= 5. ASSURING COOPERATION OF COMMERCIAL FARMERS IN
ASSISTING RESETTLED PEOPLE TO BE SUCCESSFUL AS
FARMERS, AND

= 6. LOBBYING DONORS TO RELEASE FUNDS TO SUPPORT
"FAST-TRACK"



6. (C) THE SECOND DOCUMENT IS A LETTER FROM MINISTER
CHOMBO, DATED FEBRUARY 13, TO VICE PRESIDENT MSIKA
REGARDING THE SWANEPOEL LETTER, IN WHICH CHOMBO STATES
THAT HE VIEWS THE SWANEPOEL OFFER AS LIKELY BEING JUST
ANOTHER DIVERSIONARY TACTIC OF THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS.
THE THIRD DOCUMENT IS A LETTER FROM MSIKA TO CHOMBO,
DATED FEBRUARY 19, IN WHICH MSIKA AGREES THAT THE
SWANEPOEL OFFER COULD BE A DIVERSIONARY TACTIC, BUT THAT
CHOMBO SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE THE LETTER AND INDICATE THAT
BEFORE THE GOZ WILL SERIOUSLY CONSIDER THE OFFER THEY
EXPECT CONCRETE ACTION ON THE FIRST, FOURTH, AND SIXTH
ITEMS OF THE PROPOSAL. WE BELIEVE THAT THE "SECRET"
LETTER FROM SWANEPOEL TO CHOMBO IS WHAT LED TO THE CFU
FULL COUNCIL MEETING ON FEBRUARY 13, AND THE SUBSEQUENT
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00815 02 OF 03 231109Z
DECISION BY HENWOOD TO CALL A CFU SPECIAL CONGRESS FOR
MARCH 21.



7. (U) HENWOOD REITERATED IN HIS FEBRUARY 15 PRESS
RELEASE ANNOUNCING THE UPCOMING SPECIAL CONGRESS THAT,
"THE CFU IS A POLITICALLY NON-PARTISAN ORGANIZATION WITH
A MANDATE TO REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF ITS MEMBERS AND
TO WORK WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY." AMYOT CLAIMED
TO US THAT THE CFU RECEIVES NO FOREIGN FUNDING OF ANY
KIND. HE SAID THE CFU'S FUNDING IS DERIVED FROM FARMERS
MEMBERSHIP FEES AND COMMODITY ASSOCIATION LEVIES ON
FARMERS SALES OF PRODUCE. AMYOT ADDED THAT WHILE THE
SPECIAL CONGRESS WOULD EXAMINE HOW TO RE-ENGAGE
CONSTRUCTIVELY WITH THE GOZ, THE CFU WAS ALSO URGING
INDIVIDUAL FARMERS TO MAKE THE SAME EFFORTS IN THEIR
DISTRICTS AND PROVINCES.



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


THE GOZ GAZETTES MORE FARMS


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





8. (C) THE GOZ CONTINUES TO GAZETTE FARMS FOR COMPULSORY
ACQUISITION, EVEN THOUGH IT HAS ALREADY GAZETTED FARMS
WITH A TOTAL HECTARAGE IN EXCESS OF FIVE MILLION
HECTARES, THE AMOUNT IT PREVIOUSLY INDICATED WAS NEEDED

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ2770

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ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 COME-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 TRSE-00 USIE-00 BBG-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/009W


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

C95CD6 231110Z /38
R 231107Z FEB 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8282
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 000815

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: 02/23/11
TAGS: EAGR PGOV PHUM EAID ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION TO HOLD
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00815 03 OF 03 231110Z
SPECIAL CONGRESS OVER LAND REFORM AND ITS FUTURE PATH

FOR RESETTLEMENT. LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL
RESOURCES MINISTER JOSEPH MADE ANNOUNCED RECENTLY THAT
THE GOZ HAD GAZETTED ANOTHER 33 COMMERCIAL FARMS,
BRINGING THE TOTAL NUMBER GAZETTED TO MORE THAN 2700.
ACCORDING TO MADE, DUE TO THE "INCREASING DEMAND" OF
ZIMBABWEANS FOR LAND UNDER PHASE II OF "FAST-TRACK",
"THE ACQUISITION OF FIVE MILLION HECTARES IS A MINIMUM
THAT WE (THE GOZ) SET AS A REQUIREMENT. NOW THAT WE
HAVE THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE FURTHER INDICATING THAT THEY
REQUIRE LAND, WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE ACQUIRING MORE
UNDERUTILIZED LAND WHICH WE THINK IS IN EXCESS OF FIVE
MILLION HECTARES." (COMMENT: MADE'S STATEMENT THAT 5
MILLION HECTARES IS NOW ONLY THE MINIMUM AMOUNT THAT THE
GOZ REQUIRES FOR RESETTLEMENT TRACKS WITH OTHER SOURCES
CLAIMS THAT THE 5 MILLION HECTARE TARGET HAS BEEN
INCREASED. WE BELIEVE THIS PROVIDES FURTHER
CONFIRMATION THAT THE GOZ INTENDS TO USE PHASE II OF
"FAST-TRACK" FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES. THE SCENARIO IS
THAT THE GOZ WILL PROMISE LAND FOR COMMERCIAL FARMING TO
THE ZIMBABWE MASSES IN RETURN FOR THEIR VOTES FOR MUGABE
IN THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. AFTER THE
ELECTION, WE EXPECT THE GOZ TO CONVENIENTLY DETERMINE
THAT MOST PEOPLE WHO APPLIED UNDER PHASE II WILL NOT
QUALIFY FOR LAND. END COMMENT)



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


TENSIONS CONTINUE ON OCCUPIED FARMS


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



CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00815 03 OF 03 231110Z


9. (U) TENSIONS CONTINUE TO SIMMER ON OCCUPIED
COMMERCIAL FARMS, AS REVEALED BY TWO RECENT INCIDENTS IN
MASVINGO PROVINCE. ON FEBRUARY 13, FARM GUARDS OPENED
FIRE ON A GROUP OF SQUATTERS, WOUNDING SEVEN. TWO DAYS
LATER, FARM GUARDS ON A DIFFERENT FARM OPENED FIRE ON
SQUATTERS, WOUNDING THREE. ECONOFF ASKED AMYOT, OF THE
CFU, WHETHER HE THOUGHT THAT THESE WERE ISOLATED EVENTS
OR INDICATED A TREND. HE REPLIED THAT TENSIONS WERE
HIGH ON OCCUPIED FARMS, AND THAT FARM OCCUPIERS IN
MASVINGO PROVINCE, ESPECIALLY THE "WAR VETS", HAVE BEEN
PARTICULARLY AGGRESSIVE BECAUSE OF THE ENCOURAGEMENT
THEY HAVE RECEIVED FROM THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR JOSIAH
HUNGWE. ACCORDING TO AMYOT, THE FARM GUARDS HAD
PROBABLY JUST REACHED THE BREAKING POINT AND DECIDED TO
RESPOND TO THE UNENDING INTIMIDATION WITH FORCE.



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


COMMENT


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





10. (C) AT FIRST GLANCE, A CHANGE IN CFU LEADERSHIP AND
DIRECTION WOULD APPEAR TO PROVIDE THE GOZ WITH SOME ROOM
TO MANEUVER OUT OF THE CORNER IT HAS PLACED ITSELF IN
WITH THE "FAST-TRACK" PROGRAM. HOWEVER, WE ARE
SKEPTICAL THAT A CHANGE IN THE CFU NATIONAL LEADERSHIP,
OR AN OFFER BY THE CFU TO WORK WITH THE GOZ TO MAKE
"FAST-TRACK" SUCCESSFUL, WILL END THE CURRENT IMPASSE.
IT IS CLEAR THAT THE GOZ AND ZANU-PF ARE MANIPULATING
THE LAND ISSUE FOR POLITICAL ENDS, AND ARE NOT SERIOUSLY
INTERESTED IN ADDRESSING THE INEQUITABLE OWNERSHIP OF
LAND IN ZIMBABWE. THE EXCHANGE OF LETTERS BETWEEN
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00815 03 OF 03 231110Z
CHOMBO AND MSIKA SUGGEST THAT THE GOZ IS DETERMINED TO
CONTINUE WITH THE "FAST-TRACK" PROGRAM, REGARDLESS OF
ITS OBVIOUS SHORTFALLS, IN THE BELIEF THAT IT WILL
RESONATE WITH ZIMBABWE'S POOR MASSES AND INCREASE THE
CHANCES OF VICTORY IN THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CFU AS A VIABLE
ORGANIZATION AS A RESULT OF "FAST-TRACK" WOULD BE AN
ADDED BENEFIT, AND THUS WE NOW SEE THE GOZ AND ZANU-PF
USING THEIR "DIVIDE AND CONQUER" STRATEGY TO TRY TO
BREAK UP THE CFU. END COMMENT

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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