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Chindori-Chininga says Mugabe is obsessed with land question

Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism Edward Chindori-Chininga told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald that although tourism was one of Zimbabwe’s major foreign currency exchange earners, President Robert Mugabe was so obsessed with the land question that this was not important to him.

Chindori-Chininga was briefing the ambassador on plans by his ministry to improve the protection of wildlife and the proposed creation of a transfrontier national park.

Asked if, given the importance of tourism as a foreign exchange earner for Zimbabwe, and the past history of Zimbabwe having a reputation as a country that protected its wildlife and natural areas, President Mugabe was interested in these issues, Chindori-Chininga implied that Mugabe no longer had real interest in these issues.

He said that he had he recently met with Mugabe to discuss these aspects of his portfolio, and while Mugabe would pay attention as he spoke, when it came time for Mugabe to talk, his comments invariably returned to the issue of land for the landless.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 00HARARE6126, DEPUTY ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM MINISTER BRIEFS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE6126

2000-10-31 17:18

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

 

311718Z Oct 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6251

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06126 01 OF 02 311720Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 COME-00

INL-00   DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00

EB-00   EUR-00   E-00     FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   JUSE-00 LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 NSF-01   OES-01   OIC-02   OMB-01

OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00

SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00 IIP-00   PMB-00

DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /012W

——————98FCBD 311729Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7488

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 006126

 

SIPDIS

 

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AND AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

PASS USTR – ROSA WHITAKER

PASS DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR FOR THE FISH AND WILDLIFE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06126 01 OF 02 311720Z

SERVICE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/10

TAGS: PGOV PHUM SENV PINR ZI

SUBJECT: DEPUTY ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM MINISTER BRIEFS

AMBASSADOR ON PLANS TO PROTECT WILDLIFE AND RESOLVE

CONSERVANCY LAND OCCUPATIONS

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5

(B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: EDWARD CHINDORI-CHININGA, DEPUTY

MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM AND ZANU-PF MEMBER

OF PARLIAMENT, PAID A CALL ON AMBASSADOR MCDONALD ON

OCTOBER 30 TO INFORM HIM OF HIS MINISTRY’S PLANS TO

IMPROVE PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE, RESOLVE THE OCCUPATIONS

OF CONSERVANCY LANDS, AND REACH AGREEMENT WITH

NEIGHBORING STATES ON THE JOINT MANAGEMENT OF NATIONAL

PARKS THAT CROSS BORDERS. CHINDORI-CHININGA

ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HIS MINISTRY HAS BEEN UNABLE TO

PREVENT POACHING OF WILDLIFE ON OCCUPIED LANDS. HE

CLAIMED HIS OFFICE HAS DEVELOPED A PLAN FOR RESOLVING

OCCUPATIONS OF LANDS DESIGNATED AS NATURE CONSERVANCIES,

BUT POLITICAL CORRUPTION IS AFFECTING THIS PROCESS.

TALKS BETWEEN ZIMBABWE AND ITS NEIGHBORS FOR JOINT

MANAGEMENT OF PARK LANDS THAT SHARE COMMON BORDERS IS

MOVING FORWARD, AND A TREATY IS READY TO BE PRESENTED TO

PARLIAMENT FOR THE JOINT MANAGEMENT OF A NATIONAL PARK

AREA THAT ZIMBABWE SHARES WITH MOZAMBIQUE AND SOUTH

AFRICA. FINALLY, PRESIDENT MUGABE IS SO OBSESSED WITH

THE LAND QUESTION, THAT NONE OF THESE ISSUES ARE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06126 01 OF 02 311720Z

IMPORTANT TO HIM, ACCORDING TO THE DEPUTY MINISTER. END

SUMMARY

 

———————————————

A MINISTRY UNABLE TO PREVENT RAMPANT POACHING

———————————————

 

2. (C) CHINDORI-CHININGA ADMITTED THAT THERE HAS BEEN

POACHING ACROSS ZIMBABWE, ON COMMERCIAL FARMS AS WELL AS

NATURE CONSERVANCIES THAT HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED BY WAR

VETERANS AND LANDLESS PEOPLE SINCE FEBRUARY. THE DEPUTY

MINISTER’S ASSERTION CONFIRMS THE NUMEROUS PRESS REPORTS

AND COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION UPDATES THAT HAVE DETAILED

THIS PROBLEM. HE STATED THAT HIS MINISTRY’S SCOUTS, WHO

HAVE TRADITIONALLY CONTROLLED POACHING OF WILDLIFE IN

ZIMBABWE, HAVE BEEN PREVENTED FROM DOING THIS THROUGH

INTIMIDATION, THREAT OF VIOLENCE, AND IN A FEW CASES,

PHYSICAL ASSAULT BY WAR VETERANS. A JOINT COMMAND OF

THE ZIMBABWE MILITARY AND POLICE ARE NOW BEING USED TO

ATTEMPT TO REGAIN CONTROL OF THE POACHING SITUATION. HE

BLAMED THE PROBLEM ON A LACK OF COMMUNICATION, ARISING

FROM THE FACT THAT HIS MINISTRY HAD NOT MET WITH

OCCUPIERS TO ESTABLISH THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH HIS

SCOUTS COULD SAFELY PATROL OCCUPIED LANDS TO

PREVENT/CONTROL POACHING.

 

——————————————

A SOLUTION FOR THE OCCUPIED CONSERVANCIES?

——————————————

 

3. (C) THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND TOURISM MINISTRY IS WORKING

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06126 01 OF 02 311720Z

ON A PLAN FOR RESOLVING THE OCCUPATION OF LANDS

DESIGNATED AS NATURE CONSERVANCIES TO WHICH, HE CLAIMS,

THE CABINET HAS AGREED. THIS PLAN INVOLVES SECURING THE

AGREEMENT OF PRIVATE CONSERVANCY LANDOWNERS TO ALLOW THE

RESIDENTS OF INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES THAT BORDER THESE

CONSERVANCIES TO BUY INTO THE OPERATION OF THESE AREAS,

SO THEY MAY BENEFIT DIRECTLY FROM THE TOURISM TRADE THEY

GENERATE. THE DETAILS OF SUCH A PLAN, INCLUDING

PERCENTAGE OF OWNERSHIP, FINANCING, AND THE JOINT

MANAGEMENT OF THESE CONSERVANCIES, WITH THEIR PRIVATELY

OWNED LAND, GOVERNMENT OWNED LAND, AND INDIGENOUS

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION, WOULD BE ADDRESSED IN A

WORKSHOP THAT THE MINISTRY IS PLANNING. HE SAID HE HAD

TWO PROBLEMS: WHERE TO MOVE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE OCCUPIED

THESE LANDS; AND HOW TO FEND OFF THE POLITICIANS WHO

WILL SEEK A CUT IN SUCH DEALS. THE AMBASSADOR ASKED THE

DEPUTY MINISTER SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE CASE OF THE SAVE

CONSERVANCY AND RUMORS THAT JOSIAH HUNGWE, THE GOVERNOR

OF THE MASVINGO PROVINCE, WHERE THIS CONSERVANCY IS

LOCATED, IS INSISTING ON GETTING A PIECE OF THE ACTION.

CHINDORI-CHININGA CONFIRMED THAT HE HAS ALSO HEARD SUCH

RUMORS ABOUT HUNGWE, AND THAT THIS COULD PROVE A

HINDRANCE TO RESOLVING THE SAVE CONSERVANCY SITUATION.

 

——————————————— —–

TRANSFRONTIER MANAGEMENT OF PARKS CLOSE TO REALITY

——————————————— —–

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6252

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06126 02 OF 02 311721Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 COME-00

INL-00   DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00

EB-00   EUR-00   E-00     FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   JUSE-00 LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 NSF-01   OES-01   OIC-02   OMB-01

OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00

SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00 IIP-00   PMB-00

DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /012W

——————98FCCA 311729Z /38

P 311718Z OCT 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7489

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 006126

 

SIPDIS

 

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AND AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

PASS USTR – ROSA WHITAKER

PASS DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR FOR THE FISH AND WILDLIFE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06126 02 OF 02 311721Z

SERVICE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/10

TAGS: PGOV PHUM SENV PINR ZI

SUBJECT: DEPUTY ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM MINISTER BRIEFS

AMBASSADOR ON PLANS TO PROTECT WILDLIFE AND RESOLVE

CONSERVANCY LAND OCCUPATIONS

 

4. (C) THE DEPUTY MINISTER STATED THAT ZIMBABWE,

MOZAMBIQUE, AND SOUTH AFRICA HAVE REACHED AGREEMENT ON A

PLAN TO MANAGE JOINTLY THE AREA THAT CONSISTS OF THE

GONAREZHOU NATIONAL PARK IN ZIMBABWE, THE COUTADO 16

NATIONAL PARK IN MOZAMBIQUE, AND THE KRUGER NATIONAL

PARK IN SOUTH AFRICA. THIS AGREEMENT WOULD SOON BE

PRESENTED TO THE ZIMBABWEAN PARLIAMENT FOR APPROVAL. HE

ALSO REPORTED THERE IS PROGRESS TOWARDS AGREEMENTS

BETWEEN/AMONG ZIMBABWE, BOTSWANA, NAMIBIA, ZAMBIA, AND

MOZAMBIQUE FOR THE JOINT MANAGEMENT OF OTHER NATIONAL

PARKS THAT SHARE BOUNDARIES.

 

—————————–

NONE OF THIS INTERESTS MUGABE

—————————–

 

5. (C) THE DEPUTY MINISTER WAS ASKED IF, GIVEN THE

IMPORTANCE OF TOURISM AS A FOREIGN EXCHANGE EARNER FOR

ZIMBABWE, AND THE PAST HISTORY OF ZIMBABWE HAVING A

REPUTATION AS A COUNTRY THAT PROTECTED ITS WILDLIFE AND

NATURAL AREAS, PRESIDENT MUGABE WAS INTERESTED IN THESE

ISSUES. WITHOUT SAYING SO EXPLICITLY, CHINDORI-CHININGA

IMPLIED THAT MUGABE NOW HAS NO REAL INTEREST IN THESE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06126 02 OF 02 311721Z

ISSUES. THE DEPUTY MINISTER EXPLAINED THAT HE RECENTLY

MET WITH MUGABE TO DISCUSS THESE ASPECTS OF HIS

PORTFOLIO, AND WHILE MUGABE WOULD PAY ATTENTION AS HE

SPOKE, WHEN IT CAME TIME FOR MUGABE TO TALK, HIS

COMMENTS INVARIABLY RETURNED TO THE ISSUE OF LAND FOR

THE LANDLESS.

 

——————————-

LAND CASES OF AMERICAN CITIZENS

——————————-

 

6. (C) THE AMBASSADOR TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY OF THIS

MEETING TO RAISE THE SPECIFIC CASES OF AMERICAN CITIZENS

RESIDENT IN ZIMBABWE WHO HAVE HAD THEIR LANDS LISTED FOR

COMPULSORY ACQUISITION BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE

(GOZ). IT WAS POINTED OUT TO THE DEPUTY MINISTER THAT

ALL OF THESE CASES INVOLVE LANDS THAT WERE PURCHASED BY

THE AMERICAN CITIZENS IN ORDER TO PURSUE NATURE

CONSERVATION AND TOURISM. IT WAS MADE CLEAR TO

CHINDORI-CHININGA THAT IF THESE LANDS ARE EVENTUALLY

FORCIBLY ACQUIRED BY THE GOZ WITHOUT APPROPRIATE

COMPENSATION, IT WOULD HAVE A REAL ADVERSE AFFECT ON

U.S.-ZIMBABWE RELATIONS. THE DEPUTY MINISTER PROMISED

HE WOULD LOOK INTO THESE CASES.

 

7. (C) COMMENT: WHILE THE DEPUTY MININSTER’S COMMENTS

WERE GENERALLY IN A POSITIVE VEIN REGARDING STEPS THAT

THE GOZ SHOULD CLEARLY TAKE ON THE ISSUES DISCUSSED, THE

ACTIONS THAT THE GOZ TAKES WILL BE WHAT COUNT. WHILE HE

IS AN UP-AND-COMING ZANU-PF POLITICIAN WITH POLITICAL

ACUMEN, THE DEPUTY MINISTER ALSO HAS UNCLEAN HANDS.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06126 02 OF 02 311721Z

POST HAS HEARD CREDIBLE ACCOUNTS THAT CHINDORI-CHININGA

WAS INVOLVED IN PLANNING AND EXECUTING THE POLITICAL

VIOLENCE IN HIS HOME AREA IN THE PERIOD LEADING UP TO

THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. HE THUS SHARES BLAME FOR

THE MINDLESS POACHING OF WILDLIFE, CUTTING OF TREES, AND

SETTING OF FIRES THAT HAS OCCURRED ON ZIMBABWE’S PRIVATE

NATURE CONSERVANCIES, RANCHES, AND COMMERCIAL FARMS.

END COMMENT.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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