Delta boss planned deal to enable government to buy up 400 farms

Delta Corporation boss Patrick Rooney told United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald 10 years ago that his company was arranging a credit facility that would enable the government to buy 300 to 400 commercial farms that had been designated for acquisition.

According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks Rooney told McDonald on 2 November 2000 that part of the proposal was to relocate war veterans occupying farms to the purchased farms.

He hoped that the move would help break the logjam on land reform and remove the war veterans from the land resettlement picture, thereby demonstrating to the international community that law and order was returning to Zimbabwe.

The proposal had already been accepted by Vice-President Joseph Msika and was now going to be put to President Robert Mugabe.

Rooney feared that the proposal might be scuttled by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and Agriculture Minister Joseph Made.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE6191, PROMINENT ZIMBABWEAN BUSINESS LEADERS TRYING

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE6191

2000-11-02 16:52

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.

 

021652Z Nov 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4359

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06191 01 OF 02 021653Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AGRE-00 AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00

COME-00 CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00

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

FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   ITC-01   L-00     VCE-00

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

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

PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /009W

------------------9A0623 021653Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7510

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 02 HARARE 006191

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/02/10

TAGS: PGOV ECON EAGR PREL PINR ZI

SUBJECT: PROMINENT ZIMBABWEAN BUSINESS LEADERS TRYING

TO ENCOURAGE A SOLUTION TO THE LAND PROBLEM AND URGE

POLITICAL PARTIES TO WORK OUT THEIR DIFFERENCES

 

REFTEL: HARARE 5983

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5

(B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: THE CEO OF A MAJOR ZIMBABWEAN

CORPORATION TOLD AMBASSADOR NOVEMBER 2 THAT HE AND OLD

MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY ARE ARRANGING A PRIVATE CREDIT

FACILITY TO PURCHASE 300 TO 400 COMMERCIAL FARMS TO HELP

BREAK THE LOGJAM ON LAND REFORM. THE CEO ALSO STATED

THAT HE AND OTHER BUSINESS LEADERS ARE ENCOURAGING THE

RULING ZANU-PF AND OPPOSITION MDC TO IRON OUT THEIR

DIFFERENCES THROUGH THIRD-PARTY MEDIATION. HE IS HAVING

AN INTERMEDIARY APPROACH FORMER ZAMBIAN PRESIDENT

KENNETH KAUNDA TO DETERMINE IF HE WOULD SERVE AS

MEDIATOR. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) THE AMBASSADOR SPOKE NOVEMBER 2 WITH PATRICK

ROONEY (PROTECT), THE CEO OF DELTA CORPORATION, A

ZIMBABWEAN CORPORATION THAT IS CONTROLLED BY OLD MUTUAL

AND SOUTH AFRICAN BREWERIES, AND IS IN THE BEVERAGE AND

TOURISM BUSINESSES IN ZIMBABWE. ROONEY IS A WELL-

CONNECTED WHITE ZIMBABWEAN WHO IS POLITICALLY ASTUTE AND

MOVES EASILY IN A VARIETY OF BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT

CIRCLES. ROONEY TOLD THE AMBASSADOR THAT HE AND OLD

MUTUAL ARE ARRANGING A CREDIT FACILITY FOR THE GOZ TO

PURCHASE 300 TO 400 COMMERCIAL FARMS CURRENTLY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06191 01 OF 02 021653Z

DESIGNATED FOR ACQUISITION. PART OF THE PROPOSAL WOULD

ALLOW WAR VETERANS OCCUPYING FARMS TO BE RELOCATED TO

THE NEWLY PURCHASED PROPERTIES. ROONEY STATED THAT HE

HOPES THIS MOVE WILL HELP BREAK THE LOGJAM ON LAND

REFORM AND REMOVE THE LAWLESS ELEMENTS, NAMELY THE WAR

VETERANS, FROM THE LAND RESETTLEMENT PICTURE, THEREBY

DEMONSTRATING TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THAT LAW

AND ORDER IS RETURNING TO ZIMBABWE.

 

3. (C) ROONEY CONTINUED THAT THIS PROPOSAL WOULD SOON

BE PUT TO PRESIDENT MUGABE, BUT IT WAS UNCLEAR TO HIM

WHETHER THE PRESIDENT WOULD ACCEPT IT. THE CEO SAID

THAT VICE-PRESIDENT MSIKA HAD ENDORSED THE PROGRAM, BUT

BELIEVED THAT MINISTER OF STATE FOR INFORMATION AND

PUBLICITY JONATHAN MOYO, MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

IGNATIUS CHOMBO, AND MINISTER FOR LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND

RESETTLEMENT JOSEPH MADE COULD STILL SCUTTLE THE EFFORT.

ROONEY STATED THAT THE COMMERCIAL FARMER'S UNION (CFU)

HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET ITS ACT TOGETHER IN NEGOTIATING

WITH THE GOZ. HE SAID THAT THE CFU IS NOT INVOLVED IN

THE DEAL, NOTING THAT IT WAS STRICTLY A PRIVATE BUSINESS

PROPOSAL.

 

4. (C) ON A SEPARATE SUBJECT, ROONEY INFORMED THE

AMBASSADOR THAT HE AND OTHER BUSINESS LEADERS ARE

ENCOURAGING THE RULING ZANU-PF AND OPPOSITION MDC TO

WORK OUT THEIR DIFFERENCES AND ARE SEEKING A MEDIATOR TO

HELP THEM. THERE IS CURRENTLY A SHORT LIST OF POTENTIAL

MEDIATORS, AT THE TOP OF WHICH IS FORMER ZAMBIAN

PRESIDENT KENNETH KAUNDA. KAUNDA IS A GOOD POSSIBILITY

BUT MAY BE A PROBLEM WITH MUGABE BECAUSE OF HIS PRIOR

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06191 01 OF 02 021653Z

SUPPORT OF JOSHUA NKOMO. THERE ARE NO SOUTH AFRICANS ON

THE SHORT LIST, ROONEY CONTINUED. THE AMBASSADOR TOLD

ROONEY THAT THE USG WELCOMES BOTH THESE INITIATIVES AND

ENCOURAGES ALL THE PARTIES INVOLVED TO KEEP THE CHANNELS

OF DIALOGUE OPEN. THE AMBASSADOR ASKED ROONEY TO KEEP

US APPRISED OF ANY DEVELOPMENTS IN THESE NEGOTIATIONS.

 

5. (C) COMMENT: WE BELIEVE ROONEY TO BE A VERY CREDIBLE

SOURCE AND WHAT HE TOLD US REPRESENTS A PROLIFERATION OF

BEHIND-THE-SCENES ATTEMPTS TO GET THE GOVERNMENT AND

OPPOSITION TALKING. IT TRACKS PARTICULARLY WELL WITH

WHAT BUSINESSMAN AND MDC SUPPORTER CLIVE PUZEY TOLD US,

IN THAT THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE HAD BEEN TALKING TO THE

MDC ABOUT A PRIVATELY-FUNDED LAND DEAL AS PART OF A

RETIREMENT PACKAGE FOR MUGABE (REFTEL). ROONEY'S

REMARKS ABOUT ENCOURAGING THE PARTIES TO SEEK MEDIATION

COULD ALSO BE AN INDICATION THAT ATTEMPTS BY ZANU-PF AND

MDC TO NEGOTIATE HAVE STALLED. IT IS DIFFICULT TO

PREDICT WHETHER ANY OF THESE DISCUSSIONS WILL AMOUNT TO

ANYTHING AND HEAD OFF A MORE PUBLIC CONFRONTATION

BETWEEN OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS AND THE POWERS-THAT-BE.

WE ARE ENCOURAGED NEVERTHELESS THAT THE STAKEHOLDERS DO

SEEM TO BE TALKING OFF-STAGE EVEN AS THEIR ON-STAGE

THEATRICS BECOME MORE VITRIOLIC. THE AMBASSADOR WILL

CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE ROONEY'S EFFORTS. END COMMENT.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4360

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06191 02 OF 02 021653Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AGRE-00 AID-00   ACQ-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00

COME-00 CTME-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00

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

FRB-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   ITC-01   L-00     VCE-00

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

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

PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /009W

------------------9A0625 021653Z /38

O 021652Z NOV 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7511

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 02 HARARE 006191

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/02/10

TAGS: PGOV ECON EAGR PREL PINR ZI

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06191 02 OF 02 021653Z

SUBJECT: PROMINENT ZIMBABWEAN BUSINESS LEADERS TRYING

TO ENCOURAGE A SOLUTION TO THE LAND PROBLEM AND URGE

POLITICAL PARTIES TO WORK OUT THEIR DIFFERENCES

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Add comment


Security code
Refresh