Mudenge said UN system could collapse in Zimbabwe


0

Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge said that the negative reporting on Zimbabwe by United Nations elements could lead to the collapse of the UN system in the country.

He was commenting after the Sunday Mail said UN resident representative Victor Angelo had been recalled because of reports that he had been meddling in the country’s internal politics.

Angelo was accused of working with the Movement for Democratic Change to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.

The UN said Angelo was departing at the scheduled end of his term in Zimbabwe.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 04HARARE1734, Squeeze on Humanitarian Efforts Increasing

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE1734

2004-10-18 09:56

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 SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001734

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

 

AF/S FOR BNEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE, D.TEITELBAUM

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

AID FOR DCHA/OFDA GOTTLIEB, KHANDANGLE

AFR/SA FOR FLEURET, COPSON, LOKEN

 

E. O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PHUM PGOV EAID ZI

SUBJECT: Squeeze on Humanitarian Efforts Increasing

 

REF: A. HARARE 1594

B. HARARE 1563

C. HARARE 1416 AND PREVIOUS

 

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: GOZ obstruction of international

organizations, especially in the area of assistance to

internally displaced persons, continues. The GOZ has

requested that the UN close its Relief and Recovery Unit and

is blocking access to newly displaced farmers resettled on

former commercial farms as well as ex-commercial farm

workers. The government media has stepped up its portrayal

of international organizations and their employees as

interfering with sovereignty and promoting regime change.

END SUMMARY

 

2. (SBU) United Nations Resident Representative and

Humanitarian Coordinator Victor Angelo told the diplomatic

community in late September that the UN had closed its

Relief and Recovery Unit (RRU) on September 2, at the GOZ’s

insistence. The RRU had met with significant resistance

from the GOZ, and its operations had been progressively

constrained in the months preceding the GOZ’s request, with

RRU staff often prohibited from traveling outside Harare.

The RRU, funded through the UN Office for the Coordination

of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), focused on coordination of

humanitarian activities in Zimbabwe, including information

collection and sharing, monitoring of internally displaced

persons, and liaison with the GOZ. Donors have met several

times since then to discuss how to address the need for

coordination. Two USG-supported OCHA staff remain at the UN

offices, but there is no official OCHA office in Zimbabwe.

 

3. (SBU) As reported (ref A), in a series of “second

generation” evictions, police and local government in the

Banket region evicted A1 farmers, former communal area

subsistence farmers who settled on commercial farms under

the GOZ’s fast-track land reform program. Over the past

week, a new series of evictions of A1 farmers began at four

former commercial farms in Mashonaland West, and local

government officials gave out notices of eviction to A1

farmers on another farm in Mashonaland East. The

International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been

involved in assessing the status of the displaced persons in

the Banket region. The GOZ reportedly told IOM and ICRC not

to assist the newly displaced farmers in Mashonaland West

and East, because it would be seen as encouraging farmers to

stay on or near farms instead of returning to their home

villages. IOM was to meet with the Permanent Secretary in

the Ministry of Social Welfare to discuss the increasing

number of displaced persons and the status of an IDP task

force the GOZ promised to set up. Meanwhile, thousands of

ex-commercial farm workers remain displaced and homeless,

and access to many of them even by IOM or ICRC is not

possible.

 

4. (SBU) On October 3, the government-controlled Sunday

Mail newspaper reported that UN Resident Representative

Angelo had been recalled because of reports that he was

“meddling in the country’s internal politics.” The article

further accused Angelo of working with the MDC to effect

regime change in Zimbabwe, a charge that continues to be

leveled daily in the press against non-governmental

organizations. The UN ran several statements in the press

denouncing the article and explaining that Angelo is

departing at the scheduled end of his term in Zimbabwe. The

Sunday Mail article also quoted Minister of Foreign Affairs

Stan Mudenge as saying that negative reporting on Zimbabwe

by UN elements “could lead to the collapse of the UN system

in Zimbabwe.”

 

5. (SBU) Over the past several months, at least one

international NGO, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), has had

difficulty getting extensions of Temporary Employment

Permits for its international staff, which the GOZ was

issuing only in monthly increments. In late September, the

Immigration Office advised CRS that permits for three

international staff would not be renewed. The immigration

official told CRS that it could appeal but that, if the

appeal were denied, the staff in question would need to

leave the country immediately. Other international NGOs

have heard rumors that Temporary Employment Permits will be

denied for their expatriate staff, at least until after the

March elections, but have not received any official

notification.

 

6. (SBU) COMMENT: Like the recently gazetted NGO bill (refs

B, C), the GOZ’s attempt to hamper international

organizations’ humanitarian activities appears to be an

effort to limit access by outsiders to rural areas in

anticipation of the March 2005 elections. The GOZ wants to

control outside information. It also wants to control

humanitarian assistance, which dampens dependence on the GOZ

and is perceived by many in the countryside as associated

with the opposition. Ramped up GOZ efforts to control

outside access and influence in Zimbabwe underscore the

primacy of domestic political anxieties over GOZ interest in

burnishing its international image. The leadership likely

assesses that such measures will provoke a negative reaction

from the West but not from the region, which is the

principal focus of its modest charm offensive. END COMMENT.

 

WEISENFELD

 

(2 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
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.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *