Was Mliswa working with Tomana?


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Doug Taylor-Freeme told a United States embassy official that Temba Mliswa was working with attorney-general Johannes Tomana to seize farms that were still in white farmers’ hands for a list of 200 Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front bigwigs.

Taylor-Freeme said Mliswa was central bank governor Gideon Gono’s nephew and a businessman of ill repute who ran Saltlakes Tobacco Company.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE221, BAD OMENS FOR ZIMBABWE AGRICULTURE

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

09HARARE221

2009-03-13 15:02

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8912

PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0221/01 0721502

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 131502Z MAR 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4219

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 2237

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2693

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2814

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2082

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2438

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2862

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5301

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1984

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RUZEHAA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000221

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

AF/EPS FOR ANN BREITER

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR L.DOBBINS AND J. HARMON

TREASURY FOR D. PETERS

COMMERCE FOR ROBERT TELCHIN

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/13/2019

TAGS: EAGR PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: BAD OMENS FOR ZIMBABWE AGRICULTURE

 

REF: HARARE 207

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (d)

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) As orchestrated land grabs by ZANU-PF continue, an

informed contact reports that new Lands Minister Herbert

Murerwa appears to be a captive of the permanent secretary

inherited from Didymus Mutasa, and Agriculture Minister

Joseph Made has no use for white commercial farmers. Without

cheap off-budget lending to the agriculture sector from the

Reserve Bank, commercial banks are choosier about their

farmer clients. With inputs out of reach of the communal

farmer and the remaining white commercial farmers being

chased off the land, the situation begs the question of who

will feed the nation. END SUMMARY.

 

——————————————— –

Commercial Farmers Under More Stress Than Ever

——————————————— –

 

2. (SBU) Doug Taylor-Freeme, former president of the

Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU), told econoff on March 12,

that Zimbabwe’s remaining white commercial farmers had

learned over the past eight years to defnd themselves

against attempted farm invasions but found themselves

powerless now to handle the latest assault from the

magistrate courts that are complicit in the corrupt state of

the rule of law (reftel). He said the last of the white

commercial farmers were under more pressure to vacate their

farms since the formation of an inclusive government than

under the previous ZANU-PF government. Taylor-Freeme also

relayed that Gideon Gono’s nephew Temba Mliswa, a businessman

of ill repute who runs Saltlakes Tobacco Company and who is

the new ZANU-PF Secretary for Land, was working in cahoots

with Attorney General Johannes Tomana and Attorney Mlotswa to

seize farms that are still in white hands for a list of 200

ZANU bigwigs.

 

—————————————-

Lands Minister Frightened of Own PermSec

—————————————-

 

3. (C) Taylor-Freeme said he had sought a meeting with new

Minister of Lands Herbert Murerwa, with whom he had

maintained contact when Murewa was Finance Minister and

Taylor-Freeme was president of CFU, to discuss his own legal

battle to stay on the farm. Murerwa had suggested meeting

the commercial farmer outside the Ministry, &to keep his

permanent secretary in the dark,8 but had then cancelled

several proposed meetings at the last minute. On a related

note, Taylor-Freeme said that another white farmer had

managed to get his foot in the door with Minister of

Agriculture Joseph Made, only to be given short-shift and

told that white farmers should finally get the message that

they were no longer welcome in Zimbabwe.

 

4. (C) In regard to Murerwa,s appointment as Lands

Q4. (C) In regard to Murerwa,s appointment as Lands

Minister, a position that his predecessor Didymus Mutasa had

used with a vengeance to chase white farmers off the land,

Taylor-Freeme said that Murerwa himself was perplexed; he had

had his sights set on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, if on

 

HARARE 00000221 002 OF 002

 

 

any ministry at all, after having been dropped from the

Ministry of Finance in 2007 in a cabinet reshuffle.

 

5. (C) Taylor-Freeme had been making the rounds of Harare’s

banks to secure crop financing.   CBZ Chairman Richard Wilde

had told him that CBZ would not lend to any new farmers

without a track record of production. Standard Chartered

Bank had sought a US$200 million facility for agriculture

from its headquarters, but the main office was “hesitating.”

Barclay’s had been bullish initially about lending to

agriculture and had aggressively sought farmers’ “wish

lists,” only to have developed cold feet recently. In

Taylor-Freeme’s view, if in the coming growing season the

communal farmers do not get assistance with agricultural

inputs, the new farmers no longer get concessional off-budget

lending from the RBZ (which will undoubtedly be the case),

and the remaining white farmers are forced off their land,

agricultural output will plummet further and Zimbabwe will

require still more food assistance in the coming years.

 

MCGEE

 

(9 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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