Embassy says battle for last 500 white farms will be messy


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The United States embassy said the government had dispossessed 4 000 white farmers of their land leaving only 500 who had entered into arrangements or accommodations with prominent black Zimbabweans but hardliners within the government had started attacking these indigenous dealmakers.

It said battles over the final 500 farms with white ownership would therefore be increasingly messy.

The embassy was commenting on reports that Lands and Agriculture Minister Joseph Made was planning to occupy a horticulture farm, Kondozi, where the owner had entered into partnership with Edwin Masimba Moyo to shield himself from land reform.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 04HARARE18, Battle for Final 500 “White” Farms

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE18

2004-01-07 09:16

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 000018

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

STATE FOR AF/S

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER

USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND

TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW

PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER

STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

 

E. O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EAGR ECON EINV ETRD PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: Battle for Final 500 “White” Farms

 

1. (U) Summary: The GOZ is attempting to seize the final

500 white-owned commercial farms by attacking black

business partners. End Summary.

Viewing cable 04HARARE18, Battle for Final 500 “White” Farms

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE18

2004-01-07 09:16

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 000018

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

STATE FOR AF/S

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER

USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND

TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW

PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER

STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

 

E. O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EAGR ECON EINV ETRD PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: Battle for Final 500 “White” Farms

 

1. (U) Summary: The GOZ is attempting to seize the final

500 white-owned commercial farms by attacking black

business partners. End Summary.

 

2. (U) During Zimbabwe’s tumultuous land redistribution

over the past two years, the Government has dispossessed

approximately 4,000 of 4,5000 white commercial farmers.

Most of the remaining 500 farmers seem to have entered

into arrangements or accommodations with prominent black

Zimbabweans. Since early-December, GOZ hardliners have

begun to attack these indigenous dealmakers. At the

ruling ZANU-PF’s party conference on December 6, some

delegates circulated a paper accusing Vice President

Joseph Msika of cooperating too closely with white

commercial farmers.

 

3. (U) Over the past week, the State and independent

press have sparred over alleged attempts by a group led

by Agriculture Minister Joseph Made to occupy a

horticulture farm called Kondozi. The white farmer

apparently sold over half his stake to Edwin Masimba

Moyo, a black businessman, to shield himself from land

reform. A GOZ spokesman berated the new black owner in

bombastic terms:

 

“[Government] will not be duped by Uncle Toms that make

themselves willing tools of former Rhodies who are

hopelessly trying to hold on to the land their colonial

ancestors brutally grabbed from our forefathers. . . .

Government is dismayed that there are Zimbabweans of the

likes of Edwin Masimba Moyo ready to be used by white

farmers for whatever number of pieces of silver.”

 

Comment

——-

4. (U) Other remarks by the GOZ spokesman make little

sense. He argued that the farm was allocated to State

rather than Made’s group, and that the 5,000 farm workers

“should [become] farmers in their own right and not [the

white owner’s] servants as in the Rhodesia of

yesteryear.” In practice, land reform beneficiaries –

such as Made in this case – do not receive title deed and

there are no plans to parcel Kondozi into small plots for

the 5,000 employees.

 

5. (SBU) Made is obviously attempting to take control of

a valuable forex-earning business. Such battles over the

final 500 farms with white ownership will be increasingly

messy.

 

Sullivan

 

(15 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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