Mugabe says if the British won’t honour their obligations, we won’t either

When President Robert Mugabe heard that British Minister Clare Short had said that the labour government was not interested in colonial matters and would not honour obligations undertaken by the previous government, including land reform, he said: "If they won't honour their obligations, we won't either".

This was stated by Minister of State Security Nicholas Goche to United States acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Mark Bellamy who had expressed Washington’s concern about the breakdown in the rule of law in Zimbabwe and American unwillingness to look the other way when democratic principles and human rights were at stake.

Goche, Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo, and Secretary for Foreign Affairs Willard Chiwewe, in separate meetings told Bellamy that Britain was to blame for Zimbabwe’s problems because it was trying to thwart the country’s land reform.

Nkomo said the government felt betrayed by the British and was prepared to fight them because they were essentially making a racial issue out of their condemnation of Zimbabwe, and simply wanted to protect their "kith and kin".

Chiwewe said that the land issue was the "unfinished business" of the liberation struggle. He said if donors were not going to help with land, then "let us be the poorest country in the world if it means Zimbabweans have their own land. If we fail (to give them land), then let the people turn us out”.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE1023, AF A/PDAS BELLAMY HEARS DEFIANCE, VILIFICATION

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE1023

2001-03-15 08:15

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.

 

150815Z Mar 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO5984

 

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------------------D1F666 150818Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8429

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001023

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: AF A/PDAS BELLAMY HEARS DEFIANCE, VILIFICATION

OF THE BRITISH AND LITTLE GIVE-AND-TAKE IN MEETINGS WITH

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE OFFICIALS

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR

REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: ON MARCH 8 AND 9, ACTING PRINCIPAL

DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY MARK BELLAMY MET WITH

MINISTER OF STATE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY NICHOLAS GOCHE,

THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS' PERMANENT SECRETARY

WILLARD CHIWEWE, AND HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER JOHN NKOMO.

BELLAMY REITERATED U.S. CONCERN FOR THE BREAKDOWN IN THE

RULE OF LAW AND AMERICAN UNWILLINGNESS TO LOOK THE OTHER

WAY WHEN DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES AND HUMAN RIGHTS ARE AT

STAKE. ALL THREE SEEMED TO RESPOND FROM THE SAME

SCRIPT. THE MEETINGS WERE CHARACTERIZED BY A GOVERNMENT

VILIFICATION OF THE UK FOR ZIMBABWE'S PROBLEMS, A

LABELING OF THE MDC AS AN ILLEGITIMATE PARTY BANKROLLED

BY FOREIGN INTERESTS, AN EXPLANATION OF THE "FAST-TRACK"

LAND PROGRAM AS THE UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THE

LIBERATION STRUGGLE, AND AN UNAPOLOGETIC ATTITUDE ABOUT

THE VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY WAR VETERANS. END SUMMARY.

 

U.S. CONCERN GROWING

--------------------

 

2. (C) IN ALL THREE OF HIS MEETINGS WITH GOZ OFFICIALS,

ACTING PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BELLAMY

STATED THAT THE NEW U.S. ADMINISTRATION WILL BE LOOKING

MORE CLOSELY AT ZIMBABWE. THERE IS GROWING CONCERN IN

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01023 01 OF 03 150818Z

WASHINGTON OVER THE WORSENING POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

CRISES IN ZIMBABWE, BELLAMY POINTED OUT, AND THAT THE

USG IS CONSIDERING WHAT SHOULD BE ITS ROLE IN OVERCOMING

THESE CRISES. THE EROSION OF THE RULE OF LAW IN

ZIMBABWE IS HAVING AN IMPACT ON THE ENTIRE REGION, AS

FOREIGN INVESTORS STEER CLEAR OF SOUTHERN AFRICA. THE

HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION, WITH ATTACKS ON THE JUDICIARY,

MEDIA, AND OPPOSITION, ARE OF PARTICULAR CONCERN, THE

ACTING PDAS SAID. HE FURTHER STRESSED THAT THE U.S.

DOES NOT SEEK AN ADVERSARIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH ZIMBABWE,

BUT IT CANNOT LOOK THE OTHER WAY WHEN BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS

ARE ABUSED AGAIN AND AGAIN WITH IMPUNITY.

 

THE UK IS TO BLAME FOR OUR PROBLEMS

-----------------------------------

 

3. (C) EVERY MINISTER WITH WHOM BELLAMY MET RESPONDED

BY VILIFYING THE UK IN THE MOST STRIDENT LANGUAGE AND

PLACED THE BLAME FOR ZIMBABWE'S TROUBLES AT THEIR FEET.

IN A LONG, RAMBLING DISCOURSE, GOCHE BLAMED THE BRITISH

FOR THWARTING ZIMBABWE'S ATTEMPTS AT LAND REFORM SINCE

DAY ONE. HE CITED THE 1997 LETTER BY MINISTER CLARE

SHORT TO THE ZIMBABWEAN MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE THAT

STATED THE LABOR GOVERNMENT WAS NOT INTERESTED IN

COLONIAL MATTERS AND WOULD NOT HONOR OBLIGATIONS

UNDERTAKEN BY THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT. GOCHE REPORTED

THAT MUGABE, UPON HEARING THE LETTER READ ALOUD, SAID,

"IF THEY WON'T HONOR THEIR OBLIGATIONS, WE WON'T

EITHER." THE SECURITY MINISTER PROFESSED THE BELIEF

THAT THE BRITISH DID NOT WANT ZANU-PF TO DELIVER LAND TO

ITS SUPPORTERS IN THE RURAL AREAS, AND THAT IT WANTED TO

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 01023 01 OF 03 150818Z

CAPITALIZE ON DISAFFECTION IN THE URBAN AREAS IN ORDER

TO OUST MUGABE.

 

4. (C) MINISTER NKOMO SAID THE GOZ FELT "BETRAYED" BY

THE UK, AND THAT IT IS "PREPARED TO FIGHT" THEM. THE

BRITISH ARE ESSENTIALLY MAKING A RACIAL ISSUE OUT OF

THEIR CONDEMNATION OF ZIMBABWE, AND SIMPLY WANT TO

PROTECT THEIR "KITH AND KIN," I.E. WHITE ZIMBABWEANS, HE

ARGUED. NKOMO COMPLAINED THAT THE BRITISH WOULD NOT

ALLOW THE GOZ TO USE LAND ROVERS THEY HAD SOLD TO THEM

TO EXPEL WAR VETERANS FROM OCCUPIED FARMS. NKOMO AND

MFA PERMSEC CHIWEWE CASTIGATED THE UK (AND THE U.S. AS

WELL) FOR FAILING TO DELIVER ON PROMISES TO FUND LAND

REFORM IN ZIMBABWE. CHIWEWE ITERATED THE GOZ'S GREAT

CONCERN THAT THE U.S. IS FALLING UNDER THE SWAY OF THE

UK'S POLICY ON ZIMBABWE, AND URGED THE U.S. TO PROVIDE

LEADERSHIP IN HELPING ZIMBABWE. BELLAMY RESPONDED THAT

THE U.S. WILL MAKE ITS OWN DECISIONS ON ZIMBABWE AND

WILL NOT BE "SWAYED" BY OTHER NATIONS.

 

MDC A STOOGE OF FOREIGN INTERESTS

---------------------------------

 

5. (C) ALL THREE INTERLOCUTORS CHARACTERIZED THE

OPPOSITION MDC AS A CREATION OF FOREIGN INTERESTS FUNDED

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO5985

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01023 02 OF 03 150818Z

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SWCI-00   /007W

------------------D1F66F 150818Z /38

O 150815Z MAR 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8430

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 001023

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01023 02 OF 03 150818Z

SUBJECT: AF A/PDAS BELLAMY HEARS DEFIANCE, VILIFICATION

OF THE BRITISH AND LITTLE GIVE-AND-TAKE IN MEETINGS WITH

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE OFFICIALS

 

ALMOST ENTIRELY WITH FOREIGN MONEY. CHIWEWE STATED THAT

ZIMBABWEANS HAVE STRUGGLED TO UPHOLD HUMAN RIGHTS WITH

THOSE THAT ONCE POINTED GUNS AT THEM, BUT WHEN THEY

START GETTING MONEY FROM OUTSIDE TO THREATEN ZIMBABWE'S

VALUES AND PRINCIPLES, IT BECOMES A DIFFERENT STORY. HE

FLATLY ACCUSED THE U.S. AND UK OF "FANNING" THE MDC SO

THAT IT COULD OUST PRESIDENT MUGABE. HE SAID THE U.S.

NOT ONLY WANTS TO SEE ZANU-PF OUT OF POWER, IT WANTS TO

SEE THE MDC IN STATE HOUSE. BELLAMY ASSURED THE PERMSEC

THAT THE U.S. HAS NO INTEREST IN WHICH PARTY GOVERNS

ZIMBABWE, ONLY IN HOW IT ATTAINS POWER. NKOMO STATED

THAT ZIMBABWE WAS "UNDER SIEGE" AND HAD TO PROTECT ITS

SOVEREIGNTY FROM THE FOREIGN-FUNDED LACKEYS OF THE MDC.

GOCHE CLAIMED THAT THE BRITISH HAD CHANNELED A LARGE

AMOUNT OF MONEY THROUGH THEIR HIGH COMMISSION IN MALAWI

TO FUND THE START-UP OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY.

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE

--------------------------------------------- -

 

6. (C) CHIWEWE STATED THAT THE LAND ISSUE IS THE

"UNFINISHED BUSINESS" OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE, THAT

THE MASSES ARE STILL LIVING AS THEY WERE IN 1980, OR

EVEN IN 1890, WHEN THE BRITISH FIRST ARRIVED. IF THE

DONORS ARE NOT GOING TO HELP US WITH LAND, CHIWEWE

BLUSTERED, THEN "LET US BE THE POOREST COUNTRY IN THE

WORLD IF IT MEANS ZIMBABWEANS HAVE THEIR OWN LAND. IF

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01023 02 OF 03 150818Z

WE FAIL (TO GIVE THEM LAND), THEN LET THE PEOPLE TURN US

OUT." NKOMO BLAMED IMF AND WORLD BANK FOR CAUSING THE

FAILURE OF THE 1998 DONORS CONFERENCE AGREEMENT, AND THE

COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION (CFU) FOR STALLING PROGRESS

SINCE THEN. NKOMO SAID HE WAS DISAPPOINTED WITH HIS

FRIENDS IN THE CFU, THAT THEY HAD BETRAYED HIS TRUST.

MANY IN THE CFU ARE NOT "SERIOUS-MINDED" AND ONLY MAKE

OFFERS FOR A SETTLEMENT AS A DELAYING TACTIC, NKOMO

OPINED. GOCHE ADMITTED THAT THE GOZ HAD MADE MISTAKES

IN THE LAND RESETTLEMENT EXERCISE, BUT IF IT FINDS A

SOLUTION TO THE ISSUE, ITS PROBLEMS WILL BE SOLVED.

 

NO PROBLEM WITH THE WAR VETS

----------------------------

 

7. (C) THE GOZ OFFICIALS GENERALLY TOOK AN UNAPOLOGETIC

ATTITUDE TOWARD THE WAR VETERANS' RAMPAGE ACROSS THE

COUNTRY. CHIWEWE ARGUED THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S LAND

RESETTLEMENT EXERCISE AND THE FARM OCCUPATIONS BY WAR

VETERANS ARE SEPARATE ISSUES. THE POLICE AND ARMY

SHOULD NOT BE ASKED TO FIGHT THEIR FELLOW LIBERATION

FIGHTERS, THE PERMSEC CONTENDED. THE HOME AFFAIRS

MINISTER IMPLIED THAT THE WAR VETERANS ARE "WORKING TO

MAKE THE ENVIRONMENT SECURE FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION." IN THE PAST, AFTER THE POLICE REMOVED WAR

VETS FROM OCCUPIED FARMS, THEY WOULD SIMPLY RETURN A FEW

DAYS LATER, NKOMO REMARKED. "WE ARE NOW IN CONTROL OF

THE WAR VETS," HE CLAIMED. A LOT OF CRIMINALS ARE

RUNNING AROUND CLAIMING TO BE WAR VETERANS, BUT THE GOZ

IS CRACKING DOWN ON THEM WITH A NEW CONSTABULARY FORCE

THAT WILL HAVE ENOUGH PERSONNEL TO FIGHT THE CRIMINALS,

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 01023 02 OF 03 150818Z

THE MINISTER ASSERTED. HIS MINISTRY HAS COMPILED A LIST

OF 740 CASES OF VIOLENT ACTS TO BE PROSECUTED, ONE OF

WHICH HAS ALREADY SEEN THE CONVICTION OF A COP-KILLER,

NKOMO REPORTED. GOCHE REPORTED THAT THE GOVERNMENT AND

THE WAR VETS HAD REACHED AN UNDERSTANDING ON MARCH 7

THAT WOULD SOON SEE THE OCCUPIERS MOVE OFF UNLISTED

FARMS GAZETTED FOR COMPULSORY ACQUISITION.

 

COMMENT

-------

 

8. (C) BELLAMY'S MEETINGS WITH GOCHE, CHIWEWE, AND

NKOMO LEFT THE IMPRESSION OF A WELL-COORDINATED

PROPAGANDA ASSAULT ORCHESTRATED FROM ON HIGH. THE

THEMES CONVEYED BY ALL THREE WERE REMARKABLY SIMILAR,

AND THE LANGUAGE USED WAS SOME OF THE MOST STRIDENT WE

HAVE HEARD TO DATE. THE OFFICIALS' COMMENTS AND TONE

STRUCK A NOTE OF DESPERATION IN THEIR EFFORT TO CONVINCE

THE U.S. OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE ZIMBABWEAN

POSITION. THERE WAS VERY LITTLE GIVE-AND-TAKE, AND THEY

CONCEDED VERY FEW POINTS. IT IS ALSO SIGNIFICANT THAT

NONE OF THE OFFICIALS SEEMED VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE

STATE OF THE ECONOMY OR WHAT THE OUTSIDE WORLD MIGHT DO

TO HELP WITH IT. THE ECONOMY JUST DOES NOT SEEM TO BE

PART OF THEIR POLITICAL CALCULUS. BASED ON WHAT THESE

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO5986

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01023 03 OF 03 150818Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   USNW-00 DINT-00

DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00 FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   DCP-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

SWCI-00   /007W

------------------D1F671 150818Z /38

O 150815Z MAR 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8431

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 001023

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ZI

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01023 03 OF 03 150818Z

SUBJECT: AF A/PDAS BELLAMY HEARS DEFIANCE, VILIFICATION

OF THE BRITISH AND LITTLE GIVE-AND-TAKE IN MEETINGS WITH

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE OFFICIALS

 

OFFICIALS TOLD US, THE ZANU-PF LEADERSHIP APPEARS TO BE

DIGGING IN ITS HEELS FOR A FIGHT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL

COMMUNITY, AND APPEARS EVER MORE READY TO SACRIFICE THE

INTERESTS OF THE COUNTRY FOR ITS OWN INTEREST OF STAYING

IN POWER. END COMMENT.

 

9. (U) A/PDAS BELLAMY CLEARED THIS MESSAGE.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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