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Supreme Court orders government to stop land acquisitions

The Supreme Court on 10 November ordered the government to halt all farm occupations and resettlement efforts until it complied with all legal requirements under the Land Acquisition Act.

There was no immediate reaction to the order especially from Information Minister Jonathan Moyo. There was speculation that this was probably because President Robert Mugabe was not in the country to give guidance.

The order was issued after a lawsuit filed by the Commercial Farmers Union. It gave the government 48 hours to comply with the order.

 

Full cable:

 

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE6330, SUPREME COURT ORDERS GOVERNMENT TO HALT FAST-

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE6330

2000-11-14 10:16

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.

 

141016Z Nov 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5715

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06330 01 OF 02 141018Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AGRE-00 AID-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00 COME-00

DODE-00 DOEE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-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   IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————9E8A22 141019Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7612

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 006330

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AND AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN, A/AID RMCCALL, DAA/AFR VNEWTON

PASS USTR – ROSA WHITAKER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06330 01 OF 02 141018Z

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/14/10

TAGS: PGOV EAGR ZI

SUBJECT: SUPREME COURT ORDERS GOVERNMENT TO HALT FAST-

TRACK LAND REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT UNTIL ALL LEGAL

REQUIREMENTS ARE FOLLOWED

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD. REASONS 1.5 (B)

AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: THE ZIMBABWE SUPREME COURT ISSUED A

UNANIMOUS CONSENT ORDER ON NOVEMBER 10 REQUIRING THE

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ) TO HALT ALL FARM

OCCUPATIONS AND RESETTLEMENT EFFORTS UNTIL IT COMPLIES

WITH ALL LEGAL REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE LAND ACQUISITION

ACT (LAA). THE CONSENT ORDER GAVE THE GOZ MINISTRIES

INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAM 48 HOURS TO COMPLY WITH THE

CONSENT ORDER. POLICE ARE REQUIRED TO PREVENT NEW

OCCUPATIONS AND EVICT OCCUPIERS FROM FARMS THAT HAVE

BEEN ILLEGALLY OCCUPIED. THE CONSENT ORDER ALLOWS THE

GOZ TO CONTINUE IDENTIFYING FARMS FOR ACQUISITION UNDER

THE PROGRAM, BUT NOT TO INTERFERE WITH FARMING

OPERATIONS ON THEM. AS OF NOVEMBER 13 INDICATIONS WERE

THAT THE GOZ WAS GOING TO IGNORE THE CONSENT ORDER, EVEN

THOUGH IT AGREED TO IT IN THE SUPREME COURT CHAMBERS.

THE GOZ HAS NOT YET CHOSEN TO CRANK UP ITS PROPAGANDA

MACHINE IN RESPONSE TO THE RULING AGAINST IT, HOWEVER,

THE GOZ REPORTEDLY MOVED PEOPLE ONTO FIFTY ADDITIONAL

FARMS OVER THE WEEKEND. END SUMMARY.

 

—————————————-

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06330 01 OF 02 141018Z

GOZ FAST-TRACK VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTION

—————————————-

 

2. (U) ON NOVEMBER 13 THE ZIMBABWE SUPREME COURT ISSUED

A CONSENT ORDER ON A LAWSUIT FILED BY THE COMMERCIAL

FARMERS UNION (CFU) TO HAVE THE GOZ’S FAST-TRACK LAND

REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM STOPPED BECAUSE THE GOZ

IS NOT FOLLOWING THE LEGAL STEPS REQUIRED IN THE LAND

ACQUISITION ACT (LAA). THIS CFU LAWSUIT IS INDEPENDENT

OF ANOTHER LAWSUIT THAT SEEKS TO HAVE THE LAND REFORM

PROGRAM DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL, WHICH THE SUPREME

COURT IS HEARING BUT HAS RESERVED JUDGEMENT ON. THE

FULL BENCH OF THE SUPREME COURT SAID THAT BY NOT ISSUING

THE PROPER NOTICES AND FOLLOWING THE TIMELINES SPELLED

OUT IN THE LAA, THE FAST TRACK LAND PROGRAM IS ILLEGAL

AND CONTRAVENES FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF LAND OWNERS AND

LESSEES CONTAINED IN THE ZIMBABWE CONSTITUTION.

 

——————————————

CONSENT ORDER GIVES GOZ 48 HOURS TO COMPLY

——————————————

 

3. (U) THE CONSENT ORDER LISTS THE FOUR GOZ MINISTRIES

INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAM, THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, AND

THE GOVERNORS OF THE EIGHT PROVINCES OF ZIMBABWE AS

RESPONDENTS WHO MUST WITHIN 48 HOURS ENSURE THAT THE

ORDER IS BEING FOLLOWED. THIS INCLUDES PREVENTING NEW

FARMS OCCUPATIONS AND REMOVING PEOPLE WHO ARE ILLEGALLY

OCCUPYING FARMS. ACCORDING TO PRESS REPORTING, THE

MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT,

JOSEPH MADE, STATED THAT THE GOZ WOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06330 01 OF 02 141018Z

CONSENTING TO THE ORDER, BUT THAT IT WOULD CONTINUE

IDENTIFYING FARMS TO BE ACQUIRED AND DEMARCATING THE

LAND UNDER THE PROGRAM AS ALLOWED BY THE SUPREME COURT

ORDER.

 

——————————————— —–

GOZ ACTIONS INDICATE NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE ORDER

——————————————— —–

 

4. (C) CONTRARY TO MINISTER MADE’S STATEMENT, THE GOZ

HAS SO FAR IGNORED THE CONSENT ORDER AND APPEARS TO BE

MOVING FORWARD WITH ITS ILLEGAL PROGRAM. THE

INDEPENDENT PAPER “THE DAILY NEWS” REPORTED IN ITS

NOVEMBER 13 EDITION THAT THE GOZ HAD MOVED PEOPLE ONTO

FIFTY MORE FARMS IN BLATANT CONTEMPT OF THE ORDER. AN

ARTICLE IN THE NOVEMBER 12 EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT-

CONTROLLED PAPER “THE SUNDAY MAIL” QUOTED ZANU-PF MEMBER

OF PARLIAMENT FOR ZVIMBA SOUTH, SABINA MUGABE, THE

PRESIDENT’S SISTER, TELLING A GROUP OF FAMILIES WHO

OCCUPIED PARKLAND FARM IN HER DISTRICT THEY SHOULD GO

AHEAD AND PLOW THE LAND IN SPITE OF THE SUPREME COURT

ORDER. PRESIDENT MUGABE’S SPOKESPERSON, GEORGE

CHARAMBA, IS QUOTED IN THE NOVEMBER 13 “THE DAILY NEWS”

ARTICLE AS SAYING THAT “THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT DEFY THAT

ORDER BECAUSE IT CONSENTED TO IT…BUT IN EXECUTING THAT

ORDER THERE ARE CERTAIN COMPELLING THINGS THAT MUST NOT

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5716

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06330 02 OF 02 141019Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AGRE-00 AID-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00 COME-00

DODE-00 DOEE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-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   IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————9E8A39 141019Z /38

P 141016Z NOV 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7613

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 006330

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AND AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN, A/AID RMCCALL, DAA/AFR VNEWTON

PASS USTR – ROSA WHITAKER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06330 02 OF 02 141019Z

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/14/10

TAGS: PGOV EAGR ZI

SUBJECT: SUPREME COURT ORDERS GOVERNMENT TO HALT FAST-

TRACK LAND REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT UNTIL ALL LEGAL

REQUIREMENTS ARE FOLLOWED

 

BE OVERLOOKED, FOR INSTANCE, THE MAGNITUDE OF WAR

VETERANS ON THE GROUND…AND THE MOOD OF VARIOUS

PRESSURE GROUPS”. RICHARD AMYOT, CFU DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF

COMMODITIES, TOLD ECONOFF ON NOVEMBER 13 THAT THE

ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE (ZRP) IS TAKING NO ACTIONS TO

COMPLY WITH THE CONSENT ORDER BY REMOVING ILLEGAL

OCCUPIERS OF COMMERCIAL FARMS OR PREVENTING NEW

OCCUPATIONS.

 

———————————————

THREATS AND VIOLENCE CONTINUE AGAINST FARMERS

———————————————

 

5. (U) HARRY GREAVES, A COMMERCIAL FARMER FROM THE

NYAMANDLOVU DISTRICT, STATED IN THE NOVEMBER 10 ISSUE OF

“THE ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT” THAT HE WAS RECEIVING DEATH-

THREATS BECAUSE OF HIS UNCOMPROMISING STANCE ON THE

ILLEGALITY OF THE FAST-TRACK PROGRAM. NYAMANDLOVU

DISTRICT IS WHERE THE COMMERCIAL FARMER MARTIN OLDS WAS

KILLED IN THE RUN-UP TO THE JUNE PARLIAMENTARY

ELECTIONS. ON NOVEMBER 11, ANOTHER COMMERCIAL FARMER,

ROBIN MARSHALL, WAS ATTACKED AND INJURED BY WAR VETERANS

ON HIS FARM WHEN HE IGNORED THEIR ORDERS TO STOP

PLANTING. THE POLICE CONTINUE TO EITHER STAND BY AND

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06330 02 OF 02 141019Z

NOT INTERVENE IN THE MAJORITY OF CASES INVOLVING

CONFLICTS BETWEEN WAR VETERANS AND FARMERS, OR ACTIVELY

SIDE WITH THE WAR VETERANS.

 

——————————————— –

CLEAR MILITARY INVOLVEMENT IN THE LAND PROGRAM

——————————————— –

 

6. (U) THERE WAS A REPORT IN THE NOVEMBER 9 – 15 EDITION

OF THE INDEPENDENT PAPER “THE FINANCIAL GAZETTE” THAT

AIR FORCE OF ZIMBABWE (AFZ) MILITARY PERSONNEL HAD

VISITED A FARM IN MASHONALAND WEST PROVINCE AND TOLD THE

FARMER TO STOP PLANTING TOBACCO BECAUSE HIS FARM WAS

BEING ACQUIRED BY THE GOZ. A ZIMBABWE DEFENSE FORCES

SPOKESPERSON CONFIRMED THE REPORT, AND STATED THAT THE

AFZ PERSONNEL HAD ACCOMPANIED ZRP OFFICERS AND THE

DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR TO THE FARM IN THE MILITARY’S

ROLE AS A SUPPORT TO CIVILIAN AUTHORITY. THIS STATEMENT

COMES ON THE HEELS OF RECENT REPORTS OF ZIMBABWE DEFENSE

FORCES (ZDF) INVOLVEMENT, BOTH ARMY AND AIR FORCE, IN

THE FAST-TRACK LAND REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM.

 

7. (C) COMMENT: THE GOZ’S REACTION TO THE SUPREME COURT

ORDER HAS BEEN SURPRISINGLY ACQUIESCENT, AND COULD

SIGNAL THAT A MORE MODERATE GOVERNMENT POLICY ON LAND

REFORM IS IN THE WORKS. WE HAVE SEEN NO VITRIOLIC

CONDEMNATION OF THE SUPREME COURT BY MUGABE AND ZANU-PF

MOUTHPIECE, JONATHAN MOYO, WHICH WOULD BE EXPECTED. ONE

REASON WHY THE GOZ HAS NOT YET FORMULATED A MORE

STRINGENT STANCE MAY BE THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE IS NOT IN

ZIMBABWE TO GIVE GUIDANCE TO HIS LIEUTENANTS. THE FACT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06330 02 OF 02 141019Z

THAT FARMER INTIMIDATION AND FARM INVASIONS CONTINUE

COULD INDICATE THAT THE GOZ MACHINERY IS ALSO SLOW TO

RESPOND TO A CHANGE IN DIRECTION AND THAT IT WILL TAKE

SOME TIME BEFORE THE GOZ’S AGENTS OF LAND RESETTLEMENT

ARE REIGNED IN. WE HAVE SEEN PREVIOUS PROMISES OF A

RETURN TO LAW AND ORDER GO UNHEEDED, BUT AT THIS POINT

ANY SIGN OF A GOZ MOVE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION ON LAND

REFORM IS ONE MORE SIGN THAN EXPECTED. END COMMENT.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(44 VIEWS)

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