Zvinavashe - we will not salute anyone…..

Former Defence Forces chief Vitalis Zvinavashe made headlines in January 2002 when he held a press conference at which he said the security forces would not support or salute anyone with a different agenda that threatened the very existence of Zimbabwe’s sovereignty, the country and its people.

The press conference, just weeks before the presidential elections in which Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai was challenging President Robert Mugabe, was seen as a rebuff of Tsvangirai.

According to a transcript of the press conference provided by the United States embassy in a cable dispatched on 10 January 2002, Zvinavashe said:

“We wish to make it very clear to all Zimbabwean citizens that the security organizations will only stand in support of those political leaders that will pursue Zimbabwean values, traditions and beliefs for which thousands of lives were lost, in pursuit of Zimbabwe's hard won independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests.

“To this end, let it be known that the highest office on the land is a "straight jacket" whose occupant is expected to observe the objectives of the liberation struggle.

“We will therefore not accept, let alone support or salute anyone with a different agenda that threatens the very existence of our sovereignty, our country and our people.”

Zvinavashe also criticised the independent press for writing what he termed false stories.

Media houses were in business but they must not generate profits out of false reports that discredited the leadership and membership of security organizations.

He cited the following stories as examples:

  1. Coup report by Ray Choto/Mark Chavhunduka
  2. The alleged burial of a solider without a head by Grace Kwinjeh
  3. DRC reports on alleged looting by Zimbabwean military and political leadership
  4. Attacks on the person and office of the President
  5. Masara-Nyarota report
  6. Allegations of political victimization by prison officers. in all these cases, no iota of evidence was provided.
  7. Fingaz report by David Masunda alleging that the security chiefs had advised the president to go.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE107, TRANSCRIPT OF THE JANUARY 9 PRESS BRIEF BY

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE107

2002-01-10 14:06

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

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

 

101406Z Jan 02

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ2114

 

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------------------55E87E 101512Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0709

SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE

NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000107

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF AND AF/S

 

NSC FOR SENIOR DIRECTOR FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR NEARY

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL MARR ZI

SUBJECT: TRANSCRIPT OF THE JANUARY 9 PRESS BRIEF BY

ZIMBABWEAN SECURITY CHIEFS

 

REF: HARARE 104

 

FOLLOWING IS THE FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THE JANUARY 9 PRESS

BRIEF BY ZIMBABWEAN SECURITY CHIEFS, DELIVERED BY ZDF FORCE

COMMANDER VITALIS ZVINAVASHE.

 

BEGIN TEXT:

 

1. OVER THE PAST 2 YEARS, THERE HAS BEEN A MARKED INCREASE

IN SPECULATIVE, IMAGINARY AND FALSE ARTICLES BY THE SO-

CALLED INDEPENDENT MEDIA BOTH INTERNALLY AND

INTERNATIONALLY, ON THE STATUS AND OPERATIONS OF THE

NATIONAL SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS. THESE STATEMENTS HAVE

CAUSED INSECURITY, UNCERTAINTY, CONFUSION AND HAVE IN THE

MAIN TARNISHED THE CREDIBILITY OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARMS

OF THE STATE OF ZIMBABWE.

 

2. ALL THESE MACHINATIONS HAVE PROMPTED THE CONVENING OF

THIS PRESS BRIEF TO ARTICULATE THE POSITION OF THE SECURITY

FORCES WHOSE CONSTITUTIONAL ROLE IS THE DEFENSE OF ZIMBABWE

AND ITS INTERESTS.

 

3. ZIMBABWEANS FOUGHT A BITTER AND PROTRACTED STRUGGLE TO

LIBERATE THEMSELVES FROM IMPERIALISM, COLONIALISM,

SETTLERISM AND ALL FORMS OF NEO-COLONIALISM. THE OBJECTIVE

OF THIS BITTER STRUGGLE WAS TO ATTAIN POLITICAL, ECONOMIC,

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL INDEPENDENCE AND SOVEREIGNTY. THIS

WOULD ENSURE THAT ZIMBABWEANS RESTORE THEIR DIGNITY,

RESPECT, FREEDOM AND SECURITY LONG DENIED THEM BY THEIR

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00107 01 OF 03 101512Z

SETTLER COLONIZERS. IN THE PROCESS OF STRIVING TO ACHIEVE

THESE VALUES, OVER 50,000 ZIMBABWEANS PERISHED, THOUSANDS

WERE JAILED, MAIMED AND MANY MORE LEFT HOMELESS AND WITHOUT

PARENTS OR CHILDREN DURING THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE.

 

4. TO SAFEGUARD OUR HISTORY, INDEPENDENCE, SOVEREIGNTY,

TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL HERITAGE AND

ZIMBABWE'S DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL INTERESTS, THE

SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS COMPRISING THE ZNA, AFZ, POLICE, CIO

AND THE PRISON SERVICE WERE ESTABLISHED AS PROVIDED FOR IN

THE CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE. THIS CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION

IS NOT ONLY APPLICABLE TO ZIMBABWE BUT IS UNIVERSALLY

ACCEPTED AND PRACTICED.

 

5. THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE

SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS IS TO ENSURE THAT OUR HARD-WON

INDEPENDENCE, SOVEREIGNTY, NATIONAL HERITAGE, DIGNITY,

CULTURE, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL INTERESTS ARE PROTECTED AT ALL

COSTS. FORTUNATELY FOR ZIMBABWEANS, THE SECURITY

ORGANIZATIONS HAVE A LEADERSHIP THAT WAS PART OF THE BITTER

STRUGGLE FOR LIBERATION. THIS STRUGGLE DEVELOPED POLITICAL

CADIES WHO HAVE A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF ZIMBABWE'S HISTORY,

VALUES AND DESTINY. HIGH TRAINING STANDARDS AND IRON-CLAD

DISCIPLINE HAS CREATED HIGHLY PROFESSIONAL ARMS OF SECURITY

WHICH HAVE GENERATED A SENSE OF SECURITY AND TRUST AT HOME,

AND HIGH REGARD INTERNATIONALLY.

 

6. ANY NATION, AND ZIMBABWE IS NO EXCEPTION, HAS SECURITY

ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE GOVERNED BY LAWS, RULES AND

REGULATIONS DEFINED BY THE CONSTITUTION TO STREAMLINE AND

ENHANCE THEIR OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES. THESE SYSTEMS ARE NOT

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00107 01 OF 03 101512Z

ESTABLISHED BY INDIVIDUALS OR INCUMBENTS HOLDING EXISTING

POSTS BUT ARE MEANT TO SERVE SUCCESSIVE GENERATIONS. SO

ZIMBABWEANS SHOULD KNOW THAT THE SYSTEMS IN PLACE AT THE

MOMENT ARE PRIMARILY DESIGNED TO PROVIDE SECURITY FOR THE

CURRENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS OF ZIMBABWEANS.

 

7. THERE IS THEREFORE NEED FOR ZIMBABWEANS TO RESPECT THESE

CONSTITUTIONALLY ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS BECAUSE FAILURE TO DO

SO WOULD RESULT IN INSTABILITY, LAWLESSNESS AND ULTIMATELY,

ANARCHY. THE IMPACT OF MALICIOUS DISRESPECT AND GENERALIZED

MALIGNING OF SECURITY ARMS OF THE STATE IS THAT SOCIETY

LOSES CONFIDENCE IN THE SECURITY ESTABLISHMENT THEREBY

UNDERMINING THE SECURITY OF THE NATION.

 

8. GIVEN THAT THE ZIMBABWEAN SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS HAVE

LEARNT A LOT OF LESSONS FROM SITUATIONS OF ANARCHY

REGIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY: FOR EXAMPLE IN SOMALIA,

RWANDA, ANGOLA, SIERRA LEONE, KOSOVO, EAST TIMOR AND DRC,

THEY NATURALLY, CANNOT ALLOW SUCH SITUATION TO DEVELOP IN

ZIMBABWE. OUR RECORD IN CONTRIBUTING TO PEACE IN NEARLY ALL

THESE COUNTRIES BEARS TESTIMONY TO OUR CAPABILITIES. ALL

THIS CLEARLY AND IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS DEFINE THE HISTORY OF

ZIMBABWE AND ITS PEOPLE, FOR A PEOPLE WITHOUT A HISTORY ARE

A PEOPLE WITHOUT A DESTINY. EQUALLY, A PEOPLE WITHOUT

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ2115

 

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------------------55E899 101512Z /38

O 101406Z JAN 02

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0710

SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE

NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

 

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 000107

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF AND AF/S

 

NSC FOR SENIOR DIRECTOR FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR NEARY

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL MARR ZI

SUBJECT: TRANSCRIPT OF THE JANUARY 9 PRESS BRIEF BY

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00107 02 OF 03 101512Z

ZIMBABWEAN SECURITY CHIEFS

 

PEACE, LAW AND ORDER CANNOT DEVELOP.

 

9. WHILE IT IS THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA TO INFORM AND EDUCATE

THE PUBLIC, THERE IS NEED FOR THE MEDIA TO UNDERSTAND THE

FOLLOWING WITH REGARDS TO SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS:

 

A.   THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POLITICAL AND

SECURITY SYSTEMS. IT THEREFORE FOLLOWS THAT IN THE PROCESS

OF PROVIDING INFORMATION, THE MEDIA MUST SEPARATE THE TWO.

 

B.   ATTACKS ON INDIVIDUALS BASED ON CONTRIVED INFORMATION

BY THE MEDIA USING EXISTING SECURITY ORGANIZATION SYSTEMS

BREED MISUNDERSTANDINGS, MISTRUST, DIVISIONS AND UNDERMINE

THE CREDIBILITY OF THE SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS. TYPICAL

EXAMPLES ARE:

 

(1) COUP REPORT BY RAY CHOTO/MARK CHAVHUNDUKA

(2) THE ALLEGED BURIAL OF A SOLIDER WITHOUT A HEAD BY GRACE

KWINJEH

(3) DRC REPORTS ON ALLEGED LOOTING BY ZIMBABWEAN MILITARY

AND POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

(4) ATTACKS ON THE PERSON AND OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

(5) MASARA-NYAROTA REPORT

(6) ALLEGATIONS OF POLITICAL VICTIMIZATION BY PRISON

OFFICERS. IN ALL THESE CASES, NO IOTA OF EVIDENCE WAS

PROVIDED.

(7) FINGAZ REPORT BY DAVID MASUNDA ALLEGING THAT THE

SECURITY CHIEFS HAD ADVISED THE PRESIDENT TO GO.

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00107 02 OF 03 101512Z

C.   WHILST IT IS KNOWN THAT MEDIA HOUSES ARE IN BUSINESS,

THEY MUST NOT GENERATE PROFITS OUT OF FALSE REPORTS THAT

DISCREDIT THE LEADERSHIP AND MEMBERSHIP OF SECURITY

ORGANIZATIONS.

 

D.   SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS BY THEIR NATURE ARE SENSITIVE

INSTITUTIONS AND THE SAME APPLIES TO THE INCUMBENT

LEADERSHIP. THIS IS NOT A NEW POINT TO MAKE AS THIS

SENSITIVITY IS KNOWN AND RESPECTED IN AND BY ALL SOCIETIES

OF THE WORLD, INCLUDING INSTITUTIONS I THOSE SOCIETIES. IT

IS THEREFORE IMPORTANT THAT MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS VERIFY

REPORTS ON SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS PRIOR TO THEIR

PUBLICATION. MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT

INDIVIDUALS IN SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS

LIKE ANY OTHER CITIZEN OF ZIMBABWE.

 

E.   THE MEDIA SHOULD NOT CREATE SITUATIONS THAT INVITE THE

SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS TO BE INVOLVED. OUR EXPERIENCES HAVE

SHOWN THAT WHEN SITUATIONS DETERIORATE AND SECURITY FORCES

ARE CALLED UP, IT IS USUALLY THE INNOCENT MAJORITY WHO

SUFFER MOST. FURTHERMORE, EXPERIENCE ALSO SHOWS THAT

MISREPRESENTATION OF FACTS BY THE MEDIA HAVE RESULTED IN

CONFLICTS.

 

10. WE ARE THEREFORE ADVISING ALL CITIZENS OF ZIMBABWE THAT

ANY REPORTS AND ACTIONS DESIGNED TO CREATE INSTABILITY IN

ZIMBABWE WILL BE MET BY THE FULL FORCE OF THE LAW. THIS

WILL INCLUDE ENFORCEMENT, WHERE IT IS DEEMED NECESSARY.

INDIVIDUALS WILL BE ANSWERABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. THE LAW

WILL TAKE ITS COURSE TO ENSURE THAT ZIMBABWE'S INDEPENDENCE,

TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AND SOVEREIGNTY, WHICH TO A LARGE

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00107 02 OF 03 101512Z

EXTEND DEPEND ON UPHOLDING THE VALUES AND GOOD NAME OF THE

SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS ARE PRESERVED.

 

11. SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS ARE THEREFORE APPEALING TO OUR

PARLIAMENTARIANS TO ENACT LAWS THAT PROTECT OUR SOVEREIGNTY

AND INDEPENDENCE AND THAT SERVE THE INTERESTS OF THE

MAJORITY OF ZIMBABWEANS.

 

12. THE SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS WANT ZIMBABWEANS TO CAMPAIGN

AND VOTE IN A PEACEFUL MANNER. THERE SHOULD BE NO

ENCOURAGEMENT OF VIOLENCE AND POLITICAL LEADERS AND THEIR

FOLLOWERS SHOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. SECURITY

ORGANIZATIONS HAVE RESOLVED TO PROVIDE AN ENVIRONMENT

CONDUCIVE TO A PEACEFUL ELECTORAL PROCESS.

 

13. IN PURSUING THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES, THE SECURITY

ORGANIZATIONS ARE GUIDED BY TWO CRUCIAL VALUES. THE FIRST

AND MOST IMPORTANT IS THAT THOSE WHO FOUGHT AND DIED FOR THE

LIBERATION OF ZIMBABWE DID NOT DO SO IN VAIN. SECONDLY, ANY

CHANGE DESIGNED TO REVERSE THE GAINS OF THIS REVOLUTION WILL

NOT BE SUPPORTED.

 

14. AS WE CONCLUDE THIS PRESS BRIEF, WE WISH TO MAKE IT VERY

CLEAR TO ALL ZIMBABWEAN CITIZENS THAT THE SECURITY

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ2116

 

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------------------55E89B 101512Z /38

O 101406Z JAN 02

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0711

SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE

NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

 

UNCLAS SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 000107

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR AF AND AF/S

 

NSC FOR SENIOR DIRECTOR FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR NEARY

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL MARR ZI

SUBJECT: TRANSCRIPT OF THE JANUARY 9 PRESS BRIEF BY

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00107 03 OF 03 101512Z

ZIMBABWEAN SECURITY CHIEFS

 

ORGANIZATIONS WILL ONLY STAND IN SUPPORT OF THOSE POLITICAL

LEADERS THAT WILL PURSUE ZIMBABWEAN VALUES, TRADITIONS AND

BELIEFS FOR WHICH THOUSANDS OF LIVES WERE LOST, IN PURSUIT

OF ZIMBABWE'S HARD WON INDEPENDENCE, SOVEREIGNTY,

TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AND NATIONAL INTERESTS. TO THIS END,

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT THE HIGHEST OFFICE ON THE LAND IS A

"STRAIGHT JACKET" WHOSE OCCUPANT IS EXPECTED TO OBSERVE THE

OBJECTIVES OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE. WE WILL THEREFORE

NOT ACCEPT, LET ALONE SUPPORT OR SALUTE ANYONE WITH A

DIFFERENT AGENDA THAT THREATENS THE VERY EXISTENCE OF OUR

SOVEREIGNTY, OUR COUNTRY AND OUR PEOPLE.

 

15. WE THANK YOU ALL FOR LISTENING AND WE DO HOP WE HAVE

MADE OUR POSITION VERY CLEAR TO OUR FELLOW CITIZENS.

 

END TEXT.

 

SULLIVAN

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

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