Goche listed organisations seeking regime change


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Three government ministers turned up the heat on organisations which they accused of trying to unseat the government.

State Security Minister Nicholas Goche said a human rights organisation Amani Trust and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, the Zimbabwe Democracy Trust and the Southern Africa Media Development Fund, were engaged in activities intended to unseat the government.

Labour and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo said Amani Trust was not properly registered and its leadership risked being arrested.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said journalists working for the London-based SW Radio would be arrested if they came back to Zimbabwe.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE2545, GOZ TURNS UP HEAT ON NGOS, BANS VISITS OF SOME

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE2545

2002-11-18 08:31

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

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

UNCLAS HARARE 002545

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: GOZ TURNS UP HEAT ON NGOS, BANS VISITS OF SOME

ZIMBABWEANS

 

REF: A. HARARE 2337

B. HARARE 2128

 

1. (U) SUMMARY: Parliament resumed November 12 after a

3-week adjournment and Government ministers took advantage of

the opportunity to turn up the heat on groups it accuses of

supporting the opposition, such as Amani Trust and SW Radio

Africa. The actions suggest ZANU-PF is forging ahead in its

bid to re-create a one-party state. END SUMMARY.

 

GOVERNMENT TRYING TO CRUSH DISSENTING VIEWS

——————————————-

2. (U) Parliament resumed on November 12 with ZANU-PF

ministers stepping up attacks on groups it accuses of

supporting the opposition. The Government has been

threatening NGOs since mid-September, when it issued a note

for all NGOs to register with the Ministry of Social

Welfare–in compliance with the Private Voluntary

Organizations Act (PVO)–or cease operations. The GOZ has

taken particular interest in NGOs it perceives to be hostile

to ZANU-PF. The state-controlled newspaper, The Herald,

criticized Amani Trust, a prominent human rights organization

that counsels torture victims and publicizes human rights

violations, several times in October, most recently accusing

it of being illegal.

 

3. (U) In the November 12 parliamentary session, Minister of

Public Service, Labor, and Social Welfare, July Moyo, said

Amani Trust was not properly registered and its leadership

risked being arrested. Minister of State Security, Nicholas

Goche, chimed in that Amani Trust, as well as Westminster

Foundation for Democracy, Zimbabwe Democracy Trust, and

Southern Africa Media Development Fund, was engaging in

activities intended to unseat the government. Patrick

Chinamasa, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary

Affairs, defended the GOZ decision to list Zimbabwean

citizens among the sanctions list of people banned from

visiting Zimbabwe. On November 8, The Herald published a

list of people prohibited from entering the country. Seven

people from SW Radio Africa–an independent radio station

that broadcasts out of London–were on the list. Chinamasa

told Parliamentarians that Zimbabweans on the list would be

arrested if they came back to Zimbabwe saying, &we cannot

have these people demonizing the government every day on the

radio…They will be welcome in our prisons.”

 

4. (SBU) Brian Raftopoulos, a political commentator at the

University of Zimbabwe, said the trend is clearly towards a

one-party state. The GOZ decision to ban Zimbabweans from

freely coming back home could be a precursor to increased

internal migration restrictions. Raftopoulos said the GOZ

could begin restricting people from leaving the country also.

Regarding GOZ plans to enforce the PVO Act, Raftopoulos said

the GOZ seems to be stepping up its efforts to rid the

country of human rights and democracy NGOs and civic groups.

Raftopoulos said some civic groups are developing contingency

plans in case the GOZ forces them to cease operations.

 

5. COMMENT: Through its parliamentary majority, ZANU-PF

seems to be consolidating its power by passing more

restrictive legislation and recent GOZ rhetoric suggest

certain NGOs are the next imminent targets. The decision to

ban from the country Zimbabweans who criticize the Government

seems to be a particularly egregious step, and we would

appreciate Department’s guidance on whether it violates any

international agreements to which Zimbabwe is a party. END

COMMENT.

 

SULLIVAN

(65 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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