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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE898
2001-03-03 15:02:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

A LOOMING SPECIAL CONGRESS COULD DETERMINE THE

Tags:   EAGR  PGOV  PHUM  EAID  PINR  ZI 
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031502Z Mar 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ0199

PAGE 01        HARARE  00898  01 OF 03  031504Z 
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   OIGO-00  FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  
      INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01   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     /010W
                  ------------------CD2CE0  031505Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8337
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 000898 

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: 03/02/11
TAGS: EAGR PGOV PHUM EAID PINR ZI
SUBJECT: A LOOMING SPECIAL CONGRESS COULD DETERMINE THE
CONFIDENTIAL


PAGE 02 HARARE 00898 01 OF 03 031504Z
FATE OF ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION

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

REF: A. HARARE 815, B. HARARE 743

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



1. (C) ON FEBRUARY 28, ECONOFF MET WITH COLLIN CLOETE,
VICE-PRESIDENT FOR COMMODITIES OF THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS
UNION (CFU), TO DISCUSS THE UPCOMING MARCH 21 CFU
SPECIAL CONGRESS AND REPORTS OF VEHEMENT DISAGREEMENTS
AT THE UNION'S TOP LEADERSHIP LEVEL. CLOETE, A KEY
MEMBER OF THE CFU EXECUTIVE, TOLD US THAT THE SPECIAL
CONGRESS WILL CENTER ON CONSIDERING WAYS THAT THE CFU
CAN BROADEN ITS MEMBERSHIP AND INTEGRATE BETTER INTO
ZIMBABWE'S BLACK MAJORITY SOCIETY, AS WELL AS TO
CONSIDER DIFFERENT WAYS TO ENGAGE THE GOVERNMENT OF
ZIMBABWE (GOZ) ON LAND REFORM. CLOETE CLAIMED, NOT
ENTIRELY CONVINCINGLY, THAT THE CONGRESS WILL NOT
CONSIDER A WHOLESALE CHANGE IN THE CFU LEADERSHIP. HE
STATED THAT THE CFU COUNCIL HAS ALREADY AGREED THAT THE
CURRENT LEADERSHIP WILL REMAIN UNTIL THE ANNUAL CFU
ELECTIONS IN AUGUST, AND ADDED THAT THE SPECIAL CONGRESS
WILL NOT ENDORSE THE GOZ "FAST-TRACK" RESETTLEMENT
PROGRAM. CLOETE INDICATED THAT THE ALLEGED DIVISIONS IN
THE CFU MANAGEMENT THAT WERE RECENTLY COVERED IN THE
PRESS WERE THE RESULT OF A FORMER CFU PRESIDENT, NICK
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00898 01 OF 03 031504Z
SWANEPOEL, ATTEMPTING TO CUT A SECRET DEAL WITH THE GOZ
ON THE LAND ISSUE (REF A). END SUMMARY.



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


THE NEED TO INTEGRATE THE CFU


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





2. (C) CLOETE SAID THAT THE CFU NOW RECOGNIZES THAT IT
WAS A MISTAKE NOT TO HAVE INTEGRATED ITS MEMBERSHIP BY
MERGING WITH THE INDIGENOUS COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION
(ICFU), WHICH REPRESENTS BLACK COMMERCIAL FARMERS. THE
SPECIAL CONGRESS IS GOING TO CONSIDER THE ISSUE OF
FORMALLY APPROACHING THE ICFU TO BEGIN MERGER TALKS.
CLOETE ALSO INDICATED THAT THE SPECIAL CONGRESS WILL
CONSIDER WAYS FOR THE CFU TO BROADEN ITS OUTREACH AND
LINKS TO BLACK ZIMBABWEAN CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS.



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

-
CHANGING THE LAND DEBATE TO THE COMMUNAL LANDS


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

-



3. (C) CLOETE INDICATED THAT THE CENTRAL ISSUE OF THE
SPECIAL CONGRESS WILL BE TO BRAINSTORM ON WAYS TO ENGAGE
THE GOZ AND ZIMBABWE'S BLACK MAJORITY ON THE LAND ISSUE.
THIS EFFORT WILL CENTER ON HOW TO HELP MAKE THE
COUNTRY'S COMMUNAL FARMING AREAS AND COMMUNAL FARMERS
MORE PRODUCTIVE AND SUCCESSFUL. CLOETE POINTED OUT THAT
COMMUNAL LANDS COMPRISE 42 PERCENT OF ZIMBABWE'S TOTAL
LAND, AND CONTRARY TO WHAT THE GOZ STATES, THE MAJORITY
OF THIS LAND IS NOT UNSUITABLE FOR AGRICULTURE, CATTLE
OR GAME RANCHING. RATHER, WHAT IS NEEDED IS FOR
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00898 01 OF 03 031504Z
COMMUNAL FARMERS TO BE GIVEN THE TRAINING,
INFRASTRUCTURE AND INPUTS THAT ARE NEEDED TO MAKE THESE
LANDS PRODUCTIVE AND TO MOVE THEM FROM SUBSISTENCE TO
COMMERCIAL FARMING. CLOETE BLAMED THE GOZ FOR NOT DOING
THIS IN THE PAST, BECAUSE IT WANTED TO KEEP COMMUNAL
FARMERS POOR AND WHOLLY DEPENDENT ON THE GOVERNMENT.
HOWEVER, HE ALSO ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE CFU SHOULD HAVE
TAKEN THE LEAD IN THIS ENDEAVOR WHEN THE GOZ ABDICATED
ITS RESPONSIBILITY. THE SPECIAL CONGRESS WILL ALSO
CONSIDER HOW THE CFU CAN TAKE THE LEAD IN ORGANIZING A
COALITION OF NGOS, INTERNATIONAL DONORS, AND HOPEFULLY
THE GOZ, TO WORK ON THE ISSUE OF THE PRODUCTIVITY AND
PRESERVATION OF THE COMMUNAL LANDS.



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


DIVISIONS REVEALED IN THE CFU


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





4. (C) CLOETE STATED THAT A FEBRUARY 17 ARTICLE IN THE
GOZ-CONTROLLED "THE HERALD" DESCRIBING A SPLIT IN THE
CFU WAS INACCURATE (REF A). ACCORDING TO CLOETE, NICK
SWANEPOEL (A FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE CFU), WITHOUT THE
KNOWLEDGE OR APPROVAL OF THE CFU EXECUTIVE, CONTACTED
THE GOZ TO OFFER A DEAL TO BREAK THE IMPASSE ON THE LAND
ISSUE. AFTER DISCUSSIONS WITH THE GOZ, SWANEPOEL

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ0200

PAGE 01 HARARE 00898 02 OF 03 031505Z
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 OIGO-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 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 /010W


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

CD2CE5 031505Z /38
R 031502Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8338
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 000898

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: 03/02/11
TAGS: EAGR PGOV PHUM EAID PINR ZI
SUBJECT: A LOOMING SPECIAL CONGRESS COULD DETERMINE THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00898 02 OF 03 031505Z
FATE OF ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION

REQUESTED THE CFU EXECUTIVE TO CONVENE A SPECIAL COUNCIL
MEETING, WHICH WAS HELD ON FEBRUARY 13. AT THE MEETING,
SWANEPOEL REVEALED THE DEAL THAT HE HAD PRESENTED TO THE
GOZ (REF A). THE COUNCIL DISCUSSIONS REGARDING THE
INDEPENDENT AND UNAUTHORIZED APPROACH WERE QUITE WIDE-
RANGING AND ANIMATED, AND INCLUDED THE WITHDRAWAL OF CFU
AND INDIVIDUAL FARMER LAWSUITS AGAINST THE GOZ, PUBLICLY
ENDORSING "FAST-TRACK", AND LOBBYING INTERNATIONAL
DONORS TO SUPPORT THE PROGRAM FINANCIALLY, ACCORDING TO
CLOETE. SWANEPOEL THEN DROPPED THE OTHER SHOE,
REVEALING THAT THE DEAL ALSO ENTAILED THE RESIGNATION OF
THE CFU EXECUTIVE AND THE CHANGING OF THE NAME OF THE
CFU.



5. (C) THIS LED TO A VERY HEATED DISCUSSION, WHERE
CERTAIN COUNCIL MEMBERS, LED BY SWANEPOEL, CRITICIZED
THE CURRENT CFU EXECUTIVE FOR BEING PART OF THE PROBLEM
FARMERS FACE IN REACHING A DEAL WITH THE GOZ TO DEFUSE
THE LAND CRISIS. SWANEPOEL SINGLED OUT CFU PRESIDENT
TIM HENWOOD, DIRECTOR DAVID HASLUCK, AND VICE-PRESIDENT
FOR REGIONS WILLIAM HUGHES AS PEOPLE WHO HAD TO GO.
AFTER AN HOUR OF HEATED DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN AND AMONGST
THE COUNCIL AND EXECUTIVE MEMBERS, THE EXECUTIVE
DECLARED THAT IF THEY WERE PART OF THE PROBLEM, AND DID
NOT HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE COUNCIL, THEY WOULD ALL
RESIGN. THE EXECUTIVE MEMBERS THAN ALL WALKED OUT, AND,
ACCORDING TO CLOETE, LEFT THE COUNCIL MEMBERS STUNNED.
AN HOUR LATER, THE COUNCIL PHONED ALL THE EXECUTIVE
MEMBERS AND REQUESTED THAT THEY RETURN TO CFU
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00898 02 OF 03 031505Z
HEADQUARTERS. WHEN THE EXECUTIVE WAS ALL PRESENT, THE
COUNCIL INFORMED THEM THAT THEY DID NOT ACCEPT THEIR
RESIGNATIONS AND THAT THEY CONTINUED TO RECEIVE THE FULL
SUPPORT AND BACKING OF THE COUNCIL. WITH THIS VOTE OF
CONFIDENCE, THE UNION LEADERSHIP DECIDED TO MOVE AHEAD
BY CALLING A SPECIAL CONGRESS TO CONSIDER THE STEPS
ALREADY DESCRIBED.



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



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


THE MACHIAVELLIAN MANEUVERS OF A FORMER PRESIDENT


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



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





6. (C) CLOETE STATED THAT THE DIVISIONS IN THE CFU WERE
THE RESULT OF THE MACHIAVELLIAN MANEUVERS OF SWANEPOEL.
HIS DEAL WITH THE GOZ WAS INDEPENDENT OF THE PRIVATE
SECTOR INITIATIVE (REF B) THAT THE CFU EXECUTIVE
SUPPORTS, AND ALSO WENT BEYOND THE EXECUTIVE'S
APPOINTMENT OF A SMALL GROUP OF CFU MEMBERS TO ENGAGE
THE GOZ. CLOETE ALLEGED THAT SWANEPOEL HAS A HISTORY OF
CONNIVING AGAINST CFU EXECUTIVES WITH WHOM HE DOES NOT
AGREE. CLOETE CITED AN INCIDENT WHEN SWANEPOEL
CONVINCED THE COUNCIL TO REMOVE A CFU PRESIDENT SO
SWANEPOEL COULD COMPLETE THE REMAINDER OF THE TERM.
ACCORDING TO CLOETE, SWANEPOEL TOLD THE COUNCIL AT THE
FEBRUARY 13 MEETING THAT HE WAS GOING TO THE UNITED
STATES TO MEET WITH PRESIDENT BUSH OVER HIS DEAL, AND HE
WOULD BE RETURNING WITH US $60 MILLION TO FUND LAND
REFORM. HE ALSO ALLEGEDLY SAID THAT HE WAS AVAILABLE TO
TRAVEL ANYWHERE IN ZIMBABWE TO MEET WITH FARMERS WHO
WANTED TO DISCUSS HIS PLAN BECAUSE HE HAD ACCESS TO THE
HELICOPTER OF ZIMBABWE ARMS DEALER JOHN BREDENKAMP.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 00898 02 OF 03 031505Z
CLOETE ASSERTED THAT SWANEPOEL HAS ALWAYS MAINTAINED
CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH ZANU-PF POLITICIANS, SOCIALLY
AND OTHERWISE. WE HAVE HEARD FROM OTHER SOURCES THAT
SWANEPOEL IS PERHAPS THE ONLY COMMERCIAL FARMER WHOM
PRESIDENT MUGABE TRUSTS. ACCORDING TO CLOETE, SWANEPOEL
TOLD THE CFU COUNCIL THAT ONE OF HIS ZANU-PF CONTACTS
HAD TOLD HIM THAT IT WAS TIME TO MAKE A DEAL WITH THE
GOZ ON LAND, OR THERE SOON WOULD BE 300 WHITE FARMERS
ROUNDED UP AND KILLED. SWANEPOEL WOULD NOT TELL THE
COUNCIL WHO HAD TOLD HIM THIS OR WHO WOULD DO THIS, ONLY
THAT HE WAS THE MESSENGER.



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


COMMENT


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





7. (C) ALTHOUGH CLOETE TOLD US THAT THE COUNCIL ENDED UP
BACKING THE CURRENT EXECUTIVE, HIS DEMEANOR AND DELIVERY
LEFT US LESS THAN WILLING TO BET THE FARM ON ITS
CONTINUING TO DO SO. WE ASSESS SWANEPOEL'S EFFORT TO
CUT A SECRET DEAL WITH THE GOZ AS ILL-TIMED AND ILL-
ADVISED AND ONE THAT COULD UNDERMINE THE CFU AS AN
INSTITUTION. THE CFU'S EFFORTS TO ASSIST AND ALIGN
ITSELF MORE CLOSELY TO THE BLACK FARMING COMMUNITY, BOTH
COMMERCIAL AND COMMUNAL, IS, AT THIS STAGE, LIKELY TOO

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ0201

PAGE 01 HARARE 00898 03 OF 03 031505Z
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 OIGO-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 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 /010W


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

CD2CE9 031505Z /38
R 031502Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8339
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 000898

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: 03/02/11
TAGS: EAGR PGOV PHUM EAID PINR ZI
SUBJECT: A LOOMING SPECIAL CONGRESS COULD DETERMINE THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 00898 03 OF 03 031505Z
FATE OF ZIMBABWE'S COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION

LITTLE AND TOO LATE TO REDUCE THE GOZ PRESSURE ON WHITE
COMMERCIAL FARMERS, BUT NEVERTHELESS A MOVE THAT SHOULD
BE ENCOURAGED.



8. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED: WE EXPECT THAT MUGABE AND
ZANU-PF WILL PURSUE ANY CRACKS IN THE UNITY OF THE CFU
TO IMPLEMENT A DIVIDE-AND-CONQUER STRATEGY AGAINST THE
UNION. WHILE WE DO NOT DISCOUNT THAT MORE WHITE FARMERS
MAY BE KILLED BEFORE THE RULE OF LAW IS RESTORED IN
ZIMBABWE, WE DO NOT TAKE AS CREDIBLE THE THREAT TO KILL
300 COMMERCIAL FARMERS. WE BELIEVE THE UPCOMING
CONGRESS MAY BE A WATERSHED EVENT, NOT FOR BREAKING THE
IMPASSE WITH MUGABE OVER LAND, BUT IN DETERMINING
WHETHER THE CFU REMAINS A UNITED ORGANIZATION
REPRESENTING COMMERCIAL FARMERS, OR ENDS UP COLLAPSING
INTO DISSENTING FACTIONS THAT WILL TRY TO CUT INDIVIDUAL
DEALS WITH THE GOZ TO SAVE THEMSELVES. END COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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