Mugabe protects those who carried out his dirty deeds


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President Robert Mugabe was accused of protecting those who carried out his dirty deeds during the 2000 pre-election period and the national referendum when he declared an amnesty for every person “liable to criminal prosecution for any politically-motivated crime” committed between January 1 and July 31, 2000.

Though the pardon excluded those who had committed murder, robbery, rape, indecent assault, theft, possession of arms, and any offense involving fraud or dishonesty, the United States embassy said the amnesty was a cynical attempt to whitewash Mugabe’s campaign of terror with legalities.

It said the amnesty violated human rights norms and possibly Zimbabwe’s commitments under international law, and was repugnant to the spirit if not the letter of the rule of law and requested the State Department’s legal assessment of the matter.

If the department confirmed the embassy’s concerns, it said, it would recommend that the US government approach and lodge a protest with the government of Zimbabwe.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 00HARARE5692, MUGABE PARDONS PERPETRATORS OF POLITICAL

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE5692

2000-10-10 15:17

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.

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO9647

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 05692 101517Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-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   NRRC-00

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

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

SAS-00     /010W

——————8FAB46 101518Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7321

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 005692

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

PASS USAID FOR A/AID-RMCCALL, AA/AFR-VDERRYCK, AFR/SA-

CPALMA

 

PASS USTR FOR RWHITAKER

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 05692 101517Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/10/10

TAGS: PHUM PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: MUGABE PARDONS PERPETRATORS OF POLITICAL

VIOLENCE

 

REF: HARARE 5675

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING.

REASONS: 1.5 (D).

 

1. (U) ACTION REQUEST. PLEASE SEE PARA 5.

 

2. (U) IN AN EXTRAORDINARY GOVERNMENT GAZETTE PUBLISHED

OCTOBER 6, PRESIDENT MUGABE GRANTED A PARDON “TO EVERY

PERSON LIABLE TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION FOR ANY

POLITICALLY-MOTIVATED CRIME” COMMITTED BETWEEN JANUARY 1

AND JULY 31, 2000. THE PARDON SPECIFICALLY APPLIES TO

POLITICAL CRIMES COMMITTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE

FEBRUARY CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM AND THE JUNE

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. CURIOUSLY, “SPECIFIED

OFFENSES,” NAMELY MURDER, ROBBERY, RAPE, INDECENT

ASSAULT, THEFT, POSSESSION OF ARMS, AND ANY OFFENSE

INVOLVING FRAUD OR DISHONESTY, ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE

PARDON. HOWEVER, COMMON ASSAULT, KIDNAPPING,

MANSLAUGHTER, AND ASSAULT WITH INTENT TO COMMIT GRIEVOUS

BODILY HARM (WHICH IS MOST OFTEN USED IN TORTURE CASES),

AMONG OTHER UNSPECIFIED CRIMES COMMITTED DURING THAT

PERIOD, ARE EXEMPTED. THE AMNESTY COVERS THE VAST

MAJORITY OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE CASES ARISING DURING THE

PRE-ELECTION PERIOD, ACCORDING TO TONY REELER, DIRECTOR

OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION AMANI TRUST.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 05692 101517Z

 

3. (C) REELER FURTHER REMARKED THAT THE PARDON WILL

FORCE HIS ORGANIZATION TO PURSUE ITS MYRIAD HUMAN RIGHTS

CASES THROUGH THE MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE CIVIL COURTS,

RATHER THAN THE CRIMINAL COURTS. THE MOVE ALSO CASTS

SERIOUS DOUBT ON THE MDC’S ABILITY TO PURSUE ITS LEGAL

CHALLENGES TO THE VOTING RESULTS IN 37 CONSTITUENCIES,

MOST OF WHICH ARE BASED ON CHARGES OF POLITICAL

INTIMIDATION. THE PARDON HAD NOT BEEN REPORTED IN THE

LOCAL MEDIA OVER THE WEEKEND, BUT THE TRUSTEES OF THE

HUMAN RIGHTS NGO, LEGAL RESOURCES FOUNDATION (LRF),

CIRCULATED A STATEMENT OCTOBER 10 CONDEMNING THE PARDON

AS “COMPLETE CONTEMPT FOR THE RULE OF LAW.” THE LRF

SAID THE AMNESTY SENDS “THE CLEAR MESSAGE THAT CRIMES

COMMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE RULING PARTY WILL GO

UNPUNISHED.”

 

4. (C) COMMENT: THE LANGUAGE OF MUGABE’S CLEMENCY ORDER

WOULD APPEAR TO LEAVE SOME ROOM OPEN FOR PROSECUTORS TO

TRY THE MOST EGREGIOUS OF THE HANDFUL OF POLITICAL

VIOLENCE CASES NOW BEFORE THE COURTS. HOWEVER, IT WILL

UNDOUBTEDLY DISCOURAGE ANY PROSECUTOR FROM PURSUING THE

THOUSANDS OF SERIOUS CRIMINAL CASES THAT HAVE YET TO SEE

THE LIGHT OF A COURTROOM. MUGABE CLEARLY INTENDS TO

PROTECT THOSE WHO CARRIED OUT HIS DIRTY DEEDS DURING THE

PRE-ELECTION PERIOD, AND HIS AMNESTY IS A CYNICAL

ATTEMPT TO WHITEWASH HIS CAMPAIGN OF TERROR WITH

LEGALITIES. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE PARDON WAS

QUIETLY SLIPPED INTO THE GAZETTE ON THE EVE OF THE

ADJOURNMENT OF THE U.S. CONGRESS AND THE DEATH IN

COMMITTEE OF THE ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY ACT. HOME AFFAIRS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 05692 101517Z

MINISTER JOHN NKOMO APPEARS TO HAVE HINTED AT THIS

AMNESTY WHEN HE MADE HIS RECENT REMARK, IN RELATION TO

THE SHUTTING DOWN OF THE PRIVATE CAPITAL RADIO STATION,

THAT “THESE DAYS OF RUNNING TO THE COURTS WILL END SOON,

VERY SOON.” (REFTEL).

 

5. (C) ACTION REQUEST: IT IS OUR SENSE THAT THIS

AMNESTY VIOLATES HUMAN RIGHTS NORMS, AND POSSIBLY

ZIMBABWE’S COMMITMENTS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW, AND IS

REPUGNANT TO THE SPIRIT IF NOT THE LETTER OF THE RULE OF

LAW. WE REQUEST DEPARTMENT’S LEGAL ASSESSMENT IN THIS

CONNECTION.   SHOULD THE DEPARTMENT CONFIRM OUR

CONCERNS, POST RECOMMENDS THAT THE USG APPROACH AND

LODGE A PROTEST WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE. WE

WOULD APPRECIATE DEPARTMENT’S GUIDANCE ON THE

APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE TO USE IN SUCH A DEMARCHE.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(10 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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