Court orders war vets off farms but Mugabe unmoved


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In a typical example of how much power President Robert Mugabe wields, a court ordered war veterans to move off the farms that they had occupied but Mugabe, who was in Havana at the time, told CNN that nothing of the sort was going to happen.

His deputy Joseph Msika, who was acting president at the time, ordered the Minister of Home Affairs Dumiso Dabengwa, Minister of Local Government John Nkomo and Minister of State Security Sydney Sekeremayi to comply with the court order but war veterans leader Chenjerai Hunzvi remained defiant saying: “we are now at war”.

The order was made in April 2000 just after Zimbabweans had rejected the country’s proposed constitution. This incensed the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front which launched a violent campaign to win the June elections.

Full cable:

Viewing cable 00HARARE2099, ZIMBABWE COURT AGAIN ORDERS WAR

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE2099

2000-04-14 11:20

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

141120Z Apr 00

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTO6883

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02099 141115Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-01 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00

INL-01   DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   UTED-00 VC-01

H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-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 R-00

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

/012W

——————4BC2B7 141115Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5765

INFO NSC WASHDC

USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

UNCLAS HARARE 002099

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: NA

TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE COURT AGAIN ORDERS WAR

VETERANS OFF FARMS, BUT MUGABE UNMOVED

 

 

1. ON APRIL 13, FOLLOWING THE HIGH COURT

RULING THAT DAY, VICE PRESIDENT MSKIA (ACTING

IN THE ABSENCE IN HAVANA OF PRESIDENT MUGABE)

ORDERED THE WAR VETERANS TO WITHDRAW FROM THE

COMMERCIAL FARMS THEY HAVE BEEN OCCUPYING.

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02099 141115Z

JUDGE MOSES CHINHENGO RULED THAT THE INVASIONS

WERE ILLEGAL, OR RIOTOUS NATURE, AND THAT IT

WAS POLICE COMMISSIONER AUGUSTINE CHIHURI’S

DUTY TO EVICT THE OCCUPIERS AND AFFORD THE

FARM OWNERS THE PROTECTION OF THE LAW.

 

2. MSIKA TASKED HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER DUMISO

DABENGWA, MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND

NATIONAL HOUSING JOHN NKOMO, AND MINISTER FOR

STATE SECURITY SYDNEY SEKERAMAYI TO PERSUADE

THE WAR VETERANS TO MOVE OUT OF THE FARMS.

WAR VETERANS LEADER CHENJERAI HUNZVI,

RESPONDING TO THE COURT JUDGMENT, VOWED TO

REMAIN ON THE FARMS AND DECLARED THAT “THEY

WERE NOW AT WAR.”

 

3. THE COURT WAS RULING ON AN APPLICATION

FROM POLICE COMMISSIONER CHIHURI TO BE

ABSOLVED FROM HIS DUTY TO EVICT THE FARM

INVADERS BECAUSE POLICE HAVE NO POLITICAL

POWER, RESOURCES, OR MANPOWER TO EFFECT THE

EVICTIONS. HE ALSO CONTENDED THAT ATTEMPTING

TO FORCE EVICTIONS COULD CREATE VIOLENCE.

THIS APPLICATION FOLLOWED A HIGH COURT RULING

IN MARCH THAT ORDERED THE POLICE TO EVICT THE

FARM INVADERS WITHIN 24 HOURS. IN HIS RULING

YESTERDAY, JUSTICE CHINHENGO SAID THE POLICE

HAVE SUFFICIENT RESOURCES TO EVICT THE

INVADERS AND URGED THE GOVERNMENT TO ASSIST

WITH THE REQUIRED ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO

RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW.

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02099 141115Z

 

4. JUSTICE CHINHENGO NOTED THAT THE POLICE

WERE RELUCTANT TO TERMINATE THE INVASIONS

BECAUSE THEY HAD A SYMPATHETIC VIEW OF THE

INVADERS. HE SAID THE POLICE CASE HAD GROSSLY

EXAGGERATED THE NUMBER OF INVADERS, WITH AN

EYE TOWARD CREATING THE IMAGE OF A GREATER

CRISIS THAN ACTUALLY EXISTS; HE ESTIMATED THE

NUMBER OF WAR VETERANS INVOLVED IN THE LAND

SEIZURES TO BE ABOUT 1,000. THE COURT DID NOT

FIND COMMISSIONER CHIHURI GUILTY OF CONTEMPT

FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE ORIGINAL RULING

BECAUSE HE HAD RETURNED TO THE COURT IN A

TIMELY MANNER TO EXPLAIN WHY HE WAS NOT

COMPLYING.

 

5. WASHINGTON ADDRESSEES WILL HAVE SEEN

PRESIDENT MUGABE’S CNN INTERVIEW IN HAVANA,

AIRED HERE EARLY ON APRIL 14, EXPRESSING HIS

OPINION THAT THE OCCUPATIONS CAN GO ON. WE

HAVE NOT YET HEARD OF ANY OCCUPATIONS CEASING.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE SITUATION AS

CLOSELY AS SAFETY ALLOWS.

 

MCDONALD

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

(13 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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