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Cablegate: Made's Statement Re: Land Reform: More of The

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000981

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

STATE FOR AF/S, AF/EX, HR/OE
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
TREASURY FOR ED BARBER AND C WILKINSON
USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
RIO FOR WEISSMAN
PRETORIA PASS AG ATTACHE HELM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON PGOV PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: MADE'S STATEMENT RE: LAND REFORM: MORE OF THE
SAME


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED, PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY
NOT FOR INTERNET POSTING

1. (SBU) Summary: In a press statement on April 12, 2002,
Minister of Agriculture Joseph Made clarified the GOZ's
stance on the conduct of its land resettlement program.
While much of the statement merely repeated the ruling
party's rhetoric, portions revealed some of the GOZ's more
subtle intentions. Made indicated that the GOZ will continue
to target white farmers, regardless of nationality.
Simultaneously, the statement carved out an exemption to
maximum farm size for black indigenous farmers and those A2
program farmers -- primarily ruling party cronies -- who have
already seized prime properties. Made's statement also
indicated a desire to return to a command economy, with
certain crops "emphasized," production targets established,
and price structures dictated by the GOZ. The statement
warned white commercial farmers to halt what is labeled the
destruction of infrastructure on acquired farms (by the
removal of irrigation and other movable farm equipment),
despite the terms of the law and the Abuja Agreement that
allows such assets to be removed, In closing, Made assured
all that there will be "no going back" on the land reform
program. End summary.

-------------------
Acquisition Notices
-------------------
2. (SBU) Made's statement began with a review of the effect
of receipt of both Section 5 (preliminary) notices and
Section 8 (acquisition) notices. Throughout, the statement
also includes a clear subtext that warns and admonishes white
farmers whose property is targeted. In the segment regarding
Section 5 notices, Made noted that after receiving such a
notice, the landowner shall not: subdivide the property, make
any further permanent improvements, dispose of the property,
damage the property, or carry out any other activities which
sabotage the smooth implementation of the land reform
program. In the segment regarding Section 8 notices, Made
stated that "White commercial farmers must stand warned that
government will not tolerate interference of the operations
of the newly settled farmer." These statements lay the
groundwork for Made's subsequent quantum leap whereby
irrigation equipment, tractors, and even farm vehicles are
interpreted as belonging to the land, and whose removal
therefore constitutes both sabotage against the land reform
program and interference with the operations of newly settled
farmers.

-----------------
Maximum Farm Size
-----------------
3. (SBU) The statement also addressed the maximum farm size
issue. Made's statement indicated that all farms, even those
not gazetted for compulsory acquisition, would be sub-divided
to comply with the maximum farm size limits. There are a few
exempt categories, most of which are political. In addition
to exempting state lands, church/mission lands, and lands
belonging to educational institutions, the maximum size
initiative will exempt those properties owned by black
indigenous farmers and properties where A1/A2 allocations
have already taken place. Anecdotal reports from commercial
farmers, as well as newspaper reports, indicate that many of
the A2 "settlers" are actually Zanu-PF officials or military
officers grabbing large chunks of prime land for their
personal benefit.

----------------------------------------
Claims of Sabotage by Commercial Farmers
----------------------------------------
4. (SBU) Made claimed that he had received reports of
commercial farmers deliberately destroying infrastructure in
order to frustrate government efforts to grow a winter crop.
In addition to equating removal of irrigation equipment with
sabotage, Made made a spurious claim that commercial farmers
have sprayed sugarcane plantations with harmful chemicals and
deliberately infected cattle with diseases. What facts these
claims are based on were left unrevealed. Other parts of the
statement emphasize that anything on a farm, movable,
immovable, perishable or not, must stay on the property when
the commercial farmer is evicted. Made stated that no
departing farmer would be granted an export permit to remove
"farm equipment," a term which he now uses interchangeably
with "infrastructure".

-----------------------
Ministry Civil Servants
-----------------------
5. (SBU) In the statement Made also claimed that he was aware
that some lower-level government personnel were acting in
concert with commercial farmers to derail and delay the land
reform program. His message was that heads will roll if such
practices continue. Commercial farmers tell us that they
wish such were the case, but no one, not even the local
police they have known for years, is willing to stand up for
rights or principles or in the path of the illegal and still
violent juggernaut.

--------------------
Statement Conclusion
--------------------
6. (SBU) Made concluded that the Land Reform and Agrarian
Reform program is well crafted, as it is based upon studies
that show Zimbabwe has land that is under-utilized and
virgin. Made righteously pronounced that the land
re-distribution program would "ensure that agricultural
production is never again in the hands of a few who
under-utilise or hold to ransom the means of food security,
employment creation, and economic growth," a line unashamedly
cribbed from the President's speech book. This oratory
contrasts starkly with the reality of the exercise, as
productive land is seized, looted, divided, and returned to
subsistence practices that will result in environmental
degradation and massive food shortfalls. The country's
agricultural sector has already devolved from a
self-sustaining profitable enterprise, which earned much of
Zimbabwe's forex, to a wounded and crippled activity with
tens of thousands of displaced workers and a reduced ability
to feed the population.

SULLIVAN

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