Chinamasa sent parcel bomb


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Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was sent a parcel bomb in February 2004 but apparently he was out of the country at the time and the parcel bomb which was received by his secretary was defused by the police.

According to a cable released by Wikileaks the incident was not reported publicly.

At the time Chinamasa had voiced concern about the security of his position especially because of the level of the President’s confidence in him.

He had also reportedly received threats from senior party officials during his tenure as attorney general years ago in connection with prosecutions he had considered pursuing against party members.

Embassy officials commented that with the recent arrests of party stalwarts Philip Chiyangwa and James Makamba, fear and loathing within the ruling party was on the upswing and Chinamasa was probably not alone in his professional anxiety.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 04HARARE314, BOMB REPORTEDLY DEFUSED AT JUSTICE MINISTER’S

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

04HARARE314

2004-02-23 13:44

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.

 

231344Z Feb 04

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000314

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR SDELISI, LAROIAN, MRAYNOR

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER, DTEITELBAUM

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR CNEARY

NAIROBI FOR TPFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/22/2009

TAGS: PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: BOMB REPORTEDLY DEFUSED AT JUSTICE MINISTER’S

OFFICE

 

 

Classified By: Political Officer Win Dayton under Section 1.5(b)(d)

 

1. (C) An Embassy FSN whose family is close to the family of

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa reported on February 22

that, according to Chinamasa’s secretary, an unidentified

woman delivered a suspicious package to the Minister’s office

last week. In the course of opening the package, the

secretary discovered that it contained an apparent bomb and

 

SIPDIS

summoned the police. A police bomb squad removed that

package and reportedly defused it. Chinamasa was visiting

Zambia at the time and the incident has not been reported

publicly. The FSN, whose family sees Chinamasa regularly,

noted that he had increasingly been voicing concern about the

security of his position and the level of the President’s

confidence in him in recent months. He reportedly had

received threats from senior party officials during his

tenure as attorney general years ago in connection with

prosecutions he had considered pursuing against party

members, but was not known to have received threats of late.

 

 

2. (C) COMMENT: With the recent arrests of party stalwarts

Philip Chiyangwa and James Makamba, fear and loathing within

the ruling party is on the upswing and Chinamasa is probably

not alone in his professional anxiety. Word of this latest

development will likely fuel paranoia and paralysis within

the party. It is unclear how the purported attack could

affect Chinamasa’s enthusiasm as ruling party point person in

interparty talks on talks.

 

3. (C) COMMENT (CONT’D): There are no obvious suspects or

motives for sending the bomb, and Chinamasa seems an unlikely

target. Often identified as a hard-liner for his

orchestration of the ruling party’s legislative strategies

and legal campaign against the MDC and its members, the

Justice Minister is probably more of a pragmatic careerist.

He lacks a meaningful popular constituency and does not pose

an overt political threat to those within the party. He is

one of the more austere cabinet ministers, generally

eschewing the business empire-building of many in favor of

politicking and farming on his farm(s), at least one of which

predated fast track land reform. Aggressive and

publicity-seeking earlier in his tenure as Justice Minister,

Chinamasa has kept a relatively low profile during the last

six months.

 

SULLIVAN

(8 VIEWS)

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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.

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