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Cablegate: Expected Food Shortage Acknowledged by A

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

100930Z Jul 01


UNCLASSIFIED PTO4632

PAGE 01 HARARE 02117 100927Z
ACTION EB-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AID-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 CTME-00
INL-00 DODE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 EXME-00 EUR-00
E-00 FAAE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00 H-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 ITC-01 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 ACE-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00
STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 FMP-00 DRL-02 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /009W
------------------0372B8 100928Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9275
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
DEPTTREAS WASHDC
USDOC WASHDC
SECDEF WASHDC
USDA FAS WASHDC 0008
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS

UNCLAS HARARE 002117

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EB/IFD/OIA, AF/S, AF/EPS
USAID FOR AFR/SA, BHR/FFP, BHR/OFDA

USDOC FOR 4510 HENDERSON
STATE PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 02117 100927Z
STATE PASS NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAI
FRAZIER
STATE PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA-PALMA, NEWMAN AND BHR/FPP
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
PRETORIA FOR AG ATTACHE RHELM
NAIROBI FOR REDSO/ESA/ARO-GGOTTLIEB AND ESA/FFP
USDA FAS FOR EXPORT CREDITS/CHAMBLISS AND FAA/AME
HOFFMAN
TREASURY FOR OASIA/ED BARBER AND C. WALKER
STATE PASS EXIM/MLHALEY, OPIC/RNEHRA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR EAID EFIN ECON ZI
SUBJECT: EXPECTED FOOD SHORTAGE ACKNOWLEDGED BY A
CABINET MEMBER


1. (SBU) ON JULY 6 THE MINISTER FOR FINANCE AND
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, SIMBA MAKONI, TOLD THE PRESS
FOLLOWING AN ADDRESS HE DELIVERED TO THE NATIONAL
ECONOMIC CONSULTATIVE FORUM THAT HIS MINISTRY'S GOOD
BUDGET RESULTS TO DATE FOR 2001 SHOWING A SMALL SURPLUS
WERE THREATENED BY THE NEED TO SET ASIDE FUNDS TO
IMPORT GRAIN AND MAIZE LATER IN THE YEAR. "THAT THERE
WILL BE A SHORTAGE IN NATIONAL (FOOD) PRODUCTION HAS
BEEN CONFIRMED. THE DISCUSSION IS IN THE MAGNITUDE",
HE SAID. "I AM VERY CONCERNED BECAUSE OUR BUDGET HAS
NOT PROVIDED FOR FOOD IMPORTS", MAKONI ADDED. THE
FINANCE MINISTER ALSO STATED THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD
APPROACH DONORS TO DISCUSS POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE THEY
COULD OFFER IN THE FACE OF THE LOOMING FOOD SHORTFALL.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 02117 100927Z

2. (SBU) THIS MARKS THE FIRST TIME A HIGH GOVERNMENT
OFFICIAL HAS PUBLICLY CONTRADICTED THE LINE MAINTAINED
BY AGRICULTURE MINISTER MADE, THAT THE COUNTRY FACES NO
FOOD DEFICIT OR SHORTFALL, AND THAT CURRENT STOCKS AND
THE HARVEST WILL SUFFICE. IT ALSOFOLLOWS THE DECISION
BY THE AGRICULTURE MINISTERON JULY 3 TO GIVE THE GRAIN
MARKETING BOARD A TOAL MONOPOLY OVER ALL MAIZE SALES,
DECLARING ALL CORN HARVESTED IN ZIMBABWE A "NATIONAL
ASSET", EFFCTIVELY HALTING ALL PRIVATE SALES BETWEEN
GROWER AND, FOR EXAMPLE, MILLERS OR OTHER WHOLESALE
USRS. (MAIZE SALES WERE LIBERALIZED IN THE EARLY
990'S AFTER A WORLD BANK AND USAID FUNDED MARKET
REFORM PROGRAM, AND THE SETUP OF THE ZIMBABWE
AGRCULTURAL COMMODITY EXCHANGE (ZIMACE).) IT IS, IN
THE WORDS OF A FOOD SECURITY EXPERT BASED HERE, A
GIANT STEP BACKWARD" FOR ZIMBABWE'S AGRICULTURL SECTOR
AND THE CONSUMER AS WELL, AND IT MAY VERY WELL COMMIT
THE COUNTRY TO A LEGACY OF FOOD SHOTAGES IN COMING
YEARS.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: DESITE REPEATED GOVERNMENT
ASSURANCES TO THE CONTRAY, OUR ANALYSIS SUPPORTS
MINISTER MAKONI'S CONTETIONS REGARDING THE LIKELIHOOD
OF POTENTIALLY SERIOUS FOOD SHORTAGES OVER THE COMING
YEAR(S). MOROVER, THE RE-MONOPOLIZATION OF THE
DOMESTIC GRAI TRADE WILL LIKELY EXACERBATE THESE
PROBLEMS IF URSUED FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME. HOWEVER,
AS WE'V RECENTLY SEEN WITH DEVALUATION, IT REMAINS TO
BE SEEN WHETHER THIS GOVERNMENT WILL ACT ON MAKONI'S
COUNSEL IN THIS INSTANCE, AS THIS WOULD ONLY ADD O THE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 02117 100927Z
GROWING LIST OF GOVERNMENT FAILURES. IF RQUESTED,
DONOR SUPPORT WOULD PROBABLY BE FORTHCOING FOR SUCH
HUMANITARIAN PURPOSES. HOWEVER, SUCH ASSISTANCE WOULD
NOT COME WITHOUT POTENTIALLY DFFICULT CONDITIONALITY
FOR THE GOVERNMENT DURINGTHIS SENSITIVE ELECTION
PERIOD, INCLUDING, AMONGOTHER THINGS, A FULL WAIVER
FROM THE PROPOSED BA ON PRIVATE GRAIN TRADING FOR
OBVIOUS POLITICAL REASONS. END COMMENT.

WOERNER

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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