Mnangagwa said land reform was chaotic only in Mashonaland and Mat. North


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Politburo member Emmerson Mnangagwa expressed dismay at why the land reform programme was so chaotic in Mashonaland and Matabeleland North since the policy was clear- one man one farm.

He said he could not understand why people violated that policy to acquire more than one farm or why some farmers were being left landless.

He said the only explanation could be that the land was so rich that people were just scrambling for it.

He said there was no chaos in his province, the Midlands, where only 13 of the 324 commercial farmers had left.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE2127, CORRUPTION IN LAND ACQUISITION

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE2127

2002-09-23 10:16

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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002127

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/20/2012

TAGS: EAGR PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: CORRUPTION IN LAND ACQUISITION

 

 

Classified By: Political Officer Kimberly Jemison for Reasons 1.5(c) an

d (d).

 

1. (U) SUMMARY: The Zimbabwe executive office issued a

directive, circulated as a diplomatic note on 13 September,

putatively intended to rein in over-zealous government

officials in their acquisition of land. An independent press

report, supported by the diplomatic note, and comments by

Speaker of the Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa, exposed the

lack of control the ZANU-PF leadership has exercised over the

distribution of land. END SUMMARY.

 

——————————————— –

ZANU-PF LEADERSHIP LITTLE CONTROL OVER PROCESS

——————————————— –

2. (U) In response to the actions of some of its party

members over land acquisitions, the ZANU-PF executive office

issued a directive to the Cabinet. The problems are with

some farmers losing their only farms and some ZANU-PF

officials obtaining more than one farm. The Embassy received

a copy of a diplomatic note issued by the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs on September 13 from the Norwegian Embassy. The

diplomatic note subtly stated that Acting President Simon

Muzenda had issued a directive to government officials that

they must adhere to the one man-one farm policy. The

directive also stated that even Zimbabwean farmers of

European descent are entitled to one farm, and that

deviations from official policy must be discontinued.

 

3. (U) A Financial Gazette article on 19 September

highlighted the extent of the lack of control the ZANU-PF

leadership has had over the land process. According to the

article, ZANU-PF parliamentarians, cabinet members, and

Politburo members have been defying President Mugabe,s

directive of one man-one farm by capitalizing on white

farmers, need for up-front cash and by creating black-owned

agricultural companies as fronts for acquiring multiple

farms. Representatives from the agricultural firms approach

farmers whose property has been listed and offer to buy the

properties promptly as an alternative to waiting for

government compensation. The businessmen and ZANU-PF

politicians then facilitate the de-listing of these

properties because they are in the hands of blacks.

According to the article, more than 20 white-owned farms have

been acquired in this manner.

 

4. (U) Senior ZANU-PF Politburo member and Speaker of the

Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa, in a September 19 meeting with

the Ambassador, expressed befuddlement over why the process

was so chaotic in Mashonaland and Matabeleland North. He

commented that the policy is so clear–one man-one farm–that

he cannot understand why people violate it and acquire more

than one farm, or why some farmers were being left landless.

The only rationale he offered for the situation was that the

land is so rich people are just scrambling for it.

 

——————————–

LAND REDISTRIBUTION WINDING DOWN

——————————–

5. (U) Also in the September 19 meeting, Mnangagwa said the

land acquisition exercise was winding down and at the end of

it all the government will have acquired between 10.6 and

10.8 million hectares of land. He insisted that most of the

current problems with farms were occurring in Mashonaland and

Matabeleland North and not in his province of Midlands or in

Manicaland. He also claimed that land acquisition was

complete in Midlands and Manicaland with most of the

infrastructure still intact. For example, in Midlands, 311

of the original 324 commercial farmers have remained and are

providing assistance to newly settled farmers so production

will not be reduced significantly. Mnangagwa said of the 13

who left, two were elderly couples whose children were living

abroad. He said the government assisted them in disposing of

their farms. Nine of the 13 farmers were not happy with the

reduced farm sizes (from 5000 ha to 2000 ha) and opted to

leave.

 

6. (C) COMMENT: The diplomatic note, Financial gazette

article, and Mnangagwa,s musings about the chaotic land

process suggest that the senior ZANU-PF leadership have had

little control over the land redistribution process or are

trying to convey this impression in order to avoid blame for

the disastrous consequences. The dip note is surprising in

that the GOZ has not generally reprimanded its party members

for their actions related to land policy. Its circulation on

the eve of the Commonwealth Troika meeting suggests a cynical

ploy to acknowledge that the commitments made at the

September 2001 Abuja meetings and in Mugabe’s recent speeches

have not been met, while showing what to do better. It could

be also part of a longer term plan to get international aid

by showing that they are pursuing members who abuse their

privileges with respect to land. Whatever the motives, the

GOZ has clearly encouraged chaos intended to drive commercial

farmers off the land and has made minimal or no effort to

control abuses at odds with their own commitments.

SULLIVAN

 

(29 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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