Madhuku survived arson attack


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National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku survived an arson attack six years ago when unknown people sprinkled gasoline from his front gate to the garage and set it on fire around 12.30 in the morning.

The family was, however, alerted by the flames and escaped from the house and put out the flames.

Madhuku said there was little damage to the house but his family, including his three children, was traumatised by the event.

He suspected that the attack had been carried out by intelligence officials, but he did not know whether they wanted to kill him or just send a warning.

The United States government-funded Amani Trust stepped in to provide support to the Madhuku family with counselling and a guard to provide security at the residence.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE8, GOZ CRITIC SURVIVES APPARENT ARSON ATTACK

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

07HARARE8

2007-01-04 10:16

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8721

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0008 0041016

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 041016Z JAN 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1009

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1430

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1285

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1434

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0152

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0695

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1060

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1488

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3884

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1257

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1913

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUFGNOA/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RUEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1650

UNCLAS HARARE 000008

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: GOZ CRITIC SURVIVES APPARENT ARSON ATTACK

 

 

1. (SBU) National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) Chairman

Lovemore Madhuku and his family survived an apparent arson

attack at his suburban arare home at about 12:30 AM on

January 1. Madhku told us that unknown assailants had

sprinkled trail of gasoline from his front gate to the

gaage in the apparent hope that the fire would causehis car

to explode and set fire to the house. Te family, alerted by

the flames, was able to escpe the house uninjured and

successfully put out te flames. Madhuku told us there was

relatively little damage to the house, but that his family,

including three young children, was traumatized by the event.

 

2. (SBU) Madhuku said he thought state security officers

were to blame for the attack, based on past GOZ attacks on

democracy advocates and the NCA’s outspoken demands for

reform. Madhuku, however, said he did not know if the GOZ

actually wanted to kill him or if the state merely intended

the attack as a warning. A sole police officer arrived

shortly after the flames were extinguished, but stayed only a

few minutes, according to Madhuku. The evening of January 1,

the police returned to take a statement from the family. The

statement, essentially what Madhuku told us above, promptly

appeared in the state-controlled Herald newspaper the next

morning.

 

3. (SBU) The USG-funded Amani Trust has stepped in to

provide support to the Madhuku family with counseling and a

guard to provide security at the residence. Amani Trust

program manager Fidelis Mudimu told us on January 4 that the

family was doing well, but that the children were still

having nightmares from the attack.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

4. (SBU) The attack on Madhuku’s home is a worrying signal

that the ruling party, faced with a crumbling economy and

internal dissension over Mugabe’s plans to remain in office,

may be prepared to ratchet up its repression in 2007 in an

effort to mute domestic criticism and tighten its hold on

power.

DELL

 

(2 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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