Hunzvi can be brought under control in five minutes


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Wilfred Mhanda, the leader of the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform, started to restore the good name of war veterans, told United States embassy officials that war veterans leader Chenjerai Hunzvi was not a genuine war veteran and was actually working for President Robert Mugabe but he could be brought under control in five minutes if his services were no longer needed.

He said the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association was no longer representing the interests of ex-combatants. It had been hijacked by Mugabe to be used as a ZANU-PF militia.

“Hunzvi has no independent support base and,” Mhanda asserted, “has been given little room for manoeuvre by Mugabe. Hunzvi’s primary value lies in giving President Mugabe plausible deniability by serving as the public face of the government’s campaign of violence and intimidation.”

Mhanda said the decision to invade commercial farms and to cow opposition supporters was made by President Mugabe and his military service chiefs, not by Hunzvi.

He said military service chiefs have told him that they could bring Hunzvi under control in five minutes.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE695, ALTERNATIVE WAR VETERANS’ GROUP SEEKS TO RESTORE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE695

2001-02-09 12:32

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.

 

091232Z Feb 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL    PTQ0226

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00695 01 OF 02 091230Z

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 R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02

G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /009W

——————C36BDD 091230Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8202

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000695

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 02/05/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ALTERNATIVE WAR VETERANS’ GROUP SEEKS TO RESTORE

GOOD NAME OF THOSE WHO WAGED THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00695 01 OF 02 091230Z

REF: HARARE 644

 

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

(B) AND (D).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) WILFRED MHANDA, LEADER OF THE ZIMBABWE LIBERATORS’

PLATFORM, A MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATION SEEKING TO RESTORE THE

GOOD NAME OF WAR VETERANS, TOLD CHARGE AND POLITICAL

SECTION CHIEF ON FEBRUARY 8 THAT VERY FEW EX-COMBATANTS ARE

INVOLVED IN THE GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TO COW OPPOSITION

SUPPORTERS, THE JUDICIARY, AND THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA. THE

MAN LEADING THE GOVERNMENT’S CAMPAIGN OF TERROR, ZANU-PF MP

CHENJERAI HUNZVI, IS NOT A GENUINE WAR VETERAN AND DOES NOT

REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF MOST EX-COMBATANTS, ACCORDING TO

MHANDA. SENIOR MILITARY OFFICERS HAVE TOLD MHANDA THAT

HUNZVI COULD BE BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL IN FIVE MINUTES,

SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT DECIDE TO DO SO. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) WILFRED MHANDA, LEADER OF THE ZIMBABWE LIBERATORS’

PLATFORM, A MEMBERSHIP ASSOCIATION OF WAR VETERANS, CALLED

ON THE CHARGE ON FEBRUARY 8. MHANDA WAS JOINED BY ADVISOR

HAPPYSON NENJI. CHARGE WAS ACCOMPANIED BY POLITICAL

SECTION CHIEF.

 

ZIMBABWE LIBERATORS’ PLATFORM

—————————–

 

3. (C) MHANDA SAID THE ZIMBABWE LIBERATORS’ PLATFORM WAS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00695 01 OF 02 091230Z

FORMED TO WORK FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FREEDOMS

ZIMBABWEANS FOUGHT FOR DURING THE WAR OF LIBERATION.

SPECIFICALLY, THE ORGANIZATION IS STRIVING TO RESTORE THE

GOOD NAME OF WAR VETERANS, TO ASSIST THEM IN BECOMING

ECONOMICALLY SUSTAINABLE, REDUCING THEIR VULNERABILITY TO

POLITICAL MANIPULATION, PRESSING FOR THE RESTORATION OF THE

RULE OF LAW AND DEVELOPMENT OF A NON-RACIAL DEMOCRACY.

APPROXIMATELY 500 EX-COMBATANTS HAVE PAID THEIR MEMBERSHIP

DUES IN THE ZLP, AND MHANDA FELT CONFIDENT THAT THAT NUMBER

WOULD INCREASE. NOTING THAT HIS ORGANIZATION CURRENTLY

CANNOT AFFORD OFFICE SPACE, MHANDA MADE A PITCH FOR

INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT, NOTING THAT, WITHOUT SUCH RESOURCES,

GROUPS LIKE HIS CANNOT PROVIDE AN EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE

VOICE AND CANNOT HOPE TO COMPETE FOR POLITICAL SPACE WITH A

GOVERNMENT WITH FULL ACCESS TO THE STATE MACHINERY.

 

VERY FEW WAR VETS INVOLVED IN MUGABE’S VIOLENT CAMPAIGN

——————————————— ———-

 

4. (C) THE CHARGE SOLICITED MHANDA’S ASSESSMENT OF THE

ZIMBABWE NATIONAL LIBERATION WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION

(ZNLWVA) LED BY CHENJERAI “HITLER” HUNZVI, NOTING THAT

HUNZVI AND HIS BAND OF WAR VETERANS HAVE PLAYED A LARGE

ROLE IN BLACKENING ZIMBABWE’S INTERNATIONAL IMAGE. THE

ZNLWVA, MHANDA REPLIED, IS NO LONGER A FUNCTIONING

ORGANIZATION. IT HAS CEASED TO SERVE THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH

IT WAS FOUNDED — REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF EX-

COMBATANTS — BUT, RATHER, HAS BEEN HIJACKED BY PRESIDENT

MUGABE TO BE USED AS A ZANU-PF MILITIA. HUNZVI, MHANDA

CLAIMED, IS NOT HIMSELF A GENUINE EX-COMBATANT. HUNZVI HAS

NO INDEPENDENT SUPPORT BASE AND, MHANDA ASSERTED, HAS BEEN

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00695 01 OF 02 091230Z

GIVEN LITTLE ROOM FOR MANEUVER BY MUGABE. HUNZVI’S PRIMARY

VALUE LIES IN GIVING PRESIDENT MUGABE PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY

BY SERVING AS THE PUBLIC FACE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S CAMPAIGN

OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION. ACCORDING TO MHANDA, THE

DECISION TO INVADE COMMERCIAL FARMS AND TO COW OPPOSITION

SUPPORTERS WAS MADE BY PRESIDENT MUGABE AND HIS MILITARY

SERVICE CHIEFS, NOT BY HUNZVI.

 

5. (C) MHANDA INSISTED THAT VERY FEW OF ZIMBABWE’S

APPROXIMATELY 40,000 WAR VETERANS ARE WORKING WITH HUNZVI

AND HIS THUGS. ABOUT HALF OF THE EX-COMBATANTS ARE STILL

SERVING IN THE ARMY, WHILE MOST OF THE REMAINING 20,000 ARE

GAINFULLY EMPLOYED ELSEWHERE IN THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE

SECTORS. MHANDA ESTIMATED THAT FEWER THAN 100 GENUINE

LIBERATION WAR VETERANS, IN ADDITION TO LARGER NUMBERS OF

ZANU-PF THUGS, ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CARRYING OUT THE

GOVERNMENT’S CAMPAIGN OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION AGAINST

OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS, THE JUDICIARY, AND THE INDEPENDENT

MEDIA, AS WELL AS OCCUPYING COMMERCIAL FARMS. THE MILITARY

SERVICE CHIEFS HAVE TOLD MHANDA THEY COULD BRING HUNZVI

UNDER CONTROL IN FIVE MINUTES. THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE NOT

DONE SO, MHANDA SURMISED, CONFIRMS THAT HUNZVI AND HIS

SHOCK TROOPS ARE CONTINUING TO SERVE A USEFUL ROLE FOR

ZANU-PF. FURTHER EVIDENCE THAT HUNZVI AND THE “WAR

VETERANS” ARE LITTLE MORE THAN PAWNS, OUR INTERLOCUTOR

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ0227

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00695 02 OF 02 091230Z

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   STR-00   TRSE-00

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

SAS-00     /009W

——————C36BE3 091231Z /38

R 091232Z FEB 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8203

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 000695

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 02/05/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ALTERNATIVE WAR VETERANS’ GROUP SEEKS TO RESTORE

GOOD NAME OF THOSE WHO WAGED THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00695 02 OF 02 091230Z

NOTED, IS THE FACT THAT NONE OF THEM WERE GIVEN CABINET

RANK PORTFOLIOS OR WERE BROUGHT INTO THE ZANU-PF POLITBURO.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

6. (C) WE FOUND MHANDA TO BE BRIGHT AND ARTICULATE, AND

EMBARRASSED THAT THE REPUTATION OF “WAR VETERANS” HAS BEEN

DRAGGED THROUGH THE MUD. HE WAS AT GREAT PAINS TO EXPLAIN

THAT HITLER HUNZVI AND MOST OF THOSE UNDER HIS LEADERSHIP,

NEVER FOUGHT IN THE LIBERATION WAR. THE SUBSTANCE OF

MHANDA’S CONTENTION HAS BEEN WIDELY ACCEPTED IN ZIMBABWE,

BUT THE ZLP LEADER WAS TROUBLED THAT BOTH DOMESTIC AND

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONTINUE TO DESCRIBE HUNZVI AND HIS

HENCHMEN AS WAR VETERANS.   MHANDA WAS CLEARLY CONTEMPTUOUS

OF HUNZVI, AND WE CONSIDER CREDIBLE HIS DECLARATION THAT

THE ZANU-PF MP DOES NOT SPEAK FOR THE MAJORITY OF WAR

VETERANS BUT, IN FACT, HAS DESTROYED THE ORGANIZATION SET

UP TO REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF EX-COMBATANTS.

 

7. (C) IT IS OBVIOUS THAT HUNZVI HAS AN IMPORTANT

CONSTITUENCY OF ONE — PRESIDENT MUGABE. THERE IS

SIGNIFICANT EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS

GIVEN HUNZVI GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS WITH CARTE BLANCHE ON

TACTICS TO DO WHAT IS NECESSARY TO ENSURE THE RULING PARTY

WINS PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTIONS AND THE BIGGEST PRIZE OF

ALL: THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. HUNZVI CLEARLY HAS

TAKEN ON THAT RESPONSIBILITY WITH PATHOLOGICAL ENTHUSIASM,

EVIDENT IN HIS SUPERVISION OF — AND PERSONAL PARTICIPATION

IN — TERROR CAMPAIGNS AGAINST OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS IN

ADVANCE OF BY-ELECTIONS IN MARONDERA AND BIKITA. HUNZVI

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00695 02 OF 02 091230Z

HAS MOST RECENTLY TAKEN THE LEAD IN CARRYING OUT THE

GOVERNMENT’S CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE JUDICIARY AND THE

INDEPENDENT MEDIA. END COMMENT.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(6 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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