Mnangagwa says disruption is cost of redistributing land


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Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald that disruptions to the economy caused by the land reform programme were the cost of redistributing ownership of the land.

He said the government had been forced to embark on the fast track land reform programme because the gradual programme that had been agreed at the donors’ conference in 1998 was too slow and would have kept the land issue at the forefront of the political debate for at least five years.

He admitted that the programme had damaged the economy and could lead to possible food shortages but added that this was the cost to redrawing the lines of land ownership.

Though large-scale production would be hurt and would take years to recover, Mnangagwa said staple food production would not be affected because it was dominated small-scale and communal farmers.

When the ambassador said the government should come up with a transparent and fair process of land reform, Mnangagwa said the government would determine its own plans for land reform. Donors could then decide whether or not to help.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 00HARARE5137, AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH NEW PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE5137

2000-09-13 14:13

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.

 

131413Z Sep 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3367

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 05137 01 OF 03 131415Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AGRE-00 AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00

SMEC-00 COME-00 CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00

SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   EXIM-01 E-00     FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00

ITC-01   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   SSO-00   SS-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

SWCI-00   /013W

——————84C55A 131415Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7082

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 005137

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/12/10

TAGS: PREL ECON EFIN EAGR PINR PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH NEW PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 05137 01 OF 03 131415Z

MNANGAGWA

 

REF: HARARE 5003

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR MCDONALD. REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND

(D).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) IN A MEETING WITH AMBASSADOR MCDONALD ON

SEPTEMBER 11, NEW PARLIAMENT SPEAKER EMMERSON MNANGAGWA

INITIALLY DENIED THAT HE WAS STILL A KEY PLAYER ON DRC

POLICY, BUT LATER ADMITTED THAT HE WOULD TRAVEL SOON TO

KINSHASA, AT PRESIDENT MUGABE’S REQUEST, TO LEARN

KABILA’S LATEST THINKING ON LUSAKA.   MNANGAGWA DESCRIBED

THE NEW PARLIAMENT AS LIVELY. ZANU-PF AND THE MDC SHARE

A COMMON ASSESSMENT OF ZIMBABWE’S CURRENT PROBLEMS BUT

DISAGREE ON PROPOSED SOLUTIONS, AND NEITHER PARTY WOULD

ALLOW THE GOVERNMENT TO RUSH THINGS THROUGH THE

LEGISLATIVE BODY. MNANGAGWA SPOKE HIGHLY OF THE

USAID/SUNY-ALBANY PARLIAMENTARY REFORM PROJECT.

 

2. (C) ON LAND, MNANGAGWA SAID THE GOVERNMENT HAD BEEN

FORCED TO PROCEED WITH ITS FAST TRACK RESETTLEMENT EFFORT

BECAUSE THE PLAN LAID OUT BY THE SEPTEMBER 1998 DONORS

CONFERENCE HAD BEEN TOO GRADUAL. WHEN THE AMBASSADOR

EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE DAMAGING IMPACT ON THE

ECONOMY, WITH FOOD SHORTAGES LIKELY, MNANGAGWA SAID THAT

WAS THE COST OF REDISTRIBUTING LAND OWNERSHIP. MNANGAGWA

ACKNOWLEDGED THE OCCURRENCE OF PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE AND

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 05137 01 OF 03 131415Z

INSISTED THE GOZ HAD INVESTIGATED THE INCIDENTS ACTIVELY,

BUT BLAMED THE COURTS FOR NOT PROCESSING THE CASES

EXPEDITIOUSLY. END SUMMARY.

 

3. (C) THE AMBASSADOR, ACCOMPANIED BY POLOFFS, CALLED ON

NEW PARLIAMENT SPEAKER EMMERSON MNANGAGWA ON SEPTEMBER

11. MNANGAGWA WAS JOINED BY SENIOR INTERNATIONAL

RELATIONS OFFICER EDISON PARADZA.

 

DROC

—-

 

4. (C) AFTER CONGRATULATING MNANGAGWA ON HIS NEW

APPOINTMENT, THE AMBASSADOR RAISED DRC, EMPHASIZING

CONTINUING U.S. CONCERNS ABOUT PRESIDENT KABILA’S REFUSAL

TO IMPLEMENT FULLY THE LUSAKA ACCORDS. THE UNITED STATES

HOPED ZIMBABWE COULD PREVAIL ON KABILA TO HONOR HIS

COMMITMENTS. MNANGAGWA SAID HE WAS NO LONGER DIRECTLY

INVOLVED IN DRC POLICY, BUT PROVIDED HIS ASSESSMENT OF

WHERE THE PEACE PROCESS STOOD. THE DRC, HE SAID, HAS

BEEN VERY HARD ON THE ISSUE OF WHERE MONUC TROOPS ARE

DEPLOYED. THE GOZ HAS REMINDED THE CONGOLESE THEY HAVE

TO ACCEPT THE DEPLOYMENT, AND TOLD THEM THAT LOCATION OF

MONUC TROOPS SHOULD BE A MILITARY DECISION DICTATED BY

EVENTS ON THE GROUND.   MNANGAGWA THEN, LATER IN THE

MEETING, ADMITTED THAT HE HAD SPOKEN TO KABILA IN LATE

AUGUST AND, AT PRESIDENT MUGABE’S INSTRUCTION, WOULD SOON

TRAVEL TO KINSHASA TO LEARN KABILA’S LATEST THINKING ON

THE PEACE PROCESS.

 

PARLIAMENT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 05137 01 OF 03 131415Z

———-

 

5. (C) MNANGAGWA DESCRIBED THE NEW PARLIAMENT AS “VERY

LIVELY.” HE NOTED THAT HE HAD SPENT 20 YEARS IN

PARLIAMENT AND FELT VERY COMFORTABLE THERE. BOTH ZANU-PF

AND THE MDC, HE THOUGHT, RESPECTED HIS LEADERSHIP STYLE.

HE CLAIMED THAT, WHEN HE IS NOT IN THE SPEAKER’S CHAIR,

THE TWO PARTIES ARE AT EACH OTHER’S THROATS AND THERE IS

CHAOS IN THE HOUSE. PARLIAMENT, WHICH CONVENES TUESDAY

THROUGH THURSDAY, WILL BE IN SESSION THROUGH MID-

DECEMBER, WITH A THREE-WEEK BREAK FROM SEPTEMBER 21 TO

OCTOBER 17.

 

6. (C) THE AMBASSADOR ASKED WHETHER ZANU-PF AND THE MDC

WOULD BE ABLE TO WORK TOGETHER. THE TWO PARTIES,

MNANGAGWA REPLIED, HAVE A COMMON PERCEPTION OF MANY

ISSUES, BUT DISAGREE ON HOW THEY SHOULD BE RESOLVED. FOR

INSTANCE, THEY SHARE THE VIEW THAT LAND REFORM IS

NECESSARY AND THAT THE ECONOMY IS “IN THE DOLDRUMS,” BUT

HAVE PROPOSED DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS. THE DEVIL IS IN THE

DETAILS, HE SAID. BOTH PARTIES, THOUGH, WANT

TRANSPARENCY AND WOULD NOT ALLOW THE GOVERNMENT TO RUSH

THINGS THROUGH WITHOUT ADEQUATE SCRUTINY.

 

7. (C) ASKED WHETHER HE WAS AWARE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY

REFORM PROJECT FUNDED BY THE USG THROUGH USAID AND

ADMINISTERED THROUGH SUNY-ALBANY, MNANGAGWA SAID HE HAD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3370

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 05137 02 OF 03 131415Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AGRE-00 AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00

SMEC-00 COME-00 CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00

SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   EXIM-01 E-00     FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00

ITC-01   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   SSO-00   SS-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

SWCI-00   /013W

——————84C574 131415Z /38

P 131413Z SEP 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7083

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

NSC WASHDC

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 005137

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/12/10

TAGS: PREL ECON EFIN EAGR PINR PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH NEW PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 05137 02 OF 03 131415Z

MNANGAGWA

 

THAT MORNING ATTENDED A SUNY-ALBANY WORKSHOP ON BUDGETARY

OVERSIGHT. HE EXPRESSED APPRECIATION FOR THE PROJECT AND

SAID HE INTENDED TO TALK TO SUNY-ALBANY AND USAID ABOUT

DOING EVEN MORE.

 

LAND

—-

 

8. (C) THE AMBASSADOR EXPRESSED SERIOUS U.S. CONCERN

ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT’S FAST TRACK RESETTLEMENT EXERCISE.

WE HAD BEEN ENCOURAGED BY THE RECENT POLICE EVICTIONS OF

WAR VETERANS FROM SOME FARMS, BUT THE EVICTIONS HAVE NOW

STOPPED. HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER JOHN NKOMO, MNANGAGWA

REPLIED, ORDERED POLICE TO EVICT VETERANS FROM FARMS NOT

IDENTIFIED FOR COMPULSORY ACQUISITION, BUT POLICE THEN

WENT BEYOND THEIR MANDATE WHEN THEY DESTROYED THE

SQUATTERS’ PROPERTY. ONCE ALL FARMS HAVE BEEN

IDENTIFIED, WAR VETERANS WOULD BE MOVED FROM NON-

IDENTIFIED FARMS TO FARMS ON THE LIST. ASKED WHETHER

THEY WOULD BE ASKED TO MOVE VOLUNTARILY OR WHETHER POLICE

WOULD BE INVOLVED, MNANGAGWA SAID HE DID NOT THINK FORCE

WOULD BE USED. HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE QUESTION OF LAW

AND ORDER MUST BE ADDRESSED, AS SOME WAR VETERANS ARE

OCCUPYING FARMS THAT WILL NEVER BE RESETTLED AND CANNOT

BE ALLOWED TO DISTURB PRODUCTION THERE.

 

9. (C) MNANGAGWA ADMITTED THAT THIS PLANTING SEASON WILL

BE AFFECTED BY THE RESETTLEMENT EXERCISE, SO IT IS

IMPORTANT FOR THE GOZ TO SETTLE THE LAND ISSUE AS SOON AS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 05137 02 OF 03 131415Z

POSSIBLE. HE PREDICTED THAT COMMERCIAL FARMERS WOULD

KNOW WHERE THEY STAND BY NOVEMBER. THE AMBASSADOR

EXPRESSED SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT THE DAMAGE TO THE

ECONOMY, WITH POSSIBLE FOOD SHORTAGES NEXT YEAR. THERE

IS A COST TO REDRAWING THE LINES OF LAND OWNERSHIP,

MNANGAGWA SAID.   LARGE-SCALE COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION WOULD

BE HURT AND WOULD TAKE SEVERAL YEARS TO RECOVER, BUT

STAPLE FOODS ARE PRODUCED PRIMARILY BY SMALL-SCALE AND

COMMUNAL FARMERS AND WOULD NOT BE GREATLY AFFECTED BY THE

RESETTLEMENT EFFORT.

 

10. (C) THE UNITED STATES, THE AMBASSADOR NOTED, AGREES

THAT LAND REFORM IS NECESSARY AND WE WANT TO HELP, BUT

NOT UNDER CURRENT CONDITIONS. THE GOZ FIRST HAD TO

DEVISE A FAIR, TRANSPARENT PROCESS. THE GOZ, MNANGAGWA

SAID SHARPLY, WOULD DETERMINE ITS OWN PLAN FOR LAND

REFORM, AND THE DONORS COULD THEN DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT

TO HELP. THE SEPTEMBER 1998 DONORS CONFERENCE HAD LAID

OUT A PROCESS THAT WAS TOO GRADUAL. ABIDING BY THAT PLAN

WOULD HAVE KEPT LAND IN THE FOREFRONT OF POLITICAL DEBATE

IN ZIMBABWE FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS. THE GOVERNMENT,

THEREFORE, HAD BY NECESSITY DECIDED ON A MORE EXPEDITED

APPROACH. THE GOZ IS GETTING LAND MORE QUICKLY INTO THE

HANDS OF THOSE WHO NEED IT, THEN WILL FOCUS ON HOW TO

EMPOWER THOSE WHO ARE RESETTLED.

 

PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE

———————

 

11. (C) MNANGAGWA ACKNOWLEDGED THE OCCURRENCE OF

POLITICAL VIOLENCE PRIOR TO THE JUNE ELECTION, BUT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 05137 02 OF 03 131415Z

INSISTED THAT SUCH INCIDENTS HAVE DIED DOWN. THE

AMBASSADOR AGREED THAT THE SITUATION WAS SOMEWHAT CALMER,

BUT NOTED THAT WE CONTINUE TO RECEIVE REPORTS OF VIOLENCE

AND INTIMIDATION ON COMMERCIAL FARMS. MNANGAGWA SAID

THAT ANYONE WHO COMMITS A CRIME MUST BE BROUGHT TO

JUSTICE. MNANGAGWA BLAMED THE COURTS FOR FAILING TO ACT

EXPEDITIOUSLY ON THE NUMEROUS CASES REFERRED TO THEM. HE

CLAIMED THAT 189 CASES OF PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE IN

MIDLANDS PROVINCE HAD BEEN REFERRED TO THE COURTS, AND 14

SUSPECTS HAD BEEN CONVICTED AND SENTENCED TO TERMS

RANGING FROM 6-14 MONTHS. ASKED WHETHER ANYONE HAD BEEN

TRIED AND SENTENCED FOR THE 31 REPORTED MURDERS COMMITTED

DURING THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN, MNANGAGWA WAS EVASIVE, ONLY

INSISTING THAT THE GOZ HAD DONE ITS JOB BY INVESTIGATING

AND TURNING OVER CASES TO THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM. THE

AMBASSADOR POINTED OUT THAT GOVERNMENT PROSECUTORS PLAY A

CRITICAL ROLE IN PUSHING CASES THROUGH THE JUDICIAL

SYSTEM.

 

COMMENT

——-

12. (C) MNANGAGWA, A MUGABE CONFIDANT AND FORMER

MINISTER OF JUSTICE WITH A CHECKERED PAST, WAS CLEARLY

PLEASED TO BE IN HIS NEW POSITION. HE ENJOYS THE RESPECT

OF SOME LEGISLATORS, ALTHOUGH MOST FEAR HIM. AS REPORTED

REFTEL, HE HAS SO FAR BEEN EVEN-HANDED IN HIS RUNNING OF

THE PROCEEDINGS, AND HAS NOT ATTEMPTED TO STIFLE VIGOROUS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3371

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 05137 03 OF 03 131415Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AGRE-00 AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00

SMEC-00 COME-00 CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00

SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   EXIM-01 E-00     FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00

ITC-01   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   SSO-00 SS-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

SWCI-00   /013W

——————84C578 131415Z /38

P 131413Z SEP 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7084

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

NSC WASHDC

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 005137

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/12/10

TAGS: PREL ECON EFIN EAGR PINR PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH NEW PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 05137 03 OF 03 131415Z

MNANGAGWA

 

CRITICISMS OF THE GOVERNMENT BY MDC MPS.   WE HAVE NO

DOUBT, HOWEVER, THAT THE MAN KNOWN AS MUGABE’S ENFORCER

WILL DO ALL HE CAN TO PREVENT THE MDC FROM ALTERING

GOVERNMENT POLICY ON KEY ISSUES SUCH AS LAND

RESETTLEMENT, ECONOMIC REFORM, AND MILITARY INVOLVEMENT

IN THE DRC.

 

13. (C) DESPITE HIS INITIAL COY DENIALS, MNANGAGWA

REMAINS A VERY KEY PLAYER ON DRC POLICY. WE WILL

CONTINUE TO STAY IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH HIM ON DRC AND WILL

SEEK A READOUT AFTER HIS RETURN FROM KINSHASA.

MNANGAGWA’S COMMENTS ON LAND REFLECT A WORRYING

DETERMINATION TO GO IT ALONE WITH THE FAST-TRACK

RESETTLEMENT EFFORT IF NECESSARY, REGARDLESS OF THE

ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES. HIS ATTEMPTS TO BLAME THE COURTS

FOR THE LACK OF ACTION IN THE MANY INCIDENTS OF PRE-

ELECTION VIOLENCE ARE SIMPLY NOT CREDIBLE. THE GOZ BEARS

THE PREDOMINANT BLAME FOR PREVENTING THE POLICE FROM

INVESTIGATING THESE CASES RIGOROUSLY ENOUGH, IF AT ALL.

ACCORDING TO A LEADING HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP HERE, ALTHOUGH

THERE WERE 31 MURDERS REPORTED DURING THE ELECTION

CAMPAIGN, ONLY ONE SUSPECT IN ONE CASE HAS BEEN ARRESTED.

THIS GROUP TOLD US THAT THE KILLERS IN SOME OF THE OTHER

CASES ARE KNOWN, BUT CONTINUE TO CIRCULATE WITH IMPUNITY

IN THEIR COMMUNITIES.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 05137 03 OF 03 131415Z

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(46 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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