Muchena said come hell or high water there is no reversing land issue


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Minister of State in Vice-President Joseph Msika’s Office Olivia Muchena told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald that the land reform programme in Zimbabwe was not going to be reversed come hell or high water.

She told the ambassador that there was no reason to talk to the Commercial Farmers Union because when she tried to talk to them they had mocked her as a person of no consequence.

Muchena had been previously deputy Minister of Agriculture.

She said the CFU had consistently sabotaged every reasonable attempt at land reform over the last 20 years, and yet they were the darlings of the international donor community.

Describing how black Zimbabweans had been uprooted in the 1952-1965 period, with their land and animals stolen, and forced to burn their own houses and possessions, she said there could be no dialogue on land reform.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE6283, THE AMBASSADOR CALLS ON A MUGABE LOYALIST

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

00HARARE6283

2000-11-07 16:43

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

 

071643Z Nov 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ8378

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06283 01 OF 02 071644Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AGRE-00 AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 COME-00

INL-00   DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EUR-00

FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00

SAS-00     /006W

——————9C0372 071649Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7581

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 006283

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AND AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

PASS USTR – ROSA WHITAKER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06283 01 OF 02 071644Z

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/07/10

TAGS: PGOV EAGR PINR ZI

SUBJECT: THE AMBASSADOR CALLS ON A MUGABE LOYALIST

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD. REASONS 1.5 (B)

AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: AMBASSADOR MCDONALD, ACCOMPANIED BY

LABOFF, PAID A CALL NOVEMBER 6 ON OLIVIA MUCHENA,

MINISTER OF STATE FOR VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH MSIKA, A

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, AND A MEMBER OF THE ZANU-PF

CENTRAL COMMITTEE. THE PURPOSE OF THE VISIT WAS TO

GAUGE THE WILLINGNESS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE

(GOZ) TO ENTER INTO DIALOGUE WITH THE OPPOSITION

POLITICAL PARTY MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC), AS

WELL AS OTHER CIVIL SOCIETY STAKEHOLDERS. WHILE THE

VISIT WAS GENERALLY CORDIAL, THE MINISTER DISPLAYED

COMPLETE INTRANSIGENCE ON THE POSSIBILITY OF THE GOZ

ENTERING INTO DIALOGUE WITH THE OPPOSITION. PERHAPS OF

EVEN GREATER CONCERN, SHE MADE CLEAR THAT THE GOZ WAS

MOVING FORWARD WITH ITS FAST TRACK LAND REFORM AND

RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM COME HELL-OR-HIGH-WATER, AND THAT

SHE EXPECTED THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO ANTE UP AT

THE END OF THE PROCESS TO MAKE IT ALL WORK. A PINPOINT

OF HOPE WAS HER RECOGNITION THAT COMBATING THE HIV/AIDS

PANDEMIC IS AN ISSUE THAT REQUIRES COOPERATION BETWEEN

ALL SIDES. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD PAID A VISIT TO OLIVIA

MUCHENA, THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR VICE PRESIDENT MSIKA

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06283 01 OF 02 071644Z

WHO HAS ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LAND

RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM. MUCHENA IS ALSO A MEMBER OF

PARLIAMENT, A MEMBER OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF ZANU-

PF, AND A TWENTY-YEAR SUPPORTER OF PRESIDENT MUGABE.

 

———————————–

NO REASON FOR DIALOGUE WITH THE MDC

———————————–

 

3. (C) AFTER EXCHANGING PLEASANTRIES, THE AMBASSADOR

EXPLAINED THAT HE WANTED TO USE HIS OFFICE TO HELP

BRIDGE THE GULF THAT CURRENTLY EXISTS BETWEEN THE GOZ

AND ZANU-PF ON ONE SIDE, AND THE OPPOSITION MDC ON THE

OTHER. THE AMBASSADOR REVEALED HIS CONCERN THAT

PRESSURE WAS INCREASING IN ZIMBABWE, AND THAT FOOD RIOTS

TWO WEEKS AGO MAY BE JUST THE FIRST INDICATION OF MORE

DISTURBANCES TO COME. WHAT WAS NEEDED IS TO GET THE TWO

SIDES TALKING, AND THE AMBASSADOR WISHED TO BE A

CATALYST. HE ASKED MINISTER MUCHENA WHAT WAS NEEDED TO

GET THE GOZ AND ZANU-PF TO SIT DOWN WITH THE MDC TO

START TALKING. MINISTER MUCHENA STATED THERE WAS

NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT WITH THE MDC. WHEN THE MDC MADE

THE MOTION TO IMPEACH PRESIDENT MUGABE, IT CLEARLY

INDICATED THERE WAS TO BE NO DIALOGUE. THIS STEP,

COMBINED WITH REPEATED CALLS BY THE MDC LEADERSHIP FOR

PRESIDENT MUGABE’S RESIGNATION BY DECEMBER, HAD SLAMMED

THE DOOR SHUT ON THE POSSIBILITY OF ANY TALKS BETWEEN

THE TWO SIDES. SHE STATED THERE COULD BE NO TALKS UNTIL

THE MDC WITHDREW ITS MOTION FOR IMPEACHMENT AND

RENOUNCED ITS CALLS FOR MUGABE TO RESIGN.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06283 01 OF 02 071644Z

———————————–

NO REASON FOR DIALOGUE WITH THE CFU

———————————–

 

4. (C) THE AMBASSADOR THEN EXPRESSED HIS CONCERNS ABOUT

THE ONGOING FAST TRACK LAND REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT

PROGRAM, AND ITS MOVEMENT FORWARD WITHOUT THE

COOPERATION OF THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION (CFU) OR THE

INTERNATIONAL DONOR COMMUNITY. HE ASKED IF IT WOULDN’T

BE USEFUL FOR THE GOZ TO TAKE A PAUSE IN THE PROGRAM,

SIT DOWN WITH THE CFU AND COME TO AN AGREEMENT ON A

PROGRAM THAT BOTH COULD SUPPORT, AND THEN PRESENT IT TO

THE DONORS FOR THEIR SUPPORT. AT THIS POINT MINISTER

MUCHENA EMBARKED ON A VITRIOLIC DIATRIBE AGAINST THE

CFU. SHE STATED THAT WHEN SHE HAD TRIED TO TALK WITH

THE CFU THEY HAD MOCKED HER AS A PERSON OF NO

CONSEQUENCE. IN HER OPINION THE CFU HAD CONSISTENTLY

SABOTAGED EVERY REASONABLE ATTEMPT AT LAND REFORM OVER

THE LAST TWENTY YEARS, AND YET THEY ARE THE DARLINGS OF

THE INTERNATIONAL DONOR COMMUNITY. THE AMBASSADOR

RESPONDED BY INDICATING THAT THE CFU WAS PART OF THE

PROBLEM, BUT THAT THEIR COOPERATION WAS STILL ESSENTIAL

TO STRIKING ANY DEAL.

 

AMBASSADOR MCDONALD THEN CHANGED TACK AT THIS POINT AND

INDICATED THAT A SPECIFIC CONCERN OF HIS WERE THE FARM

WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES ON THE COMMERCIAL FARMS WHO

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ8379

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06283 02 OF 02 071644Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AGRE-00 AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 COME-00

INL-00   DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EUR-00

FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00

SAS-00     /006W

——————9C037C 071649Z /38

P 071643Z NOV 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7582

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 006283

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AND AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

PASS USTR – ROSA WHITAKER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06283 02 OF 02 071644Z

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/07/10

TAGS: PGOV EAGR PINR ZI

SUBJECT: THE AMBASSADOR CALLS ON A MUGABE LOYALIST

 

HAD BEEN THREATENED AND AT TIMES ASSAULTED SINCE

FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR, AND WERE NOT BEING PLANNED FOR AS

FAR AS HE COULD TELL IN THE GOZ’S RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM.

RATHER THAN RESPOND TO THIS ISSUE, MINISTER MUCHENA

LAUNCHED INTO ANOTHER DIATRIBE ON HOW BLACK ZIMBABWEANS

HAD BEEN UPROOTED IN THE 1952 – 1965 PERIOD, WITH THEIR

LAND AND ANIMALS STOLEN, FORCED TO BURN THEIR OWN HOUSES

AND POSSESSIONS. SHE SAID THERE COULD BE NO DIALOGUE ON

LAND REFORM. THE PEOPLE SUPPORT THE PROGRAM, AND THEY

WANT THE GOZ TO COMPLETE IT BY THE END OF NOVEMBER SO

THAT THE GOZ CAN GET ON TO OTHER BUSINESS.

 

———————————————

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL SAVE THE DAY

———————————————

 

5. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD RETURNED TO THE GENERAL THEME

OF HIS CONCERN THAT TENSIONS WERE DANGEROUSLY INCREASING

IN ZIMBABWE AND THERE WAS A NEED FOR THE GOZ TO BEGIN

DIALOGUE WITH THE OPPOSITION. HE STATED HE WAS

CONCERNED WITH THE ANGER OF THE YOUTH IN THE HIGH-

DENSITY SUBURBS OF HARARE AND OTHER URBAN AREAS. ANGER

OVER RISING FOOD PRICES, FUEL COSTS, AND ESPECIALLY THE

LACK OF JOBS, THE AMBASSADOR EXPLAINED, COMPOUNDED BY

THE POSSIBILITY THAT ZIMBABWE MAY FACE FOOD SHORTAGES IN

THE FUTURE DUE TO THE CURRENT RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06283 02 OF 02 071644Z

LANDLESS PEOPLE ARE JUST BEING TAKEN OUT TO COMMERCIAL

FARMS AND DROPPED OFF, WITHOUT THE GOZ BEING ABLE TO

PROVIDE THE NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE AND INPUTS SUCH AS

SEEDS, FERTILIZER, AND TRACTORS THEY WILL NEED TO BE

SUCCESSFUL FARMERS, AND THIS SITUATION WOULD INEVITABLY

LEAD TO PROBLEMS FOR ZIMBABWE. MINISTER MUCHENA

RESPONDED THAT HER VISITS TO THE HIGH-DENSITY SUBURBS

HAD REVEALED THAT THE YOUNG PEOPLE SUPPORTED THE GOZ AND

ZANU-PF AND THEY NOW REALIZE THEY HAD BEEN MISLED BY THE

MDC. ON THE ISSUE OF PEOPLE BEING DUMPED ON FARMS

WITHOUT THE NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE, INPUTS, AND

SUPPORT, SHE LOOKED RIGHT AT THE AMBASSADOR AND STATED,

“YOUR GOVERNMENT CAN EASILY PROVIDE THESE THINGS.”

 

————————————-

AN ISSUE TO UNITE ZANU-PF AND THE MDC

————————————-

 

6. (C) IN A CLOSING EFFORT TO ELICIT SOME SLIVER OF

COMPROMISE FROM THE MINISTER, THE AMBASSADOR RAISED THE

AIDS EPIDEMIC RAVAGING ZIMBABWE. HE POINTED OUT THAT

THIS DISEASE DIDN’T RECOGNIZE PARTY AFFILIATION, BUT IS

AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY KILLER OF BOTH ZANU-PF AND MDC

MEMBERS. THIS ISSUE APPEARED TO STRIKE A CHORD WITH THE

MINISTER AND SHE LET HER GUARD DOWN SOMEWHAT, AGREEING

THAT ALL ZIMBABWEANS NEEDED TO WORK TOGETHER ON IT.

IGNORING THE PARTY ISSUE, SHE WENT TO HER DESK AND

HANDED THE AMBASSADOR A PAMPHLET ON A PROGRAM SHE HAD

DEVISED TO DEVELOP SPORTS LEAGUES FOR YOUTH IN RURAL

AREAS AND TO USE SPORTING EVENTS TO SPREAD THE MESSAGE

ABOUT HIV/AIDS AND ITS PREVENTION.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06283 02 OF 02 071644Z

 

7. (C) COMMENT: MINISTER MUCHENA’S HARDLINE ATTITUDE IS

REFLECTIVE OF THE FORTRESS MENTALITY THAT HAS TAKEN HOLD

OF PRESIDENT MUGABE AND HIS SUPPORTERS IN THE GOZ AND

ZANU-PF. HER DENIAL OF THE LOSS OF SUPPORT AND NON-

RECOGNITION THAT PRESSURE IS BUILDING FOR CHANGE,

NECESSITATING DIALOGUE WITH THE OPPOSITION, REFLECTS

ACCURATELY HOW OUT OF TOUCH THE HARDLINERS ARE. MOST

WORRISOME, THOUGH, WAS HER STATEMENT THAT THE GOZ WOULD

PUSH AHEAD WITH AND COMPLETE BY THE END OF NOVEMBER THE

FAST TRACK LAND REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM,

IGNORING CONCERNS EXPRESSED BY AGRICULTURAL EXPERTS,

DOMESTIC PUBLIC OPINION, AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

THAT IT WILL BE DISASTROUS FOR ZIMBABWE. END COMMENT.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(7 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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