Chamisa back in the can


0

Movement for Democratic Change legislator for Kuwadzana Nelson Chamisa was arrested for holding a constituency feedback meeting at his house without police approval in what appeared to be continued harassment of the MDC.

National Constitutional Assembly president Lovemore Madhuku was also arrested for organising a demonstration without police approval.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 04HARARE1526, OPPOSITION FIGURES ARRESTED, OFFICES RAIDED

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

04HARARE1526

2004-09-09 16:19

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.

 

091619Z Sep 04

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001526

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/09/2009

TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI MDC

SUBJECT: OPPOSITION FIGURES ARRESTED, OFFICES RAIDED

 

REF: (A) HARARE 1497 (B) HARARE 693 (C) HARARE 220

 

Classified By: AMBASSADOR CHRISTOPHER W. DELL UNDER SECTION 1.5 B/D

 

1. (SBU) Zimbabwean police on the evening of September 8

arrested MDC MP and Shadow Minister for Youth Affairs Nelson

Chamisa and 13 of his constituents at his home in Kuwadzana,

a high-density suburb of Harare. Chamisa,s lawyer told us

that he expected Chamisa to be charged under the Public Order

and Security Act (POSA) for holding a constituency feedback

meeting at his house without police approval. Still in

custody as of the afternoon of September 9, Chamisa retained

his cell phone and was in touch with the party and his

lawyer, who said he would likely be released that day or the

next.

 

2. (C ) Separately, MDC MP and Shadow Minister of Justice

David Coltart confirmed to Poloff that police had raided the

MDC,s Bulawayo offices on September 7. They initially

arrived without a warrant, were denied entry, and returned

with a warrant to search for “subversive materials.” None

were found. Coltart also reported that authorities had

informed him September 8 that they planned to resuscitate a

two-year old case, suspended last year, against him on a

charge of discharging a firearm near a public road. A date

had yet to be set for the case, in which he faced a fine of

ZD2000 (about USD 0.40).

 

3. (SBU) In a third recent incident of harassment,

Zimbabwean police released National Constitutional Assembly

(NCA) President Lovemore Madhuku at 5:00 p.m. September 8

after arresting him twelve hours earlier at his home.

According to NCA sources, he had been charged under POSA for

organizing a public demonstration without police approval

(ref A). Police also searched NCA offices and had wanted to

seize the organization,s membership lists but were dissuaded

by NCA lawyers.

 

4. (C) COMMENT: The MDC,s publicized election boycott

(albeit conditional) does not appear to have altered the

ruling party,s campaign tactics for the March parliamentary

elections. The Chamisa and Madhuku arrests are consistent

with historical patterns of declining GOZ tolerance for

critics in the run-up to elections and likely presage even

tougher times for ruling party opponents. That said, POSA

may be a useful tool for harassment but it is not a decisive

weapon in the ruling party,s arsenal. The state has

arrested thousands under this colonial vestige but has never

secured a conviction. The temporary loss of liberty and

associated legal costs nonetheless deter civil disobedience

for many prospective activists and smear opposition MPs with

adverse publicity in the government media.

Dell

 

(9 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *