Nkomo and Jonathan Moyo spar over multiple farm ownership

Lands Minister and Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front chairman John Nkomo renewed his effort to locate and take away properties from ZANU-PF and government heavyweights who were defying the one-family one farm stated policy.

The violators included his arch-rival, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.

A list of 329 violators had become public and Nkomo had sent letters to the multiple farm owners requesting them to surrender the extra farms.

Moyo appeared to be using the media to hit back.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 04HARARE1329, THE UNBEARABLE STRANGENESS OF LAND REFORM

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE1329

2004-08-04 13:30

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

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

UNCLAS HARARE 001329

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

STATE FOR AF/S

USDOC FOR AMANDA HILLIGAS

TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW

PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER

STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

 

E. O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV EAID BTIO EINV EAGR ECON PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: THE UNBEARABLE STRANGENESS OF LAND REFORM

 

1. (SBU) Summary: Just when you thought the debate over

land reform could get no stranger it does. Amid the

clamor about ZANU-PF and GOZ bigwigs receiving more than

one farm, inter-factional fighting within Zanu-PF has

resulted in the GOZ-controlled Herald newspaper

inadvertently praising former white commercial farmers

and exposing the faults with land reform. End Summary.

 

NKOMO AND MOYO SPAR PUBLICLY

2. (SBU) Land Minister, and ZANU-PF Secretary General,

John Nkomo has renewed his effort to locate and take away

properties from Zanu-PF and GOZ heavyweights who have

violated the stated one-family one-farm standard for fast

track land reform. A list of 329 violators has become

public and Nkomo has sent letters to top officials

requesting that they divest extra farm holdings. Included

on this list is Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, the

force behind the GOZ's invidious state media.

3. (U) In response, The Herald of August 1, 2004 has, as

its lead article, the story of an underutilized Lynton

Farm owned by the Land Ministry Permanent Secretary Simon

Pazvakambwa. According to the article, "Irrigation

equipment worth millions of dollars and other farming

implements are lying idle . . . while workers on the plot

allege that they have not been paid since May".

 

4. (U) The article states that tobacco barns and pigsties

lay unused and only one maize field and one groundnut

field were planted last year. The workers stopped work on

July 3 due to lack of payment of their "meager salary of

Z$52000 each" (less than US$10) a month. The reporter

then recounts pregnant women's stories of their reliance

upon well-wishers for survival. Pazvakambwa promised to

plant wheat this season but has not done so.

 

5. (SBU) In classic expose style, the article closes with

an interview with Pazvakambwa. He demands to know the

sources for the story and refuses to comment further. The

story claims, however, that Pazvakambwa let slip that he

will pay the workers immediately.

 

HERALD REMINISCES ABOUT WHITE FARMERS

6. (U) The truly surreal quality of land reform, however,

comes out in the article's portrayal of the white farmer

who owned Lynton Farm. According to one of the workers at

the farm, "`around this time Mr. Malzer would have put

tobacco and paprika seed and would be planting early

maize for December.'" The reporter describes how Malzer

"used to grow paprika, maize, tobacco and ran a thriving

cattle ranch and piggery".

 

COMMENT

7. (SBU) Zimbabwe's surreal environment has the GOZ-

controlled Herald praising the former white farmer's

utilization of Lynton Farm, as compared to its current

underutilization by a GOZ bigwig, when it was GOZ that

removed the white commercial farmer in the first place.

Yet in the heat of Zanu-PF primaries leading up to next

year's parliamentary elections, hardliners like Moyo care

more about undermining moderates like Nkomo than

attacking whites. It is a strange twist in political

discourse here.

 

8. (SBU) Nkomo and the Land Ministry are not likely to

simply take the criticism. The Herald's expose of Lynton

Farm may lead to further articles in the independent and

semi-independent press about the state of affairs on

other farms owned by party and GOZ bigwigs. In the

process of inter-factional fighting, these very public

disagreements may discredit the entire land reform

process, providing an entertaining spectacle as Zanu-PF

discredits its own touted policy.

 

Sullivan

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