Coltart urged West to freeze Mugabe’s assets


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Bulawayo legislator David Coltart urged the United States to put pressure on the international community especially the Commonwealth to put pressure on President Robert Mugabe to restore the rule of law in the country.

He said that the essence of that message should be that the international community would not tolerate the government’s continued abuse of the rule of law and that, if Mugabe continued to violate the human rights of his citizens in an effort to remain in power, he would face specific consequences.

Coltart said these consequences could include a ban on international travel by Mugabe and his cronies and a coordinated investigation of the amount and location of their assets.

He said the threat of having his assets seized would force Mugabe to reverse his more objectionable and damaging policies.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE507, MDC MP URGES INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO GET TOUGH

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE507

2001-01-25 05:34

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.

 

250534Z Jan 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5162

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00507 01 OF 03 250536Z

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/009W

——————BB41C1 250536Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8076

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY OTTAWA

AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON

AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY ACCRA

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000507

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00507 01 OF 03 250536Z

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 01/24/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS ZI

SUBJECT: MDC MP URGES INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO GET TOUGH

WITH MUGABE

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL IRVING. REASONS: 1.5

(B) AND (D).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) MP DAVID

COLTART TOLD POLOFFS ON JANUARY 24 THAT ZIMBABWE’S

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION MUST BE HELD BETWEEN JANUARY 1 AND

MARCH 31, 2002, AND SAID ANY ATTEMPT TO CALL AN EARLIER

ELECTION WOULD BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL. HE CLAIMED THAT THE

MDC HAS THE SUPPORT TO WIN AN ELECTION THAT IS EVEN CLOSE

TO FREE AND FAIR, AND SAID THE PARTY WOULD FOCUS ON

REGISTERING THE 600,000 ZIMBABWEANS EXPECTED TO TURN 18

BETWEEN LAST JUNE’S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION AND THE UPCOMING

PRESIDENTIAL POLL. ACCORDING TO COLTART, A COORDINATED

CAMPAIGN OF PRESSURE ON PRESIDENT MUGABE BY THE

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY — PARTICULARLY COMMONWEALTH

NATIONS — IS ESSENTIAL TO ACHIEVING RESTORATION OF THE

RULE OF LAW AND A FREE AND FAIR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

COLTART EXPRESSED SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT INCREASING

HARASSMENT AND INTIMIDATION OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICES, AND

ASKED THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY DO WHAT IT CAN TO

BOLSTER THE JUDICIARY. END SUMMARY.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00507 01 OF 03 250536Z

 

2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

————————–

 

2. (C) IN A JANUARY 24 DISCUSSION OF RECENT POLITICAL

DEVELOPMENTS WITH POLOFFS, MDC MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND

SECRETARY FOR LEGAL AFFAIRS — AND PROMINENT HUMAN RIGHTS

 

SIPDIS

LAWYER — DAVID COLTART NOTED THAT THE PRESIDENTIAL

ELECTION MUST BE HELD BETWEEN JANUARY 1 AND MARCH 31, 2002.

ACCORDING TO COLTART, THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES THAT A

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION BE HELD WITHIN 90 DAYS PRIOR TO THE

EXPIRATION OF THE INCUMBENT’S TERM, AND PRESIDENT MUGABE’S

CURRENT TERM EXPIRES ON APRIL 1, 2002. HE DISMISSED THE

POSSIBILITY THAT ZANU-PF COULD CALL A SNAP ELECTION LATER

THIS YEAR IN AN EFFORT TO CATCH THE MDC OFF-GUARD, SAYING

SUCH A MOVE WOULD BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THE ONLY WAY AN

ELECTION COULD BE HELD EARLIER THAN THE SPECIFIED 90-DAY

PERIOD, COLTART SAID, WOULD BE IN THE EVENT MUGABE

RESIGNED, DIED, OR WAS INCAPACITATED.

 

3. (C) COLTART INSISTED THAT ZIMBABWEAN DEMOGRAPHICS FAVOR

THE MDC IN THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. ZANU-PF, HE

POINTED OUT, WON 200,000 FEWER VOTES THAN THE OPPOSITION

PARTIES IN LAST JUNE’S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS AND WOULD BE

UNLIKELY, FOR TWO REASONS, TO PRESERVE EVEN THAT MARGIN IN

2002. FIRST, COLTART CONTENDED, ZANU-PF RECEIVED AS MANY

VOTES AS IT DID BECAUSE MANY OF THE RULING PARTY’S

PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATES WERE POPULAR IN THEIR LOCAL

COMMUNITIES. MUGABE, THOUGH, WOULD NOT RECEIVE AS MANY

VOTES NATIONWIDE AS HIS PARTY DID, BECAUSE HE IS DEEPLY

UNPOPULAR. SECOND, COLTART NOTED, SOME 600,000 ZIMBABWEANS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00507 01 OF 03 250536Z

ARE EXPECTED TO TURN 18 — AND THUS BECOME ELIGIBLE TO VOTE

— BEFORE THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, AND HE CLAIMED THAT

MOST OF THESE POTENTIAL NEW VOTERS LIVE IN URBAN AREAS AND

ARE COMPLETELY DISILLUSIONED WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE AND

ZANU-PF.   ONE OF THE MDC’S KEY ELECTORAL STRATEGIES,

THEREFORE, IS TO REGISTER AS MANY OF THESE 18-YEAR-OLDS AS

POSSIBLE. COLTART ASKED FOR U.S. ASSISTANCE IN ENSURING A

FAIR, TRANSPARENT REGISTRATION PROCESS, NOTING THAT THE GOZ

HAS IN THE PAST ERECTED OBSTACLES TO THE REGISTRATION OF

VOTERS SUSPECTED OF SUPPORTING THE OPPOSITION.

 

ZANU-PF IN END GAME STRATEGY

—————————-

 

4. (C) COLTART SAID THE RECENT PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTIONS

IN MARONDERA AND BIKITA HAD CONFIRMED THAT ZANU-PF IS

DETERMINED TO EMPLOY ANY MEANS TO HOLD ON TO POWER. THE

MDC, HOWEVER, DOES NOT HAVE THE CAPACITY OR INCLINATION TO

COUNTER THE TERROR CAMPAIGNS THAT THE RULING PARTY IS

CLEARLY PREPARED TO ORCHESTRATE IN OTHER BY-ELECTIONS.

COLTART, THEREFORE, IS ADVISING THE MDC LEADERSHIP NOT TO

BE AS STRIDENT IN PURSUING ITS CHALLENGES TO ZANU’S

ELECTORAL VICTORIES IN 38 CONSTITUENCIES IN LAST JUNE’S

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. IF THESE CHALLENGES ARE

SUCCESSFUL AND RESULT IN THE HOLDING OF BY-ELECTIONS, THE

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5163

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00507 02 OF 03 250536Z

ACTION AF-00

 

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INL-00   DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 DS-00

EAP-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00

INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NEA-00   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 SA-00   R-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

/009W

——————BB41C9 250536Z /38

P 250534Z JAN 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8077

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY OTTAWA

AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON

AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY ACCRA

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 000507

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00507 02 OF 03 250536Z

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 01/24/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS ZI

SUBJECT: MDC MP URGES INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO GET TOUGH

WITH MUGABE

 

MDC’S PREFERENCE WOULD BE FOR THEM TO BE CONDUCTED IN

TRANCHES, RATHER THAN INDIVIDUALLY, AS THIS WOULD POSE A

LOGISTICAL CHALLENGE FOR ZANU-PF AND ITS TACTICS OF

VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION. (NOTE: COLTART MENTIONED THAT

ANOTHER BY-ELECTION MAY SOON BE IN THE OFFING BECAUSE THE

ZANU-PF MP FOR MWENEZI DISTRICT, ISAIAH SHUMBA, IS “ON HIS

DEATH BED.” END NOTE.)

 

CRUCIAL ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

—————————————

 

5. (C) COLTART STRESSED THAT A COORDINATED CAMPAIGN OF

PRESSURE ON PRESIDENT MUGABE BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

— PARTICULARLY COMMONWEALTH NATIONS WHICH HAVE

HISTORICALLY ENJOYED GOOD RELATIONS WITH ZIMBABWE — IS

ESSENTIAL TO BRINGING ABOUT A RESTORATION OF THE RULE OF

LAW AND ENSURING A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION THAT IS FREE AND

FAIR. COLTART MENTIONED INDIA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, NEW

ZEALAND, GHANA, BOTSWANA, AND NIGERIA AS NATIONS THAT COULD

PLAY A PARTICULARLY CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE. HE THOUGHT THE

UNITED STATES COULD BE MOST EFFECTIVE BEHIND THE SCENES IN

PRESSING OUR FRIENDS IN THE COMMONWEALTH TO DELIVER A VERY

TOUGH MESSAGE TO MUGABE. THE ESSENCE OF THAT MESSAGE,

COLTART URGED, SHOULD BE THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00507 02 OF 03 250536Z

WILL NOT TOLERATE THE GOZ’S CONTINUED ABUSE OF THE RULE OF

LAW AND THAT, IF THE PRESIDENT CONTINUES TO VIOLATE THE

HUMAN RIGHTS OF HIS CITIZENS IN AN EFFORT TO REMAIN IN

POWER, HE CAN EXPECT TO FACE SPECIFIC CONSEQUENCES. SUCH

CONSEQUENCES, COLTART EXPLAINED, MIGHT INCLUDE A BAN ON

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL BY MUGABE AND HIS CRONIES AND/OR A

COORDINATED INVESTIGATION OF THE AMOUNT AND LOCATION OF

THEIR ASSETS. THE THREAT OF HAVING HIS ASSETS SEIZED,

COLTART BELIEVED, WOULD FORCE MUGABE TO REVERSE HIS MORE

OBJECTIONABLE AND DAMAGING POLICIES.

 

6. (C) POLOFF ASKED WHO SHOULD BE THE PRIMARY TARGETS OF

A TRAVEL BAN OR INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION. COLTART

REPLIED THAT, LAST NOVEMBER, HE HAD SHARED WITH FORMER AF

DAS WITNEY SCHNEIDMAN AND AF/S A PAPER IMPLICATING ELEVEN

SENIOR GOZ OFFICIALS, INCLUDING PRESIDENT MUGABE, IN

SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES ASSOCIATED WITH THE

MATABELELAND MASSACRES IN THE 1980S AND WITH THE CAMPAIGN

OF VIOLENCE WHICH PRECEDED THE JUNE 2000 PARLIAMENTARY

ELECTION.

 

 

JUDICIARY NEEDS HELP

——————–

 

7. (C) COLTART EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT THE SUPREME COURT,

AND CHIEF JUSTICE GUBBAY IN PARTICULAR, HAS COME UNDER

IMMENSE PRESSURE FROM THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, RANGING FROM

THE NOVEMBER INVASION OF THE COURT BY WAR VETERANS AND

RENT-A-THUGS TO REPEATED PUBLIC CRITICISMS BY SENIOR GOZ

OFFICIALS. COLTART SAID HE HAS NO DOUBT THAT THE GOZ WANTS

TO TRY TO FORCE GUBBAY TO RETIRE BEFORE HE REACHES HIS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00507 02 OF 03 250536Z

MANDATORY RETIREMENT AGE IN APRIL 2002 AND TO REPLACE HIM

WITH THE PLIABLE PRO-ZANU JUDGE PRESIDENT OF THE HIGH

COURT, GODFREY CHIDIYAUSIKU. GUBBAY, COLTART CLAIMED, IS

FEELING INCREASINGLY ISOLATED AND MIGHT SOON SUCCUMB TO THE

PRESSURE TO RESIGN. COLTART MADE A STRONG PLEA FOR THE

UNITED STATES AND OTHERS TO DEMONSTRATE PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR

THE JUDICIARY AND ITS INDEPENDENCE.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) WE SHARE COLTART’S ANALYSIS THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE

ALMOST CERTAINLY CANNOT WIN AN ELECTION THAT APPROACHES

FREE AND FAIR AND WILL USE ALL THE RESOURCES AT HIS

DISPOSAL TO STAY IN POWER. THE RESIGNATION OF CHIEF

JUSTICE GUBBAY — AND HIS REPLACEMENT WITH GODFREY

CHIDIYAUSIKU — WOULD HAVE A CHILLING EFFECT ON THE RULE OF

LAW, EFFECTIVELY NEUTRALIZING THE ONE REMAINING BRANCH OF

GOVERNMENT THAT PROVIDES A CHECK ON MUGABE’S POWERS. WE

ARE BEGINNING TO REACH THE CONCLUSION THAT ONLY SIGNIFICANT

AND COORDINATED EXTERNAL PRESSURE IMPOSED VIA THE KIND OF

DIPLOMATIC CAMPAIGN COLTART SUGGESTS, WITH TOUGH STICKS, IS

LIKELY TO FORCE MUGABE TO STEP BACK FROM HIS PRESENT

DISASTROUS COURSE.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5164

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00507 03 OF 03 250536Z

ACTION AF-00

 

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

INL-00   DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 DS-00

EAP-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00

INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NEA-00   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 SA-00   R-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

/009W

——————BB41CC 250536Z /38

P 250534Z JAN 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8078

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY OTTAWA

AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON

AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY ACCRA

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 000507

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00507 03 OF 03 250536Z

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 01/24/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS ZI

SUBJECT: MDC MP URGES INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO GET TOUGH

WITH MUGABE

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

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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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