Chinotimba and Hunzvi in Bikita to bolster ZANU-PF


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War veterans including their leaders Chenjerai Hunzvi and Joseph Chinotimba invaded Bikita to crank up the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front ahead of the Bikita West by-election.

The seat was previously held by the Movement for Democratic Change.

The intimidation campaign was being coordinated by Youth Minister Border Gezi who was elevated the ZANU-PF political commissar. Gezi reportedly deployed five buses and 14 truckloads of ZANU-PF youths and war veterans to Nyika growth point for the intimidation campaign.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE7164, ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY CRANKS UP INTIMIDATION

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE7164

2000-12-20 13:08

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.

 

201308Z Dec 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ9192

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 07164 01 OF 02 201308Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00

DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   OIGO-00

FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00

L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01

PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   STR-00

TRSE-00 USIE-00 R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-02   DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /010W

——————ADCFA2 201309Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7886

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 007164

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

PASS USAID FOR A/AID RMCCALL, AA/AFR VDERRYCK, AFR/SA

CPALMA

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 07164 01 OF 02 201308Z

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/20/10

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY CRANKS UP INTIMIDATION

FOR NEW BY-ELECTION

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR

REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: THE ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY IS CRANKING

ITS VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION MACHINE INTO HIGH GEAR FOR

THE BIKITA WEST BY-ELECTION NOW SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY

13-14, 2001. THE BY-ELECTION IS BEING HELD TO REPLACE

THE MDC MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT WHO DIED OF AN ILLNESS IN

NOVEMBER. YOUTH DEVELOPMENT MINISTER AND NEW ZANU-PF

COMMISSAR BORDER GEZI HAS DEPLOYED BUSLOADS OF ZANU-PF

YOUTH AND WAR VETERANS TO BIKITA WEST, IN MASVINGO

PROVINCE, TO HARASS OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS, STEAL VOTER

IDENTIFICATION CARDS, AND CLOSE OFF THE AREA TO MDC

RALLIES, ACCORDING TO AN MDC ADVISOR IN BIKITA WEST.

FIFTY PEOPLE WERE INJURED IN CLASHES BETWEEN MDC AND

ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS ON DECEMBER 17. THE MDC CANDIDATE

HAS ALREADY GONE INTO HIDING. GIVEN THE MDC’S NARROW

MARGIN OF VICTORY IN JUNE, IT APPEARS LIKELY THAT ZANU-

PF WILL BE ABLE TO INTIMIDATE ANOTHER CONSTITUENCY INTO

VOTING FOR ITS CANDIDATE AND BOOST ITS MAJORITY IN

PARLIAMENT. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) ON DECEMBER 19, POLOFF MET ALEX MUPA, AN MDC

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 07164 01 OF 02 201308Z

MEMBER AND ADVISOR TO MDC CANDIDATE FOR PARLIAMENT IN

BIKITA WEST, BONIFACE PAKAI. MUPA REPORTED THAT AFTER

ZANU-PF CONCLUDED ITS CONGRESS ON DECEMBER 16, YOUTH

DEVELOPMENT MINISTER AND NEW RULING PARTY COMMISSAR

BORDER GEZI DEPLOYED FIVE BUSLOADS AND 14 TRUCKLOADS OF

ZANU-PF YOUTH AND WAR VETERANS TO NYIKA GROWTH POINT IN

BIKITA WEST. (NOTE: GEZI, JUST ELEVATED TO THE

POLITBURO, LED ZANU-PF’S INTIMIDATION CAMPAIGN IN JUNE

IN MASHONALAND WEST, WHERE HE WAS GOVERNOR. END NOTE.)

THE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT MINISTRY MAINTAINS A YOUTH

TRAINING FACILITY IN BIKITA, SO THE PARTY CAN EASILY PUT

UP HUNDREDS OF SUPPORTERS IN THE CONSTITUENCY, MUPA

CLAIMED. TWO OF THE TRUCKS USED IN THE OPERATION WERE

ARMY VEHICLES, HE ADDED. CHIKOMBA MP AND WAR VETERANS

LEADER CHENJERAI HUNZVI AND SELF-STYLED FARM OCCUPATIONS

LEADER JOSEPH CHINOTIMBA HAVE ALSO APPEARED IN BIKITA

WEST TO ORGANIZE THE INTIMIDATION CAMPAIGN. THE

DECEMBER 19 “THE DAILY NEWS” REPORTED THAT, SHORTLY

AFTER THE ZANU-PF OPERATIVES DESCENDED ON BIKITA WEST ON

DECEMBER 17, CLASHES ERUPTED WITH MDC SUPPORTERS, AND 50

PEOPLE WERE INJURED. THE “NEWS” REPORTED THAT A YOUTH

WEARING AN MDC T-SHIRT WAS SEVERELY BEATEN, AND MUPA

CLAIMED HE LATER DIED FROM HIS INJURIES.

 

3. (C) THE ZANU-PF “TASK FORCE” HAS WASTED NO TIME IN

INTIMIDATING THE RESIDENTS OF BIKITA WEST, ACCORDING TO

MUPA. WAR VETERANS ARE BEATING UP SUSPECTED MDC

SUPPORTERS, OCCUPYING COMMERCIAL FARMS AND THE BIKITA

MINERALS PLANT, AND FORCING PEOPLE TO SURRENDER THEIR

NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION CARDS SO THEY CANNOT VOTE IN

JANUARY. WOMEN ARE BEING FORCED TO SCRUB PAINTED MDC

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 07164 01 OF 02 201308Z

MARKINGS OFF OF ASPHALT ROADWAYS, MUPA CONTINUED. FARM

INVASIONS, WHICH BEGAN IN THE AREA LAST FEBRUARY, ARE

INTENSIFYING: WAR VETS ARE FORCIBLY REMOVING FARM

WORKERS FROM COMMERCIAL FARMS AND TRANSPORTING THEM TO

COMMUNAL FARMS, AT LEAST THREE PROMINENT LOCAL

COMMERCIAL FARMERS AND CATTLE RANCHERS HAVE FLED THE

AREA, AND WORK ON THE FARMS HAS HALTED. ZANU-PF CADRES

ARE ALSO THREATENING LOCAL CHIEFS AND SUB-CHIEFS, SAYING

THAT IF THEY DO NOT MAKE THEIR SUBJECTS VOTE FOR ZANU-

PF, THE RULING PARTY WILL TAKE AWAY THEIR GOVERNMENT

SALARIES AND POWERS OF LAND APPORTIONMENT, ACCORDING TO

THE MDC ADVISOR.

 

4. (C) THE MDC, FOR ITS PART, IS BEING FORCED TO HALT

ITS CAMPAIGN AND REFOCUS ON CIVIC EDUCATION, MUPA

REPORTED. THE WAR VETERANS HAVE THREATENED TO ABDUCT

THE MDC CANDIDATE, BONIFACE PAKAI, AND HE HAS GONE INTO

HIDING ALONG WITH HIS CAMPAIGN MANAGER. THE WIVES OF

OTHER LOCAL MDC OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN TAKEN OUT OF THE

AREA FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY, MUPA CONTINUED. SINCE OPEN

CAMPAIGNING IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE, THE MDC IS REFOCUSING

ITS EFFORTS ON CIVIC EDUCATION. THEY ARE COUNSELING

BIKITA WEST RESIDENTS ON THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO

VOTE, THE NEED TO REGISTER TO VOTE, AND THE IMPORTANCE

OF HOLDING ON TO THEIR IDENTIFICATION CARDS. OPPOSITION

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ9193

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 07164 02 OF 02 201309Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00

DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00

FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   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 PRM-02   DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /010W

——————ADCFB9 201309Z /38

P 201308Z DEC 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7887

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 007164

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

PASS USAID FOR A/AID RMCCALL, AA/AFR VDERRYCK, AFR/SA

CPALMA

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 07164 02 OF 02 201309Z

 

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/20/10

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY CRANKS UP INTIMIDATION

FOR NEW BY-ELECTION

 

SUPPORTERS ARE ALSO TELLING PEOPLE THAT THEY SHOULD NOT

BE INTIMIDATED BY THE PRESENCE OF ZANU-PF CADRES.

BELYING HIS CLAIM THAT THE MDC IS TAKING A STRICTLY NON-

VIOLENT APPROACH, MUPA ADDED THAT ON THE NIGHT OF

DECEMBER 18, MDC YOUTHS IN BIKITA PAID A CALL ON WAR

VETERANS LEADER HUNZVI, BEAT HIM UP, AND SENT HIM

FLEEING.

 

5. (C) MUPA WENT ON TO CHARACTERIZE THE BIKITA WEST

VIOLENCE AS A LARGER CONFLICT BETWEEN THE KARANGA AND

ZEZURU SUBCLANS OF THE SHONA ETHNIC GROUP. THE ZEZURU,

WHO DOMINATE THE GOVERNMENT, ARE BENT ON BREAKING UP A

PERCEIVED ALLIANCE BETWEEN THE KARANGA OF MASVINGO

PROVINCE AND THE NDEBELE, WHO PREDOMINATE IN

MATABELELAND. MUPA STATED THAT THE INTENSITY OF THE

CAMPAIGN IN BIKITA WEST IS LINKED TO THE REMOVAL OF

MASVINGO “SUPREMO” EDDISON ZVOBGO FROM THE ZANU-PF

POLITBURO. MASVINGO, AND THE KARANGA OF BIKITA WEST,

ARE BEING PUNISHED FOR ZVOBGO’S DEFIANCE OF PRESIDENT

MUGABE. MUPA CLAIMED THAT ZANU-PF IS NO LONGER A

NATIONAL PARTY, BUT PURELY AN INSTRUMENT OF THE ZEZURU

SUBCLAN.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 07164 02 OF 02 201309Z

6. (C) COMMENT: ALTHOUGH WE HAVE NOT SEEN THE SITUATION

IN BIKITA WEST FIRST-HAND, WE FIND MUPA’S ACCOUNT

CREDIBLE. BIKITA IS REMOTE AND NOT SUBJECT TO SCRUTINY

BY THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA, DIPLOMATIC CORPS, OR FOREIGN

NON-GOVERNMENTAL OBSERVERS. THUS, WE INFER THE RULING

PARTY FEELS LESS CONSTRAINED IN HOW IT APPLIES THE

MAILED FIST TO THIS CONSTITUENCY THAT VOTED FOR THE MDC.

ZANU-PF IS PULLING OUT ALL THE STOPS TO PREVENT THE MDC

FROM MOBILIZING POPULAR SUPPORT AND TO WHITTLE AWAY AT

ITS SIZABLE MINORITY IN PARLIAMENT. THE MDC WON BIKITA

WEST IN THE JUNE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS BY FEWER THAN

300 VOTES, AND ZANU-PF APPARENTLY BELIEVES IT CAN

RECAPTURE THE SEAT WITH OVERWHELMING INTIMIDATION. IT

SAW THAT ITS VIOLENT TACTICS WERE SUCCESSFUL IN THE

NOVEMBER MARONDERA WEST BY-ELECTION, AND IT WILL STICK

WITH ITS PROVEN STRATEGY. POPULAR DISSATISFACTION WITH

ZANU-PF IS SO GREAT THAT THE PARTY SEES NO OTHER WAY TO

STAY IN POWER. ANY ZANU-PF LOSSES AT THIS POINT WOULD

ENCOURAGE MORE ZIMBABWEANS TO VOTE FOR THE OPPOSITION IN

THE FUTURE. THE RULING PARTY IS UNWILLING TO TAKE ANY

CHANCES. GIVEN THE OPPOSITION’S INABILITY TO

EFFECTIVELY CAMPAIGN IN THIS ENVIRONMENT AND THE POPULAR

FEAR OF MORE VIOLENCE AND RETRIBUTION, THE MDC IS

UNLIKELY TO RETAIN ITS SEAT IN BIKITA WEST.

 

7. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED: WE HAVE HEARD THAT URBAN

DWELLERS VISITING FAMILY IN BIKITA FOR THE HOLIDAYS MAY

TRY TO PLAY A ROLE IN LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD. THERE

ARE REPORTS THAT URBAN MDC SUPPORTERS MAY TAKE ADVANTAGE

OF THE EXTENDED HOLIDAY PERIOD TO VISIT BIKITA AND BOTH

BOLSTER THE RESOLVE OF BIKITA VOTERS AND “DEAL WITH” THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 07164 02 OF 02 201309Z

ZANU-PF-DEPLOYED YOUTH AND WAR VETERANS. IF TRUE, THIS

COULD WELL RESULT IN EVEN MORE VIOLENCE THAN WAS

EXPERIENCED IN THE RECENT MARONDERA WEST BY-ELECTION.

ALSO, IT COULD SIGNAL A NEW KIND OF TAKE-THE-BULL-BY-

THE-HORNS “MASS ACTION” BY MDC SUPPORTERS. END COMMENT.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(15 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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