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Cablegate: Battle for Final 500 "White" Farms

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

UNCLAS HARARE 000018

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/S
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND
TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW
PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER
STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

E. O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON EINV ETRD PGOV ZI
SUBJECT: Battle for Final 500 "White" Farms

1. (U) Summary: The GOZ is attempting to seize the final
500 white-owned commercial farms by attacking black
business partners. End Summary.

2. (U) During Zimbabwe's tumultuous land redistribution
over the past two years, the Government has dispossessed
approximately 4,000 of 4,5000 white commercial farmers.
Most of the remaining 500 farmers seem to have entered
into arrangements or accommodations with prominent black
Zimbabweans. Since early-December, GOZ hardliners have
begun to attack these indigenous dealmakers. At the
ruling ZANU-PF's party conference on December 6, some
delegates circulated a paper accusing Vice President
Joseph Msika of cooperating too closely with white
commercial farmers.

3. (U) Over the past week, the State and independent
press have sparred over alleged attempts by a group led
by Agriculture Minister Joseph Made to occupy a
horticulture farm called Kondozi. The white farmer
apparently sold over half his stake to Edwin Masimba
Moyo, a black businessman, to shield himself from land
reform. A GOZ spokesman berated the new black owner in
bombastic terms:

"[Government] will not be duped by Uncle Toms that make
themselves willing tools of former Rhodies who are
hopelessly trying to hold on to the land their colonial
ancestors brutally grabbed from our forefathers. . . .
Government is dismayed that there are Zimbabweans of the
likes of Edwin Masimba Moyo ready to be used by white
farmers for whatever number of pieces of silver."

Comment
-------
4. (U) Other remarks by the GOZ spokesman make little
sense. He argued that the farm was allocated to State
rather than Made's group, and that the 5,000 farm workers
"should [become] farmers in their own right and not [the
white owner's] servants as in the Rhodesia of
yesteryear." In practice, land reform beneficiaries -
such as Made in this case - do not receive title deed and
there are no plans to parcel Kondozi into small plots for
the 5,000 employees.

5. (SBU) Made is obviously attempting to take control of
a valuable forex-earning business. Such battles over the
final 500 farms with white ownership will be increasingly
messy.

Sullivan

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