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Cablegate: Undp Gathers Key Members of Dip Corps; Soft Posture

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

120850Z Sep 01


UNCLASSIFIED PTQ6359

PAGE 01 HARARE 02677 01 OF 02 120906Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 VCE-00
NSAE-00 TEST-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /001W
------------------1DD55E 120906Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9685

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002677

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AND AF/EPS

USAID FOR AA/AFR, BHR/FFP, AFR/SA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL ZI
SUBJECT: UNDP GATHERS KEY MEMBERS OF DIP CORPS; SOFT POSTURE
TOWARD GOZ


1. SUMMARY. ON SEPTEMBER 6, UNDP BRIEFED DIPLOMATS ON LAND,
HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AND ELECTIONS. WHILE LITTLE NEW
INFORMATION CONCERNING THE LAND AND FOOD SITUATION WAS
PRESENTED, THE PICTURE PAINTED BY UNDP RESREP VICTOR ANGELO
WAS BLEAK. HE WAS ENCOURAGED REGARDING VICE PRESIDENT
MSIKA'S STATEMENTS ON THE ZJRI; HOWEVER, OTHER PARTICIPANTS
WERE MORE SKEPTICAL. UNDP ANNOUNCED GOZ AGREEMENT TO ENTER
INTO DISCUSSIONS ON DEVELOPING A METHODOLOGY FOR AN
ASSESSMENT OF THE LAND SITUATION. THE RESREP ALSO SAID NO
GOZ REQUEST FOR INVOLVEMENT IN THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTIONS HAD BEEN RECEIVED AND, FURTHERMORE, THAT NO
REQUEST WAS EXPECTED. HE POINTED TO GOZ AGREEMENT TO ALLOW
THE UNDP TO ESTABLISH A RELIEF AND REHABILITATION
SECRETARIAT TO COORDINATE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE ACTIVITIES

SIPDIS
AS THE MOST POSITIVE RECENT DEVELOPMENT. END SUMMARY.

2. AT A MEETING HELD AT UNDP ON THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 6,
SELECTED DIPLOMATS DISCUSSED THREE AGENDA ITEMS: LAND
RESETTLEMENT, THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION, AND UPCOMING
ELECTIONS. UNDP HOSTED TWO OTHER MEETINGS THE SAME DAY, ONE
WITH NGOS TO DISCUSS THE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE EFFORTS AND
ONE WITH THE SADC AMBASSADORS, PRESUMABLY WITH THE SAME
AGENDA AS THE MEETING TO WHICH THE U.S. WAS INVITED. THE
U.S. WAS REPRESENTED BY THE CHARGE D'AFFAIRES AND THE USAID
DIRECTOR.

3. ANGELO SHARED WITH PARTICIPANTS A MEMORANDUM OF
UNDERSTANDING SIGNED BY HIMSELF AND THE PERMANENT SECRETARY
OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS. THE MOU COVERED: (1) GOZ AGREEMENT TO
DESIGN THE METHODOLOGY AND MECHANISMS FOR "A POSSIBLE DATA
GATHERING MECHANISM FOR THE LAND REFORM PROGRAM"; (2)
RECOGNITION THAT THERE ARE REQUIRED SOCIAL AND RELIEF
ACTIVITIES "GIVEN THE CURRENT CONDITIONS OF TRANSFORMATION"
AND THE RECENT DROUGHTS AND FLOODS; AND (3) UNDP'S AGREEMENT
THAT, GIVEN GOZ ACCEPTANCE OF THE ZIMBABWE JOINT
RESETTLEMENT INITIATIVE (ZJRI), UNDP "AGREED TO CONTINUE
PROVIDING SUPPORT" FOR THE INITIATIVE "AND OTHERS THAT ARE
AIMED AT SEEKING SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS TO SOME OF THE
CHALLENGES FACING THE COUNTRY." THE DISCUSSION THEN
MOVED TO THE THREE AGENDA TOPICS.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 02677 01 OF 02 120906Z

----
LAND
----

4. ANGELO DESCRIBED THE SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY IN BLEAK
TERMS. HE SAID THAT MEMBERS OF THE CFU WERE "AGAINST THE
WALL" AND THAT NORMAL OPERATIONS, WHICH INCLUDE LAND
PREPARATION FOR NEXT SEASON, ARE BASICALLY AT A STANDSTILL.
FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF COMMUNAL FARMERS, WHO HAD BEEN
"RESETTLED," LITTLE SUPPORT WAS AVAILABLE IN TERMS OF INPUTS
AND TILLAGE. MEANWHILE, EXTENSIVE BURNING OF PASTURES AND
TREE CUTTING WERE UNDERWAY. OFFICIAL FIGURES FOR THOSE
RESETTLED TOTAL 197,617 FAMILIES, BUT ANGELO SAID ESTIMATES
OF ACTUAL NUMBERS ARE MORE LIKELY 7,900 INDIVIDUALS.
FURTHERMORE, WHILE PRECISE NUMBERS ARE NOT
KNOWN, THERE ARE NOW AN ESTIMATED 25-30,000 DISPLACED FARM
WORKERS. WHILE THE GOZ IS CURRENTLY DE-LISTING, THE CFU
REPORTS THAT 85% OF COMMERCIAL FARMS CURRENTLY REMAIN
LISTED.

5. THE RESREP PRAISED THE POSITIVE STATEMENT OF VICE-
PRESIDENT MSIKA, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE LAND TASK FORCE,
REGARDING THE ZJRI. THE VICE PRESIDENT SAID THE
GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE VERIFIES THE AUTHENTICITY OF ALMOST
1.0 MILLION HECTARES (967,452) OFFERED BY THE COMMERCIAL
FARMERS, STATES THAT THE "WHITE COMMERCIAL FARMERS APPEAR TO
HAVE TURNED A NEW LEAF IN THEIR ATTITUDE TOWARD THE
GOVERNMENT LAND REFORM PROGRAM," AND OBSERVED THAT
COMMERCIAL FARMERS HAVE COMMITTED THEMSELVES TO IDENTIFYING
ADDITIONAL LAND AS WELL AS WITHDRAWING LEGAL CONTEXT TO
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 02677 01 OF 02 120906Z
ACQUISITION OF SOME 410,000 HECTARES. (NB: ALL OF THE LAND
"OFFERED" IS ALREADY LISTED.) THE RESREP REPORTED ON THE
CONCRETE FINANCIAL OFFERS FOR INPUTS, TILLAGE AND FROM
COMMERCIAL BANKS, BUT HE DID NOT ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF
COMPENSATION FOR EITHER LAND OR IMPROVEMENTS.

6. COMMENT. WHILE THE RESREP CHARACTERIZED MSIKA'S
STATEMENT AS VERY HOPEFUL AND EVEN CAUTIONED DIPLOMATS BY
SAYING, "I DON'T WANT ANY OF YOU TO TAKE THE CYNICAL VIEW
THAT THIS IS ONLY BECAUSE OF THE ABUJA MEETING," MANY OF HIS
INVITEES REMAINED SKEPTICAL.

----------------------
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
----------------------

7. ANGELO ANNOUNCED THAT THE GOZ HAS AGREED TO THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE RELIEF AND REHABILITATION SECRETARIAT
AT THE UNDP. THIS RECONCILIATION HAD BEEN DESPITE THE FACT
THAT DONORS HAD ALREADY MADE RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR THE

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ6362

PAGE 01 HARARE 02677 02 OF 02 120906Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 VCE-00
NSAE-00 TEST-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /001W
------------------1DD570 120906Z /38
P 120850Z SEP 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9686

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 002677

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AND AF/EPS

USAID FOR AA/AFR, BHR/FFP, AFR/SA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL ZI
SUBJECT: UNDP GATHERS KEY MEMBERS OF DIP CORPS; SOFT POSTURE
TOWARD GOZ

SECRETARIAT, BUT THE MOFA AGREEMENT CLEARS THE WAY FOR THE

SIPDIS
SECRETARIAT TO BEGIN WORK OFFICIALLY. THE MANDATE AS SET

SIPDIS
FORTH IN THE MOU ALLOWS UNDP TO CONSIDER FACILITATING
FORMATION OF A PROGRAM, TO CONTINUE CONSULTING WITH DONORS,
AND TO STRENGTHEN ITS SUBSTANTIVE AND OPERATIONAL CAPACITY
IN THE AREA OF RELIEF ASSISTANCE.

8. IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS, ANGELO REMINDED DONORS THAT
FOOD WAS ONLY ONE PART OF A HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE AND THAT
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 02677 02 OF 02 120906Z
UNDP HAD DEVELOPED A COMPREHENSIVE FRAMEWORK. HE CAUTIONED
AGAINST ANYONE WORKING OUTSIDE OF THIS, NOTING THAT
INDEPENDENT ACTIONS WOULD CREATE CONFUSION. HE ALSO NOTED
THAT WORKING WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK GAVE UNDP LEVERAGE TO
NEGOTIATE THE POLICY ISSUES. COMMENT: THIS WAS A NOT TOO
SUBTLE PITCH FOR BILATERAL RESOURCES TO BE FUNNELED THROUGH
UN AGENCIES. WE ARE CONCERNED THAT THESE MECHANISMS COULD
PROVE TO BE TOO PONDEROUS TO BE PUT IN PLACE QUICKLY AND
THAT WE SHOULD THUS CONTINUE TO MOVE AHEAD BILATERALLY,
WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY SEEKING WAYS TO COLLABORATE IN THE
MULTILATERAL FRAMEWORK.

9. SEVERAL PARTICIPANTS POSED QUESTIONS. THE JAPANESE
AMBASSADOR STATED THAT THE GOZ HAD NOT RECOGNIZED IN THE MOU
THAT HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE WAS NEEDED DUE TO
A MAN-MADE CRISIS, TO WHICH THE RESREP RESPONDED BY POINTING
TO THE LANGUAGE CONCERNING "CONDITIONS OF TRANSFORMATION,"
SAYING THAT THIS LANGUAGE WAS TACIT RECOGNITION OF THE
CAUSES. WHEN ASKED BY THE AMBASSADOR OF BELGIUM HOW THE
ZJRI RELATED TO THE "FAST TRACK," THE RESPONSE WAS "WE ARE
LIVING IN PARALLEL UNIVERSES."

10. ON THE ISSUE OF POLITICIZATION OF FOOD AID, ANGELO
REPORTED THAT THE UN WILL NOT BE INVOLVED IN THE USE OF FOOD
AID FOR PARTISAN PURPOSES. HE SAID THAT THEY HAVE TOLD THE
GOZ THIS, BUT THAT TO DATE THE RESPONSE HAS BEEN "YOU HAVE
TO GO THROUGH US." IN TERMS OF TOTAL REQUIREMENT, THERE WAS
NO NEW INFORMATION ON FOOD AVAILABILITIES IN COUNTRY.
WHILE, ANGELO WAS MORE PESSIMISTIC THAN WE ARE ABOUT THE
WHEAT SITUATION, THE WORLD BANK RESREP INFORMED USAID
DIRECTOR AFTER THE MEETING THAT AN ORDER FOR 100,000 MT OF
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 02677 02 OF 02 120906Z
WHEAT HAS ALREADY BEEN PLACED IN SOUTH AFRICA.

11. ANGELO PROMISED THAT THE FIRST SITUATION REPORT FROM
THE R&R SECRETARIAT WOULD BE AVAILABLE TO BOTH THE GOZ AND
DONORS NEXT WEEK AND EVERY TWO WEEKS THEREAFTER.

---------
ELECTIONS
---------

12. THE UNDP RESREP REPORTED THAT THE POLITBURO HAS ADVISED
THE PRESIDENT THAT THEY PREFER EARLY ELECTIONS.
ON UN'S PARTICIPATION IN THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS, THE RESREP
SAID THAT, "THERE IS NO FORMAL REQUEST TO BE INVOLVED IN THE
ELECTIONS AND WE DON'T EXPECT TO RECEIVE ONE. WITHOUT SUCH
A REQUEST THE UN WILL NOT BE INVOLVED."

13. ON THE QUESTION OF TIMING, THE RESREP SAID THAT THE UN
REQUIRES A MINIMUM OF THREE MONTHS NOTICE. THE BOTTOM LINE
FOR THE UN WAS, "IT'S NOW OR NEVER." IF A REQUEST IS NOT
FORTHCOMING IN A MATTER OF DAYS OR A FEW WEEKS AT MOST, THE
UN WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANY ELECTION OBSERVATION OR
RELATED ELECTORAL ASSISTANCE ACTIVITIES.

-----------
END COMMENT
-----------

14. WHILE PARTICIPANTS APPRECIATED THE RESREP'S EFFORTS TO
KEEP DIPLOMATS INFORMED, THERE WAS A DEGREE OF SKEPTICISM
AMONG THE DONORS. SEVERAL EXPRESSED POST MEETING
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 02677 02 OF 02 120906Z
DISSATISFACTION WITH BOTH HOW THE EVENT WAS STRUCTURED (THE
RESREP DOES 90 PERCENT OF THE TALKING WITH NO REAL GIVE-AND-
TAKE OR OPPORTUNITY FOR POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE
DONORS) AND SEVERAL REMARKS MADE BY THE CHAIR OF THE
MEETING. IN PARTICULAR, ANGELO'S CHARACTERIZATION OF
MSIKA'S STATEMENT ON ZJRI, AND HIS CAUTION THAT THE DONORS
"SHOULD NOT TAKE A CYNICAL VIEW OF THIS BECAUSE OF THE ABUJA
MEETING," WAS GREETED WITH WIDESPREAD SKEPTICISM.

ROTH

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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