A Catholic priest for Banket wrote Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front member Philip Chiyangwa urging him to stop the violence in the run-up to the 2000 Parliamentary elections after he had allegedly asked his audience to kill any member of the opposition.
The priest’s letter was among the diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks last week having found its way to the American embassy through the Movement for Democratic Change.
The priest called for peace and asked Chiyangwa whether he would only represent those who voted for him or the entire constituency if he was elected to parliament.
Viewing cable 00HARARE3095, LETTER FROM A CATHOLIC PRIEST ON ZIMBABWEAN
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
PAGE 01 HARARE 03095 081541Z
INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DODE-00 ANHR-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EUR-00 UTED-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00
INR-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00
OMB-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00
TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
——————60A6E7 081544Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6250
INFO AMEMBASSY ROME
UNCLAS HARARE 003095
DEPT. FOR AF PDAS POWELL, DAS SCHNEIDMAN, AF/S DIRECTOR
RENDER, ZIMBABWE DESK OFFICER GURNEY
ROME PASS TO VATICAN FOR AMBASSADOR BOGGS FROM AMBASSADOR
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: LETTER FROM A CATHOLIC PRIEST ON ZIMBABWEAN
PAGE 02 HARARE 03095 081541Z
THE FOLLOWING IS A LETTER PROVIDED TO US BY A MOVEMENT FOR
DEMOCRATIC CHANGE, (MDC) (THE MAJOR OPPOSITION PARTY),
ACTIVIST THAT WAS SENT FROM A CATHOLIC PARISH PRIEST TO A
ZANU-PF PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE, MR. PHILLIP CHIYANGWA,
URGING HIM TO HELP STOP THE ONGOING POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN
ZIMBABWE AND CRITICIZING HIM FOR HIS PUBLIC STATEMENTS.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE IT WITH VATICAN OFFICIALS, BUT
PROTECT THE PRIEST’S NAME, AS YOU URGE THEM TO BE HELPFUL ON
THIS ISSUE WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE. I LOOK FORWARD
TO OUR CONTINUING DIALOGUE ON THIS MATTER.
BEST REGARDS, TOM
DEAR MR. CHIYANGWA,
I AM WRITING TO YOU AS THE CATHOLIC PRIEST OF BANKET, A
PLACE IN YOUR FUTURE CONSTITUENCY. I AM WRITING BECAUSE I AM
VERY CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR MEETING WHICH YOU HELD IN
KUWADZANA TOWNSHIP ON FRIDAY 19TH MAY, 2000 IN THE KUWADZANA
HALL. A NUMBER OF OUR PARISHIONERS AND CHRISTIANS FROM OTHER
DENOMINATIONS ARE VERY WORRIED ABOUT YOUR SPEECH AND THE WAY
YOU ADVOCATED VIOLENCE, DESTRUCTION AND HATRED AMONG OUR
PEOPLE. YOU HAD BEEN SAYING THAT IF ANYONE KNOWS OF A MEMBER
OF ANOTHER PARTY (YOU MENTIONED THE MDC) “KILL HIM”. YOU
ENCOURAGED THE DESTRUCTION OF PUBLIC PROPERTY (PTC) WHICH IS
THERE FOR THE GOOD OF ALL PEOPLE.
THE PEOPLE OF BANKET ARE PEACEFUL PEOPLE IRRESPECTIVE OF
COLOR, CREEO OR POLITICAL ALLEGIANCE, WHO WANT TO WORK
PAGE 03 HARARE 03095 081541Z
TOGETHER ANO BUILO UP THE COUNTRY. YOUR AIM SEEMS TO BE THE
OPPOSITE. YOUR SPEECH HAS MAOE MANY PEOPLE VERY SAO, BECAUSE
YOU SEEM TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO FIGHT A CIVIL WAR, A WAR OF
MURDER ANO OESTRUCTION.
MOST OF YOUR LISTENERS ARE CHRISTIANS. REMEMBER, THEY KNOW
THE COMMANDMENT “THOU SHALT NOT KILL”. MOST OF YOUR
LISTENERS RESPECT THE TRADITIONAL VALUES OF THEIR
FOREFATHERS, FOR WHICH MURDER WAS A CRIME. THEY STILL CLING
TO THE IDEA OF HUMAN INTEGRITY (IN SHONA “UNHU”). WE ARE
VERY WORRIED THAT THESE VALUES ARE BEING DESTROYED THESE
DAYS AND ASK YOU TO THINK ABOUT YOUR ATTACK ON HUMAN DIGNITY
ON FRIDAY 19TH MAY, IN THE KUWADZANA HALL.
I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: WHEN YOU ARE
ELECTED WILL YOU FEEL RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL PEOPLE IN THE
CONSTITUENCY OR ONLY TO THE MEMBERS OF YOUR PARTY? THIS IS
IMPORTANT FOR ALL WHO VOTE, BECAUSE WE WANT MEMBERS IN
PARLIAMENT WHO INTEGRATE A COMMUNITY AND NOT THOSE WHO
DIVIDE, INTIMIDATE AND EVEN ENCOURAGE LAWLESSNESS.
WE ARE PRAYING DAILY IN OUR CONGREGATION FOR PEACE AND THE
ADVANCEMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND OR MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF ALL
PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY. WE PRAY ALSO FOR YOU, THAT YOU MAY
REALIZE WHAT THE TRUE VALUES ARE. I AM NOT WRITING AS A
POLITICIAN TO YOU BUT AS A PRIEST, WHO HAS THE GOOD OF ALL
PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY AT HEART.
¶W. THAMM SJ
PARISH PRIEST, BANKET
PAGE 04 HARARE 0