Farmers facing a hard sell


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The Commercial Farmers Union said it was making headway in trying to convince the government to adopt its land reform plan which would see the CFU providing the government a list of farms totalling five million hectares that would be made available for resettlement.

In exchange the government would have to agree to a time-table spread over a number of years giving farmers time to wind-down their operations.

Farmers’ leaders, however, conceded that they were meeting technocrats so it was not clear whether they carried much weight in negotiating an agreement between the CFU and the government.

Besides they were negotiating with a government that was very suspicious and continued to view any proposals from the CFU and commercial farmers as delaying tactics rather than good faith efforts to support land reform.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE1276, ZIMBABWE’S COMMERCIAL FARMERS QUIETLY WORKING

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE1276

2001-04-09 12:59

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

 

091259Z Apr 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ1631

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01276 01 OF 02 091254Z

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   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

——————DD1D7A 091255Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8613

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 02 HARARE 001276

 

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: 04/09/11

TAGS: EAGR PGOV PHUM EAID PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE’S COMMERCIAL FARMERS QUIETLY WORKING

CONFIDENTIAL

 

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01276 01 OF 02 091254Z

TO RE-ENGAGE WITH THE GOZ ON LAND REFORM

 

REF: HARARE 1102

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’ AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR

REASONS 1.5 (B/D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: THE CFU AND THE GOZ ARE QUIETLY MEETING

TO TRY AND REACH AN AGREEMENT TO END THE STAND-OFF OVER

LAND. THE CFU IS PITCHING A PROPOSAL TO THE GOZ WHEREBY

IT WILL PROVIDE A LIST OF FARMS TOTALING FIVE MILLION

HECTARES THAT WOULD BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR RESETTLEMENT,

A PORTION OF THEM IMMEDIATELY. THE GOZ WOULD THEN

PRIVATELY AGREE TO AN ACQUISITION TIMETABLE SPREAD OVER

A NUMBER OF YEARS, GIVING THE FARMERS TIME TO WIND-DOWN

THEIR OPERATIONS. THE PROSPECTS FOR SUCCESS IN THESE

NEGOTIATIONS HINGE ON THE CFU AND COMMERCIAL FARMERS

DECIDING THAT THEY CAN TRUST THE GOZ TO HONOR AN

AGREEMENT OF THIS TYPE, INCLUDING PROVIDING FAIR

COMPENSATION FOR THE VALUE OF THE FARMS OBTAINED (NOTE:

THE FARMERS WILL ACCEPT FAIR COMPENSATION FOR THE

IMPROVEMENTS, WITH THE HOPE THAT THEY WOULD LATER BE

COMPENSATED FOR THE VALUE OF LAND IF DONOR OR GOZ FUNDS

BECAME AVAILABLE FOR THIS.) MORE CRUCIAL TO THE SUCCESS

OF THESE NEGOTIATIONS IS A DEAL THAT WILL ALLOW

PRESIDENT MUGABE TO PROCLAIM THAT HE HAS FULFILLED HIS

PROMISE TO PROVIDE LAND TO THE BLACK MAJORITY. END

SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) ON APRIL 5, ECONOFF MET WITH WILLIAM HUGHES,

COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION (CFU) VICE PRESIDENT FOR

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01276 01 OF 02 091254Z

REGIONS, AND COLLIN CLOETE, CFU VICE PRESIDENT FOR

COMMODITIES, TO DISCUSS THE STATUS OF CFU EFFORTS TO RE-

ENGAGE THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ) ON THE ISSUE OF

LAND REFORM. HUGHES AND CLOETE WERE IN AGREEMENT THAT

COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE CFU AND THE GOZ HAD IMPROVED

SINCE THE CFU SPECIAL CONGRESS IN MARCH (REFTEL), AND

SAID THAT THE CFU HAD PRESENTED TO THE GOZ ITS PLAN FOR

A WAY FORWARD ON THE ISSUE OF LAND REFORM. HUGHES

STATED THAT GOZ OFFICIALS WITH WHOM THE CFU HAS MET IN

THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS HAVE BEEN RECEPTIVE TO THE

CFU’S PROPOSALS, BUT ADDED THAT THESE OFFICIALS WERE

“TECHNOCRATS” AND IT IS NOT CLEAR THAT THEY CARRY MUCH

WEIGHT IN NEGOTIATING AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CFU AND

THE GOZ.

 

3. (C) IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS, A CFU GROUP, LED BY NICK

SWANEPOEL, THE CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC

CONSULTATIVE FORUM (NECF) LAND TASK FORCE, HAS MET WITH

VINCENT HUNGWE, THE PERMANENT SECRETARY IN THE LANDS

MINISTRY AND THE OTHER CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE NECF LAND TASK

FORCE, LANDS MINISTER JOSEPH MADE, FINANCE MINISTER

SIMBA MAKONI, AND VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH MSIKA, WHO IS

THE NOMINAL HEAD OF THE GOZ LAND REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT

EFFORT IN THE CABINET. THE SWANEPOEL-LED GROUP HAS BEEN

ATTEMPTING TO SELL THE CFU’S PROPOSAL ON LAND REFORM TO

A SUSPICIOUS GOZ THAT CONTINUES TO VIEW ANY PROPOSALS

FROM THE CFU AND COMMERCIAL FARMERS AS DELAYING TACTICS

RATHER THAN GOOD FAITH EFFORTS TO SUPPORT LAND REFORM.

ACCORDING TO CLOETE, THE GOZ OFFICIALS HAVE INDICATED A

DESIRE TO CONTINUE THE DIALOGUE, BUT THEY ALSO WANT TO

SEE CONCRETE ACTIONS BY THE CFU. THESE INCLUDE THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04        HARARE 01276 01 OF 02 091254Z

WITHDRAWAL OF THE CFU LAWSUIT AGAINST THE GOZ ON THE

CONSTITUTIONALITY OF “FAST-TRACK” AND A PUBLIC

COMMITMENT TO IDENTIFY FIVE MILLION HECTARES OF

COMMERCIAL FARMLAND FOR RESETTLEMENT.

 

4. (C) CLOETE SAID THAT THE REQUEST TO WITHDRAW THE CFU

LAWSUIT IS A MOOT POINT. THE SUPREME COURT HAS ALREADY

RULED ON THE SUIT AND HAS FOUND IN FAVOR OF THE CFU AND

COMMERCIAL FARMERS. HOWEVER, THE CFU HAS PROMISED THAT

IT WILL NOT PURSUE A RULING OF CONTEMPT

 

(1 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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