Mai Mujuru sided with MDC to oppose farm invasions

Vice-President Joice Mujuru sided with the Movement for Democratic Change to oppose continued farm evictions in what former Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Gorden Moyo said was a “fiery” debate in cabinet.

The debate took place at the cabinet meeting of 24 March 2009 barely a month after the formation of the inclusive government with the MDC asserting that farm invasions should stop.

Moyo said he and Finance Minister Tendai Biti, Minister of Information Communications Technology Nelson Chamisa, and Minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa were leading the MDC charge

“Although most ZANU-PF ministers, led by Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa pushed back and argued that legal processes were being followed and that there was no need for action, Vice President Joice Mujuru and Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Nicholas Goche sided with the MDC,” Moyo said according to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks.

“Mujuru said the invasions and evictions would have a negative effect on the winter wheat crop. Goche was concerned that violations of Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements through the seizure of foreign-owned farms would adversely impact Zimbabwe's foreign relations.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE257, MDC ON LAND SEIZURES, POLITICS

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

09HARARE257

2009-03-26 09:57

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO0391

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0257/01 0850957

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 260957Z MAR 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4280

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2723

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2845

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1299

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2110

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2466

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2893

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5332

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2012

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000257

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR J. HARMON AND L. DOBBINS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/26/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: MDC ON LAND SEIZURES, POLITICS

 

Classified By: CDA Katherine Dhanani for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

 

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

MDC Minister of State

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

 

1. (C) Gorden Moyo is the Minister of State in Prime

Minister Tsvangirai's office. He serves as a chief of staff

for Tsvangirai, helping to coordinate MDC policy and serving

as a liaison with ZANU-PF. Moyo offered us his observations

March 26 on land seizures and the political situation.

 

2. (C) According to Moyo, a "fiery" debate took place at the

Cabinet meeting on March 24 with the MDC asserting that farm

invasions were occuring and should stop, and that white

farmers were being illegally evicted. Leading the MDC charge

were Moyo, Minister of Finance Tendai Biti, Minister of

Information Communications Technology Nelson Chamisa, and

Minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa. Although most

ZANU-PF ministers, led by Minister of Justice Patrick

Chinamasa pushed back and argued that legal processes were

being followed and that there was no need for action, Vice

President Joice Mujuru and Minister of Transport and

Infrastucture Development Nicholas Goche sided with the MDC.

Mujuru said the invasions and evictions would have a negative

effect on the winter wheat crop. Goche was concerned that

violations of Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion

(BIPPA) agreements through the seizure of foreign-owned farms

would adversely impact Zimbabwe's foreign relations.

 

3. (C) Ultimately, Mugabe and Cabinet agreed to refer the

issue to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee

(JOMIC) for documentation of specific violations, and also to

initiate a farm audit. Government principals Mugabe,

Tsvangirai, and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara will

meet March 30 on the land issue. The MDC will demand that

Mugabe issue a public statement condemning the invasions and

ordering that they cease. If Mugabe does not do so, the MDC

will ask for the intervention of SADC.

 

4. (C) Turning to the political economy, Moyo said inability

to pay civil servant salaries and at the same time meet

recurring expenditures and make capital investments was

crippling the government and weakening the MDC. He said

payment in forex of February salaries had been credited to

the MDC and, demonstrating it could produce, had given it

leverage with ZANU-PF. Government was now in a financial

squeeze. It had been unable to fully pay March salaries and

the potential inability to pay fuel and energy bills could

soon result in petrol shortages and increased power outages.

As a result, Moyo opined, the MDC had lost its leverage as

ZANU-PF (or at least the hardliners) sat on the sidelines

gleefully watching MDC ministers struggle with the financial

situation. Moyo feared that there could soon be

demonstrations and teacher strikes directed at the MDC.

 

-------

COMMENT

-------

 

5. (C) Farm seizures and evictions have accelerated since

Tsvangirai's inauguration on February 11 due to a combination

QTsvangirai's inauguration on February 11 due to a combination

of factors: ZANU-PF's political tactic of trying to get the

MDC to take what may be perceived as an anti-liberation,

pro-Western position, a desire to loot machinery and other

farm appurtenances; and a last-gasp seizure of farms in the

event that rule of law is ultimately restored. The MDC has

belatedly addressed this issue (by some estimates only about

100 white farms remain), but we're dubious that ZANU-PF will

sincerely cooperate in dealing with the probem.

 

6. (C) According to the IMF, government reenues are

 

HARARE 00000257 002 OF 002

 

 

sufficient to pay civil service salaries, but inadequate

payment mechanisms are preventing this being done in a timely

manner. Even if salaries can be paid, there is little left

for recurring government expenses and capital investment to

improve, for example, the water and energy infrastructure.

The MDC is increasingly fearful that ZANU-PF--and more

importantly the Zimbabwean people--will blame it for failing

to deliver.

 

 

DHANANI

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Add comment


Security code
Refresh