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No land audit until sanctions are lifted

Agriculture Minister Joseph Made told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray way back in January 2010 that there would be no land audit in Zimbabwe until sanctions had been lifted.

A land audit was one of the issues that was agreed at the signing of the Global Political Agreement but it has not been carried out since.

Made said sanctions were responsible for reduced supplies of electricity which in turn made irrigation difficult and curtailed fertilizer production.

With agricultural production consequently reduced, it was impossible to determine the productivity of land, a determination which would be necessary in a land audit.

Made singled out sanctions on Agribank as particularly harmful since this was the bank that customarily made loans to peasant farmers.

Claiming that he was a “chief strategist” for the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, Made said GPA negotiations were deadlocked and there would be no ZANU-PF movement until sanctions were lifted.

He maintained that the Movement for Democratic Change and Britain had asked for sanctions to be imposed. ZANU-PF was now happy that the UK had admitted that it was up to the MDC to request that sanctions be lifted.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 10HARARE50, AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH ZIMBABWE MINISTER OF

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Reference ID 

Created 

Released 

Classification 

Origin 

10HARARE50

2010-01-26 12:27

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO7971
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #0050/01 0261227
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 261227Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5342
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3281
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3392
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1815
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2649
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 3019
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 0080
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0082
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2551
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000050 
 
SIPDIS 
 
AF/S FOR BRIAN WALCH 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/26/2020 
TAGS: EAGR PREL PGOV PINR ZI
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S MEETING WITH ZIMBABWE MINISTER OF 
AGRICULTURE 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR CHARLES A. RAY FOR REASONS 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1. (C) During a courtesy call by the Ambassador, Zimbabwe 
Minister of Agriculture Joseph Made stated that the Global 
Political Agreement was deadlocked and there would be no 
movement by ZANU-PF unless sanctions were lifted. Hewing to 
the ZANU-PF party line, Made touted land reform, denied there 
had been violence associated with it, and blamed the plight 
of the agricultural sector on sanctions which he said 
prevented farmers from accessing credit. He proposed a 
working-level group be established between the Embassy and 
the Ministry of Agriculture to strategize about helping small 
farmers through projects such as irrigation and dam 
clearance. He also commented that a drought, superimposed on 
dry conditions, boded poorly for agricultural production this 
season. END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (SBU) The Ambassador called on ZANU-PF Minister of 
Agriculture Made at the Ministry on January 25. Made was 
accompanied by his permanent secretary and a notetaker. In 
contrast to other meetings with ZANU-PF ministers, a 
representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not 
present. 
 
3. (C) Acknowledging none of the problems generally 
associated with land reform in Zimbabwe, including violence 
and radical declines in production, Made told the Ambassador 
that restoration of land and the right to vote were the 
cornerstones of the liberation struggle. When the Ambassador 
stated that the U.S., as a matter of policy, did not object 
to land reform but was concerned with violence and lack of 
due process, Made countered there had been no violence 
related to land reform. Perhaps there had been 10 or so 
deaths because of hooliganism, but this was nothing compared 
to the over 4,000 deaths (with more to come) in South Africa 
associated with land reform in that country. Made added that 
all Zimbabwean farmers whose land had been acquired as part 
of the land reform process had contested the loss of their 
lands in court and had lost. 
 
4. (C) The Ambassador asked whether a land audit would be 
carried out as stipulated in the Global Political Agreement 
(GPA).  Made replied there would be no audit until sanctions 
were lifted. Sanctions were responsible for reduced supplies 
of electricity which in turn made irrigation difficult and 
curtailed fertilizer production. With agricultural 
production consequently reduced, it was impossible to 
determine the productivity of land, a determination which 
would be necessary in a land audit. 
 
5. (C) Made asserted that sanctions (read ZDERA) were 
responsible for the state of the agricultural sector since 
they made lines of credit unavailable. We pointed out the 
IMF had ceased lending to Zimbabwe before the passage of 
ZDERA; Made responded that the IMF's actions were part of a 
coordinated process leading to ZDERA. He added that private 
lenders had refused to become involved in Zimbabwe because of 
sanctions. Made singled out sanctions on Agribank as 
Qsanctions. Made singled out sanctions on Agribank as 
particularly harmful since this was the bank that customarily 
made loans to peasant farmers. 
 
6. (C) Claiming that he was a "chief strategist" for 
ZANU-PF, Made said GPA negotiations were deadlocked and there 
would be no ZANU-PF movement until sanctions were lifted. 
(NOTE: Made clarified that those sanctions which would have 
to be lifted were sanctions on parastatals and ZDERA. The 
parastatal sanctions would have to be removed en masse. END 
NOTE.) He maintained that the MDC and UK had asked for 
sanctions to be imposed; ZANU-PF was now happy that the UK 
had admitted that it was up to the MDC to request that 
 
HARARE 00000050 002 OF 003 
 
 
sanctions be lifted. (NOTE: Newspapers here last week 
quoted British Foreign Secretary David Miliband as telling 
the House of Commons with respect to the lifting of sanctions 
that "...we have to calibrate our response to the progress on 
the ground, and, above all, to be guided by what the MDC says 
to us about the conditions under which it is working and 
leading the country." The UK Embassy in Harare tried to walk 
back Miliband's comment in a statement issued over the 
weekend which said the UK would respond to change and reform 
on the ground. Nevertheless, the ZANU-PF propaganda machine 
is claiming that Miliband has proved that the MDC has the 
power to end sanctions. END NOTE.) Made said he did not 
understand why the U.S. had imposed sanctions, that 
Zimbabwe's argument was not with the U.S., but with the UK; 
it was a battle between kith and kin. ZANU-PF was in the 
right and for this reason had the support of the AU and SADC. 
 
7. (C) Made said he was aware that Minister of Finance 
Tendai Biti had called for the lifting of sanctions on some 
parastatals. He called Biti a strong person who had been 
under a lot of pressure, and who had broken with his party on 
the sanctions issue. 
 
8. (C) Made acknowledged that despite sanctions, the U.S. 
continued to do business with Zimbabwe. Numerous John Deere 
and Case tractors and irrigation combines were in use, 
although without credit it was impossible for Zimbabwe to buy 
as many as they would like because they must pay cash for 
them. 
 
9. (C) Turning to agricultural assistance, Made stated that 
NGO assistance was supplanting the private sector; this was 
not the way to do business. He expressed concern that some 
NGOs were partisan in their distribution of food and inputs. 
Nevertheless, he had no plans at this time to deny NGOs the 
ability to operate. 
 
10. (C) Made stated that Zimbabwe was suffering from a 
mid-season drought. Such droughts usually occurred for two 
to three weeks; this year it followed a moisture deficit 
which had made planting impossible. The Ministry was about 
to begin a first crop assessment. Made said he was aware 
that USAID had satellite information on the crop situation, 
but because of land reform clashes, USAID was reluctant to 
cooperate and exchange information with the Ministry. He 
hoped that improving relations would allow for such 
cooperation. (NOTE: While USAID has participated in crop 
assessments that have included the GOZ, it has not shared 
USDA satellite information because of the lack of a 
relationship with the Ministry. END NOTE.) 
 
11. (C) Made said that personal sanctions had precluded him 
from traveling to DC and European capitals to discuss 
agricultural policy with his counterparts. He suggested, 
however, that the Embassy and the Ministry put together 
technical teams at the working level to strategize about 
assistance to small farmers in areas such as irrigation and 
desilting dams. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
12. (C) The meeting was cordial, at times friendly, and Made 
Q12. (C) The meeting was cordial, at times friendly, and Made 
clearly relished the opportunity to meet with the U.S. 
Ambassador. It is impossible to know whether ZANU-PF 
stalwarts believe what they're saying, particularly in the 
case of an individual like Made who received his education in 
the U.S. and should know better. Regardless, in his 
conversation with the Ambassador, Made was clearly spouting 
the ZANU-PF party line. 
 
13. (C) Made is close to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. 
 He ran for a seat from Manicaland in the March 2008 
 
HARARE 00000050 003 OF 003 
 
 
parliamentary elections and was defeated. Mugabe 
subsequently appointed him to the Senate. Based on his 
performance as the Minister of Agriculture and previously as 
the Minister of Agriculture Mechanization (since merged with 
the Ministry of Agriculture) over the last several years, he 
is widely regarded as incompetent. END COMMENT. 
 
14. BIO NOTE: Made received his B.A., M.A., and PhD from 
the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His thesis was on 
land reform in Nicaragua and Zimbabwe. He has also done 
research on China. Made's wife is from Florida. His son was 
sentenced in Texas last year to five years in prison for tax 
fraud. END BIO NOTE. 
 
RAY

(5 VIEWS)

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