Mukoko said war veterans were targeting election observers


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The director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, Jestina Mukoko, told United States embassy officials that the military and war veterans were targeting local election observers in rural areas that were previously controlled by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front but had voted for the Movement for Democratic Change in the March 2008 elections.

She said a provincial coordinator in the Midlands reported that soldiers were beating up citizens at a shopping centre in Mkoba for “not voting correctly”.

Violence erupted in the country following ZANU-PF’s defeat by the MDC in the parliamentary elections.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had not released the results of the presidential elections but there were widespread reports that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai had defeated ZANU-PF’s Robert Mugabe.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE314, SITUATION REPORT: POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE SURGES

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

08HARARE314

2008-04-10 11:52

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8551

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0314/01 1011152

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 101152Z APR 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2757

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1912

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1907

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2030

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0598

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1307

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1664

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2086

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4517

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1162

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//

RUZEHAA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000314

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

SES-O

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

USAID FOR L.DOBBINS AND E. LOKEN

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2018

TAGS: ASEC PHUM PGOV CASC KDEM ZI

SUBJECT: SITUATION REPORT: POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE SURGES

 

REF: HARARE 00296

 

Classified By: AMBASSADOR JAMES D. MCGEE FOR REASONS 1.4 (B & D)

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: In the past week, ZANU-PF has stepped-up a

post-election campaign of retaliatory violence and

intimidation throughout the country. Security forces and

ardent ZANU-PF supporters, mainly war veterans and youth

militia — some armed with weapons — have targeted

opposition party organizers, polling agents and supporters as

well as election officials and local election observers in

their homes and on the streets. In a sign that this is a

systematic campaign, many victims reported that these mobs

had lists of names of targets. There also has been a new

wave of commercial farm invasions resulting in evictions and

violence in recent days. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) Fidelis Mudimu, program director at Counseling

Services Unit (CSU), a local NGO that provides medical

services to victims of state-sponsored violence, told us on

April 9 that CSU had recorded more than 60 cases of violence

since March 29 — with 38 new cases since April 7. All cases

were perpetrated by ZANU-PF supporters (war veterans and

youth) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Most cases involved

physical assaults resulting in minor injuries. There were

four victims that required hospitalization. Many victims

reported their assailants said they were being punished for

“voting incorrectly” and that in the next round of voting

there would be no mistakes. CSU also was attempting to

confirm reports that two opposition supporters had been

killed in an attack by ZANU-PF supporters in Mashonaland East

province.

 

3. (C) In the past three days, the following were among the

cases CSU recorded:

 

— Four MDC polling agents were treated by a CSU doctor in

Nyanga in the Manicaland province after being attacked by a

group of ZANU-PF supporters;

 

— Five MDC supporters attacked by ZANU-PF supporters were

treated by a CSU doctor in Chinoyi in the Mashonaland West

province;

 

— Eleven victims from commercial farm invasions in Beatrice

in the Mashonaland East province were treated at CSU Harare;

 

— Several opposition supporters were summoned by a village

headman to his homestead in Mutoko in the Mashonaland East

province were they were attacked by suspected state security

agents.

 

4. (C) Jestina Mukoko, director of Zimbabwe Peace Project

(ZPP), a local NGO that monitors political violence and human

rights abuses, told us that the military and war veterans

were targeting local election observers for violence in rural

areas that were previously ZANU-PF controlled but that had

voted for the opposition is this election. For instance, a

ZPP provincial coordinator in Midlands province reported that

soldiers were beating up citizens in a shopping center in

Mkoba for “not voting correctly.”

 

5. (C) In addition to the 45 white-owned commercial farms

placed under siege in Mashonaland and Masvingo provinces

since April 5 (reftel), Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU)

Trevor Gifford reported to us on April 10 that new farm

invasions had begun in Manicaland (including his own farm),

Matabeleland, and Midlands provinces in the past two days.

Police were reacting to disburse the mobs gathered on the

property, but after the police leave the farms get re-invaded

within five to six hours. Gifford estimated that 30 farmers

 

HARARE 00000314 002 OF 002

 

 

had now abandoned their farms completely, with the rest in

various stages of holding out or packing up. There have been

reports of violence and altercations. Additionally, numerous

farm houses have been looted and vandalized.

 

——–

COMMENT

——–

 

6. (C) The situation remains tense as the Zimbabwe Electoral

Commission (ZEC) continues to stall in releasing results from

the presidential election. In the meantime, reports that

security forces, war veterans, and youth militia are moving

around the country punishing vocal opposition supporters, ZEC

election officials, local election observers, and lax ZANU-PF

supporters is intensifying a climate of fear and instability.

END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

 

(4 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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