Search

 

Cablegate: White Farmers Remain Divided

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

UNCLAS HARARE 000280

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/S AND AF/EX
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND
PASS USTR ROSA WHITAKER
TREASURY FOR ED BARBER AND C WILKINSON
DEPT PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

E. O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ETRD EFIN ECON ZI
SUBJECT: White Farmers Remain Divided

Ref: a) Harare 239 b) Harare 267

1. (SBU) Summary: Justice for Agriculture (JAG)
representatives told us they strongly lament the
willingness of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) to
engage the Government of Robert Mugabe on fast-track land
reform. JAG remains committed to dialogue with the GOZ
only after the restoration of rule-of-law. End Summary.

2. (SBU) JAG reps recently updated Amb. Sullivan on their
campaign against Mugabe's land reform. JAG says around
300 members have joined its ranks, which usually entails
resigning from the more moderate CFU. The organizations
differ more on tactics than assessments of fast-track
land reform.

3. (SBU) JAG takes issue with the CFU's restarting a
dialogue with the GOZ, analyzed in refs a-b. JAG members
feel the GOZ is merely using talks with the CFU as a
means of persuading Western governments that a) white
farmers now approve of land reform and b) it is time to
lift sanctions and support resettled farmers. JAG
refuses to speak with the GOZ, which it considers
illegitimate.

4. (SBU) Comment: The split among white farmers reflects
diverging interests. JAG members have mostly lost farms
and wish to pursue title claims indefinitely in the hope
of restitution or compensation; CFU members are often
still trying to hold onto all or part of their farms. If
a successor government one day comes to power, JAG's
strident line could prove an impediment to revamping land
reform. While we agree that land reform has been unjust
and devastating to Zimbabwean agriculture, we do not
believe a future government could completely reverse it
or pay full compensation. The only way to make sense of
the senseless may be a negotiated deal that returns white
farmers to a portion of their farms, in exchange for them
relinquishing title to the other portion and assisting
new farmers. As time wears on, however, such an
agreement becomes less and less feasible and we do agree
that GOZ dialogue with the CFU to date has been mostly
for show with little or no serious effort at compromise.

Sullivan

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>