Cablegate: Media Report Land Reform in Zim; Harare

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Under headline "Farming: a great leap forward into
uncertainty" the independent daily "The Daily News"
dedicated its August 10 editorial to criticize the
haphazard land reform program in Zimbabwe. Excerpts:

2. "The land reform program reached its peak this week
with the expected departure, under Section 8, from
their farms of all commercial farmers from
properties designated by the government. The legal
challenges in the courts are of significance because
they indicate the farmers are not taking the seizure
of their properties lying down. Even if they don't
succeed, their message to the government is clear:
the exercise could have been conducted with more
decorum than it was. . .The legal challenges to the
program suggest strongly that its fast-track element
may have included a deliberate ploy to short-circuit
the law relating to its implementation. The
suspicion of something not quite moral about it will
linger for a long time to come. The persecution of
a whole race of citizens has left many Zimbabweans
wondering about the sincerity with which the
doctrine of reconciliation was pronounced on the eve
of independence in 1980. People have been told that
when the hand of friendship was stretched out to the
commercial farmers, they spurned it, hence the
apparent decision to abandon the softly-softly
approach. Instead, a roughrider strategy was
employed, which has culminated in. . .images of
farmers leaving the homes they have known for
generations with little but their memories. . . ."


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