Former Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo said a grenade attack on the Movement for Democratic Change headquarters in Harare was an inside job.
Nkomo said during a raid on the headquarters police had confiscated several hand grenades, a loaded pistol, and a box of 500 rounds of ammunition, all of which were still being held by the police.
He said the weapons were traced to Malaysia and were imported through South Africa.
Nkomo did not, however, explain why the MDC would choose to bomb itself.
MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube described the government accusations as rubbish but admitted that police had confiscated a pellet gun and a radio of some kind in addition to documents and computer files.
Viewing cable 00HARARE5302, ZIMBABWE MINISTER’S STATEMENT PRELUDE TO MORE
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
191541Z Sep 00
PAGE 01 HARARE 05302 191539Z
INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00
IO-00 LAB-01 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 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W
——————8714B8 191540Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7139
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 005302
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/19/05
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE MINISTER’S STATEMENT PRELUDE TO MORE
INTIMIDATION AGAINST MDC
REFS: A) HARARE 5075, B) HARARE 5187, C) HARARE 5214,
D) HARARE 5270
PAGE 02 HARARE 05302 191539Z
CLASSIFIED BY AMB. TOM MCDONALD. REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND
¶1. (C) IN A PARLIAMENTARY SESSION ATTENDED BY POLOFF,
HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER JOHN NKOMO READ A BRIEF GOVERNMENT
STATEMENT ON THE POLICE RAIDS AGAINST THE MDC LAST WEEK
(REFS B AND C). AFTER READING WHAT SOUNDED LIKE A
POLICE REPORT ON THE BOMBING OF THE MDC HEADQUARTERS TWO
DAYS BEFORE THE RAIDS (REF A), NKOMO SAID THE POLICE
FOUND ENOUGH EVIDENCE AT THE SCENE TO INDICATE THAT THE
GRENADE ATTACK WAS “AN INSIDE JOB.” NKOMO DID NOT
ELABORATE ON WHY THE MDC MIGHT CHOOSE TO BOMB ITS OWN
HEADQUARTERS. HE DID SAY THAT IN THE RAIDS, THE POLICE
CONFISCATED SEVERAL HAND GRENADES, A LOADED PISTOL, AND
A BOX OF 500 ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION, ALL OF WHICH ARE
STILL BEING HELD BY THE POLICE. HE STATED THE WEAPONS
HAD BEEN TRACED TO MALAYSIA AND HAD BEEN IMPORTED
THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA. HE WENT FURTHER TO SAY OBLIQUELY
THAT THE POLICE HAD UNCOVERED ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE TODAY
THAT WOULD WARRANT CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST UNNAMED
MEMBERS OF THE MDC.
¶2. (C) IMMEDIATELY AFTER NKOMO READ THE STATEMENT, MDC
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE TOLD A NORWEGIAN
EMBASSY DIPLOMAT THAT THE GOVERNMENT’S ACCUSATION OF
FINDING WEAPONS WAS “RUBBISH,” BUT DID ADMIT THAT THE
POLICE CONFISCATED A “PELLET GUN” AND A RADIO OF SOME
KIND IN ADDITION TO THE DOCUMENTS AND COMPUTER FILES.
¶3. (C) COMMENT: NKOMO’S STATEMENT IS A CLEAR SIGN THAT
PAGE 03 HARARE 05302 191539Z
THE GOZ HAS MORE HARASSMENT IN STORE FOR THE MDC. THE
GOVERNMENT SUFFERED A SETBACK WHEN THE HIGH COURT
ORDERED THE RETURN OF THE SEIZED DOCUMENTS AND COMPUTER
FILES, AND THE POLICE WERE REQUIRED TO OBLIGE (REF D).
THE CHARGES LAID OUT BY NKOMO SMACK OF A FABRICATION OF
EVIDENCE AND A GOZ ATTEMPT TO SAVE FACE BY STICKING TO
ITS STORY THAT THE MDC IS IMPORTING “ARMS OF WAR.” ALL
OF OUR OPPOSITION INTERLOCUTORS HAVE REPEATEDLY AND
CREDIBLY DENIED THAT THE MDC IS IMPORTING OR STOCKPILING
WEAPONS. IF THE POLICE IN FACT FOUND A PELLET GUN,
HOWEVER, THIS COULD PROVIDE A LOT OF GRIST FOR THE GOZ
PARANOIA MILL. NKOMO’S STATEMENT, IN ANY CASE,
DEMONSTRATES THAT THE GOZ (ZANU-PF) INTENDS TO RATCHET
UP ITS ATTACKS ON THE MDC.