Mutsekwa against land seizures


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Co-Minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa was one of the top Movement for Democratic Change ministers who spoke against continued farm invasions at a cabinet meeting on 24 March 2009, two months after the formation of the inclusive government.

According to Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Gorden Moyo, there had been a “fiery” debate at the cabinet meeting with the MDC asserting that farm invasions must stop.

MDC ministers who spoke against the invasions were Moyo himself, Finance Minister Tendai Biti, Information Communications Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa, and Mutsekwa.

They were supported by Vice President Joice Mujuru and Transport Minister Nicholas Goche from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

According to the United States embassy farm seizures and evictions had accelerated since the formation of the inclusive government because ZANU-PF was trying to get the MDC to take what might be perceived as an anti liberation, pro-Western position.

It was also a desire to loot machinery and other farm equipment and a last-gasp seizure of farms in the event that rule of law was ultimately restored.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE257, MDC ON LAND SEIZURES, POLITICS

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID 

Created 

Classification 

Origin 

09HARARE257

2009-03-26 09:57

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO0391
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #0257/01 0850957
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 260957Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4280
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2723
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2845
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1299
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2110
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2466
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2893
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5332
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2012
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000257 
 
SIPDIS 
 
AF/S FOR B.WALCH 
DRL FOR N. WILETT 
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU 
ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS 
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR J. HARMON AND L. DOBBINS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/26/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: MDC ON LAND SEIZURES, POLITICS 
 
Classified By: CDA Katherine Dhanani for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
--------------------- 
MDC Minister of State 
--------------------- 
 
1. (C) Gorden Moyo is the Minister of State in Prime 
Minister Tsvangirai's office. He serves as a chief of staff 
for Tsvangirai, helping to coordinate MDC policy and serving 
as a liaison with ZANU-PF. Moyo offered us his observations 
March 26 on land seizures and the political situation. 
 
2. (C) According to Moyo, a "fiery" debate took place at the 
Cabinet meeting on March 24 with the MDC asserting that farm 
invasions were occuring and should stop, and that white 
farmers were being illegally evicted. Leading the MDC charge 
were Moyo, Minister of Finance Tendai Biti, Minister of 
Information Communications Technology Nelson Chamisa, and 
Minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa. Although most 
ZANU-PF ministers, led by Minister of Justice Patrick 
Chinamasa pushed back and argued that legal processes were 
being followed and that there was no need for action, Vice 
President Joice Mujuru and Minister of Transport and 
Infrastucture Development Nicholas Goche sided with the MDC. 
Mujuru said the invasions and evictions would have a negative 
effect on the winter wheat crop. Goche was concerned that 
violations of Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion 
(BIPPA) agreements through the seizure of foreign-owned farms 
would adversely impact Zimbabwe's foreign relations. 
 
3. (C) Ultimately, Mugabe and Cabinet agreed to refer the 
issue to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee 
(JOMIC) for documentation of specific violations, and also to 
initiate a farm audit. Government principals Mugabe, 
Tsvangirai, and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara will 
meet March 30 on the land issue. The MDC will demand that 
Mugabe issue a public statement condemning the invasions and 
ordering that they cease. If Mugabe does not do so, the MDC 
will ask for the intervention of SADC. 
 
4. (C) Turning to the political economy, Moyo said inability 
to pay civil servant salaries and at the same time meet 
recurring expenditures and make capital investments was 
crippling the government and weakening the MDC. He said 
payment in forex of February salaries had been credited to 
the MDC and, demonstrating it could produce, had given it 
leverage with ZANU-PF. Government was now in a financial 
squeeze. It had been unable to fully pay March salaries and 
the potential inability to pay fuel and energy bills could 
soon result in petrol shortages and increased power outages. 
As a result, Moyo opined, the MDC had lost its leverage as 
ZANU-PF (or at least the hardliners) sat on the sidelines 
gleefully watching MDC ministers struggle with the financial 
situation. Moyo feared that there could soon be 
demonstrations and teacher strikes directed at the MDC. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
5. (C) Farm seizures and evictions have accelerated since 
Tsvangirai's inauguration on February 11 due to a combination 
QTsvangirai's inauguration on February 11 due to a combination 
of factors: ZANU-PF's political tactic of trying to get the 
MDC to take what may be perceived as an anti-liberation, 
pro-Western position, a desire to loot machinery and other 
farm appurtenances; and a last-gasp seizure of farms in the 
event that rule of law is ultimately restored. The MDC has 
belatedly addressed this issue (by some estimates only about 
100 white farms remain), but we're dubious that ZANU-PF will 
sincerely cooperate in dealing with the probem. 
 
6. (C) According to the IMF, government reenues are 
 
HARARE 00000257 002 OF 002 
 
 
sufficient to pay civil service salaries, but inadequate 
payment mechanisms are preventing this being done in a timely 
manner. Even if salaries can be paid, there is little left 
for recurring government expenses and capital investment to 
improve, for example, the water and energy infrastructure. 
The MDC is increasingly fearful that ZANU-PF--and more 
importantly the Zimbabwean people--will blame it for failing 
to deliver. 
 
 
DHANANI

 

(27 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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