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Cablegate: The Honeymoon Is Over -- Cfu Dumped by the Goz

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

UNCLAS HARARE 000698

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/S
BRUSSELS FOR EU
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER


E. O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON ZI
SUBJECT: The Honeymoon is Over -- CFU Dumped by the GOZ

Ref: a) Harare 239; b) Cape Town 76; c) Harare 267

1. Summary. The GOZ has been attempting to gain
international support for its return to normalcy by
showcasing its stage-managed "dialogue" with the Commercial
Farmers' Union (CFU). Now that the GOZ perceives no further
advantage to playing up the supposed dialogue, the GOZ has
unceremoniously dropped its photo-op accord with the
farmers' group. End summary.

--------------------------------------------- --
GOZ Willing to Be Seen Romancing "The Enemy"...
--------------------------------------------- --

2. In a move widely suspected to be a propaganda stunt in
advance of recent decisions affecting renewed sanctions, the
GOZ belatedly initiated a dialogue with the CFU in order to
convince the Commonwealth and the international community
that all is well in Zimbabwe (ref a). Although Nigeria's
Obasanjo and South Africa's Mbeki apparently accepted the
purported dialogue at face-value (ref b), and cited this in
support of removing Zimbabwe's suspension from the
Commonwealth, the GOZ's one-sided position left no room for
the CFU to cooperate while maintaining any degree of
credibility with its remaining membership (ref c).

--------------------------------------
...But Only While It Remains Compliant
--------------------------------------

3. The CFU responded on April 4 with a request that the GOZ
"reconsider their draft [MOU] so as to incorporate the basic
principles of commercial agriculture as listed below,1.
Security of land tenure, 2. Law and Order, 3. Viability and
Sustainability." The CFU further denied any implied
"foreign-based influence," and proffered a "Document of
Principles" encompassing "a practical proposition that
requires the State to focus its policies on maximising
production and development." With characteristic vitriol,
Minister of Publicity Jonathon Moyo denounced the CFU as
"unrepentant Rhodie farmers who are bent on becoming a law
unto themselves." He further stated that "the whole issue
has been overtaken by events on the ground and it's a pity
that the CFU has missed an opportunity for dialogue by
abusing it..."

4. Moyo also blasted the CFU as one of the "lawless
elements" instrumental in organizing the mass stayaway on
March 18 and 19. The irony of this accusation is that the
CFU has steadfastly attempted to remain apolitical,
sometimes to the point of inertia, and was one of the
handful of businesses nationwide that did not shut down its
offices during the stayaway, only an irrelevant fact to
Moyo's vitriol.

-------
Comment
-------

5. It is not surprising that the GOZ has so publicly
denounced the CFU when no further benefit could be gained
from the pretense at dialogue. However, this gambit might
be premature in that the dialogue had been presented to SADC
as evidence of progress in reining in the current Zimbabwean
economic and political crises. If the SADC task force does
manage to consult with all stakeholders during its visit in
the next several weeks, a goal articulated by Mozambican
Foreign Minister Leonardo Samao, the task force could get a
much clearer indication of the reality on the ground than
the GOZ intends. Whether this translates to resolve within
the SADC community to finally take a principled stand
remains to be seen. End comment.

Sullivan

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