Made warned white farmers not to sabotage reform programme


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Lands and Agriculture Minister Joseph Made warned white commercial farmers not to sabotage the land reform programme by removing equipment such as irrigation equipment, tractors and farm vehicles from that farms that had been compulsorily acquired.

Made noted that after receiving a Section 5 notice, the landowner shall not: subdivide the property, make any further permanent improvements, dispose of the property, damage the property, or carry out any other activities which sabotage the smooth implementation of the land reform programme.

Under Section 8 notices, Made stated that: “White commercial farmers must stand warned that government will not tolerate interference of the operations of the newly settled farmer.”

These statements were aimed at implying that irrigation equipment, tractors, and even farm vehicles belonged to the land and their removal therefore constituted both sabotage against the land reform programme and interference with the operations of newly settled farmers.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE981, MADE’S STATEMENT RE: LAND REFORM: MORE OF THE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE981

2002-04-23 14:18

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000981

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

 

STATE FOR AF/S, AF/EX, HR/OE

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER

TREASURY FOR ED BARBER AND C WILKINSON

USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

RIO FOR WEISSMAN

PRETORIA PASS AG ATTACHE HELM

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EAGR ECON PGOV PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: MADE’S STATEMENT RE: LAND REFORM: MORE OF THE

SAME

 

 

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED, PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY

NOT FOR INTERNET POSTING

 

1. (SBU) Summary: In a press statement on April 12, 2002,

Minister of Agriculture Joseph Made clarified the GOZ’s

stance on the conduct of its land resettlement program.

While much of the statement merely repeated the ruling

party’s rhetoric, portions revealed some of the GOZ’s more

subtle intentions. Made indicated that the GOZ will continue

to target white farmers, regardless of nationality.

Simultaneously, the statement carved out an exemption to

maximum farm size for black indigenous farmers and those A2

program farmers — primarily ruling party cronies — who have

already seized prime properties. Made’s statement also

indicated a desire to return to a command economy, with

certain crops “emphasized,” production targets established,

and price structures dictated by the GOZ. The statement

warned white commercial farmers to halt what is labeled the

destruction of infrastructure on acquired farms (by the

removal of irrigation and other movable farm equipment),

despite the terms of the law and the Abuja Agreement that

allows such assets to be removed, In closing, Made assured

all that there will be “no going back” on the land reform

program. End summary.

 

——————-

Acquisition Notices

——————-

2. (SBU) Made’s statement began with a review of the effect

of receipt of both Section 5 (preliminary) notices and

Section 8 (acquisition) notices. Throughout, the statement

also includes a clear subtext that warns and admonishes white

farmers whose property is targeted. In the segment regarding

Section 5 notices, Made noted that after receiving such a

notice, the landowner shall not: subdivide the property, make

any further permanent improvements, dispose of the property,

damage the property, or carry out any other activities which

sabotage the smooth implementation of the land reform

program. In the segment regarding Section 8 notices, Made

stated that “White commercial farmers must stand warned that

government will not tolerate interference of the operations

of the newly settled farmer.” These statements lay the

groundwork for Made’s subsequent quantum leap whereby

irrigation equipment, tractors, and even farm vehicles are

interpreted as belonging to the land, and whose removal

therefore constitutes both sabotage against the land reform

program and interference with the operations of newly settled

farmers.

 

—————–

Maximum Farm Size

—————–

3. (SBU) The statement also addressed the maximum farm size

issue. Made’s statement indicated that all farms, even those

not gazetted for compulsory acquisition, would be sub-divided

to comply with the maximum farm size limits. There are a few

exempt categories, most of which are political. In addition

to exempting state lands, church/mission lands, and lands

belonging to educational institutions, the maximum size

initiative will exempt those properties owned by black

indigenous farmers and properties where A1/A2 allocations

have already taken place. Anecdotal reports from commercial

farmers, as well as newspaper reports, indicate that many of

the A2 “settlers” are actually Zanu-PF officials or military

officers grabbing large chunks of prime land for their

personal benefit.

 

—————————————-

Claims of Sabotage by Commercial Farmers

—————————————-

4. (SBU) Made claimed that he had received reports of

commercial farmers deliberately destroying infrastructure in

order to frustrate government efforts to grow a winter crop.

In addition to equating removal of irrigation equipment with

sabotage, Made made a spurious claim that commercial farmers

have sprayed sugarcane plantations with harmful chemicals and

deliberately infected cattle with diseases. What facts these

claims are based on were left unrevealed. Other parts of the

statement emphasize that anything on a farm, movable,

immovable, perishable or not, must stay on the property when

the commercial farmer is evicted. Made stated that no

departing farmer would be granted an export permit to remove

“farm equipment,” a term which he now uses interchangeably

with “infrastructure”.

 

———————–

Ministry Civil Servants

———————–

5. (SBU) In the statement Made also claimed that he was aware

that some lower-level government personnel were acting in

concert with commercial farmers to derail and delay the land

reform program. His message was that heads will roll if such

practices continue. Commercial farmers tell us that they

wish such were the case, but no one, not even the local

police they have known for years, is willing to stand up for

rights or principles or in the path of the illegal and still

violent juggernaut.

 

——————–

Statement Conclusion

——————–

6. (SBU) Made concluded that the Land Reform and Agrarian

Reform program is well crafted, as it is based upon studies

that show Zimbabwe has land that is under-utilized and

virgin. Made righteously pronounced that the land

re-distribution program would “ensure that agricultural

production is never again in the hands of a few who

under-utilise or hold to ransom the means of food security,

employment creation, and economic growth,” a line unashamedly

cribbed from the President’s speech book. This oratory

contrasts starkly with the reality of the exercise, as

productive land is seized, looted, divided, and returned to

subsistence practices that will result in environmental

degradation and massive food shortfalls. The country’s

agricultural sector has already devolved from a

self-sustaining profitable enterprise, which earned much of

Zimbabwe’s forex, to a wounded and crippled activity with

tens of thousands of displaced workers and a reduced ability

to feed the population.

 

SULLIVAN

 

(23 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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