Violence intensifies in run up to presidential elections


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Police and Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front militants blocked a Movement for Democratic Change rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo on 20 January 2002 as violence intensified in the run-up to the presidential elections.

ZANU-PF supporters had occupied the stadium to prevent the rally from being held while police beat and fired teargas at between 8 000 and 1000 MDC supporters waiting to enter the stadium.

MDC spokesman Learnmnore Jongwe said the violence was widespread with three MDC supporters being killed in Zaka District.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE211, MDC RALLY BROKEN UP BY POLICE AND ZANU-PF

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE211

2002-01-23 16:08

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.

 

231608Z Jan 02

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3542

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00211 01 OF 02 231638Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   AID-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 EAP-00

EB-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00

L-00     AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00

PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   SS-00

STR-00   TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00 SNIS-00 NISC-00 PMB-00

PRM-00   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00     /007W

——————5BFDF1 231638Z /26

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0774

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY ABUJA PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY

NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000211

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR DIRECTOR FRAZER

PARIS FOR NEARY

LONDON FOR GURNEY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/23/12

 

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ZI NI

SUBJECT: MDC RALLY BROKEN UP BY POLICE AND ZANU-PF

MILITANTS, WHILE GOZ-PERPETRATED VIOLENCE SPREADS

 

REF: 1/22 KRAFT/HARRINGTON TELCON

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF MATT HARRINGTON.

REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) ON JANUARY 20, ZANU-PF MILITANTS WAITING IN

AMBUSH AND POLICE USING TEARGAS BLOCKED A PLANNED

MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) RALLY IN BULAWAYO.

AT LEAST 20 PEOPLE WERE INJURED IN THE MELEE, AND SEVEN

ARE REPORTED MISSING. THE DISRUPTION OCCURRED EVEN

THOUGH THE MDC HAD APPLIED FOR AND RECEIVED PERMITS

THREE WEEKS IN ADVANCE. IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY,

VIOLENCE CONTINUES TO SPREAD, MORE ROADBLOCKS ARE BEING

ERECTED, SAFEHOUSES FOR REFUGEES FROM POLITICAL

VIOLENCE ARE BEING RAIDED, AND THE GOZ IS PREPARING TO

SEIZE FIREARMS BELONGING TO COMMERCIAL FARMERS, THEREBY

REMOVING THEIR LAST LINE OF DEFENSE. END SUMMARY.

 

MDC RALLY BLOCKED

—————–

 

2. (U) POLICE AND ZANU-PF MILITANTS BLOCKED A PLANNED

MDC RALLY AT BULAWAYO’S WHITE CITY STADIUM ON JANUARY

20. MDC SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE TOLD

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00211 01 OF 02 231638Z

JOURNALISTS ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS HAD OCCUPIED THE STADIUM

TO PREVENT THE RALLY FROM BEING HELD, WHILE POLICE BEAT

AND FIRED TEARGAS AT 8,000 – 10,000 MDC SUPPORTERS

WAITING TO ENTER THE STADIUM. ACCORDING TO PRESS

REPORTS, AT LEAST 20 MDC SUPPORTERS WERE INJURED IN THE

MELEE, AND ONE OF THE VICTIMS WAS ADMITTED TO AN

INTENSIVE CARE UNIT WITH A SERIOUS HEAD INJURY. SEVEN

MDC SUPPORTERS WENT MISSING, ACCORDING TO NCUBE. A

POLICE SPOKESMAN DENIED CHARGES OF PARTISANSHIP,

CLAIMING THAT THE POLICE HAD ACTED TO “STOP VIOLENCE

BETWEEN SUPPORTERS OF TWO PARTIES.”

 

3. (C) MDC VICE-PRESIDENT GIBSON SIBANDA, WHO WAS THE

SENIOR PARTY OFFICIAL SCHEDULED TO ADDRESS THE RALLY,

TOLD POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF THAT THE MDC HAD INFORMED

THE POLICE THREE WEEKS IN ADVANCE OF THE PLANNED RALLY

AND HAD OBTAINED PERMITS AUTHORIZING THE EVENT FROM

BOTH THE POLICE AND THE CITY COUNCIL. ACCORDING TO

SIBANDA, THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RALLY, SEVERAL HUNDRED

ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS CAMPED OUT INSIDE THE STADIUM IN A

CLEAR ATTEMPT TO DISRUPT THE FOLLOWING DAY’S RALLY.

SIBANDA CLAIMED GOVERNMENT VEHICLES TRANSPORTED THE

GROUP THERE AFTER ATTENDING A ZANU-PF RALLY ADDRESSED

BY VICE-PRESIDENT JOSEPH MSIKA AND RULING PARTY

COMMISSAR ELLIOTT MANYIKA IN INYATHI, 50 KM NORTHEAST

OF BULAWAYO. SIBANDA SAID THERE WAS NO QUESTION IN HIS

MIND THAT MSIKA AND MANYIKA HAD INSTRUCTED THEIR

SUPPORTERS TO BLOCK THE RALLY. AFTER HE AND MDC

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE FAILED TO CONVINCE THE

 

SIPDIS

SENIOR POLICE OFFICER PRESENT TO EVICT THE ZANU-PF

SUPPORTERS INSIDE SO THAT THE RALLY COULD TAKE PLACE, A

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00211 01 OF 02 231638Z

MELEE ENSUED BETWEEN THE IRATE MDC SUPPORTERS OUTSIDE

AND THE RIOT POLICE, WITH THE FORMER THROWING STONES

AND THE LATTER FIRING TEARGAS AND BEATING PEOPLE IN THE

CROWD. IN ADDITION TO THE PERSON ADMITTED TO THE

INTENSIVE CARE UNIT, SIBANDA SAID A NUMBER OF MDC

SUPPORTERS HAD BEEN STABBED.

 

VIOLENCE SPREADS

—————-

 

4. (C) MEANWHILE, WAR VETERANS AND THE RECENTLY-

INAUGURATED YOUTH BRIGADES HAVE CONTINUED TO EXPAND

THEIR CAMPAIGN EFFORTS ON BEHALF OF ZANU-PF. PHYSICAL

VIOLENCE CONTINUES TO BE THE PRIMARY TACTIC OF CHOICE.

ON JANUARY 13, MDC MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT WAS STABBED IN

THE ABDOMEN BY A GROUP OF ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS AFTER THEY

ABDUCTED HIM FROM LUPANE BUSINESS CENTER, ABOUT 160

KILOMETERS NORTHWEST OF BULAWAYO. HE WAS DUMPED SIX

KILOMETERS FROM THE BUSINESS CENTER, UNCONSCIOUS AND

BLEEDING. ACCORDING TO LEARNMORE JONGWE, THE MDC’S

SPOKESMAN, ZANU-PF MILITANTS KILLED THREE MDC MEMBERS

AND A FOURTH PASSERBY IN ZAKA DISTRICT, MASVINGO

PROVINCE, OVER THE PAST WEEK. AT THE CENTRAL BUS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ3544

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00211 02 OF 02 231639Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   AID-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 EAP-00

EB-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00

L-00     AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00

PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   SS-00

STR-00   TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00 SNIS-00 NISC-00 PMB-00

PRM-00   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00     /007W

——————5BFE11 231639Z /26

O 231608Z JAN 02

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0775

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY ABUJA PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY

AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY

NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 000211

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR DIRECTOR FRAZER

PARIS FOR NEARY

LONDON FOR GURNEY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/23/12

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00211 02 OF 02 231639Z

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ZI NI

SUBJECT: MDC RALLY BROKEN UP BY POLICE AND ZANU-PF

MILITANTS, WHILE GOZ-PERPETRATED VIOLENCE SPREADS

 

TERMINAL IN RUSAPE, ABOUT 200 KM SOUTHEAST OF HARARE,

PEOPLE READING INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS AND THOSE UNABLE

TO PRODUCE ZANU-PF MEMBERSHIP CARDS HAVE BEEN BEATEN,

IN THE FULL VIEW OF POLICE, WHO IN MOST CASES

REPORTEDLY STOOD IDLY BY. ACCORDING TO NUMEROUS

ANECDOTAL REPORTS, SIMILAR INCIDENTS OF BEATINGS

PERPETRATED PREDOMINANTLY BY ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS —

INCLUDING INFLICTION OF SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY — ARE

HAPPENING NATIONWIDE.   WE HAVE EVEN RECEIVED FIRST-

HAND REPORTS OF ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS BEATING RULING PARTY

MEMBERS WHO ARE NOT MILITANT ENOUGH OR HAVE THE GALL TO

MAINTAIN GOOD RELATIONS WITH PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE

OF THE POLITICAL AISLE.

 

5. (C) IN ADDITION, WE RECEIVE REGULAR REPORTS OF

ROADBLOCKS BEING ERECTED AROUND THE COUNTRY, MOSTLY

AWAY FROM MAIN THOROUGHFARES IN MORE ISOLATED AREAS,

WHERE VEHICLE OCCUPANTS NOT IN POSSESSION OF ZANU-PF

CARDS ARE SUBJECTED TO PHYSICAL AND VERBAL ABUSE. IN

SOME CASES, THOSE MANNING THE ROADBLOCKS SEIZE NATIONAL

IDENTITY DOCUMENTS OF THOSE WHO CANNOT PRODUCE ZANU-PF

CARDS, MEANING THEY MAY BE UNABLE TO VOTE IN THE

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

 

6. (C) IN ANOTHER RECENT DEVELOPMENT THAT HAS CAUSED

STRONG CONCERN AMONG HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS, THE

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE HAS ZEROED IN ON SAFEHOUSES

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00211 02 OF 02 231639Z

OPERATED BY THE WELL-RESPECTED HUMAN RIGHTS

ORGANIZATION AMANI TRUST FOR VICTIMS OF POLITICAL

VIOLENCE. THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED MEDIA HAVE RUN

VITRIOLIC FRONT-PAGE STORIES DURING THE PAST WEEK

DESCRIBING THE SAFEHOUSES AS “KILLER HOUSES” INTENDED

TO HIDE MDC MURDERERS AND PERPETRATORS OF VIOLENCE

WANTED BY THE POLICE. AMANI TRUST DIRECTOR TONY REELER

TOLD US THAT “THE GUYS IN DARK GLASSES” HAVE SHOWN UP

AT MANY OF THE SAFEHOUSES ASKING QUESTIONS AND

DEMANDING WRITTEN RECORDS. GIVEN THE INFLAMMATORY TONE

OF THE RECENT PRESS ARTICLES, REELER FULLY EXPECTS THE

WAR VETERANS OR YOUTH BRIGADES TO ATTACK THE OCCUPANTS

SOON. TO TRY TO PREEMPT SUCH AN ATTACK, AMANI TRUST IS

DIVIDING THE OCCUPANTS — MANY OF WHOM HAVE BEEN BADLY

INJURED OR SEVERELY TRAUMATIZED — INTO SMALLER GROUPS

AND MOVING THEM TO NEW LOCATIONS.

 

7. (C) COMMERCIAL FARMERS WHOSE PROPERTIES HAVE BEEN

DESIGNATED RECEIVED LETTERS FROM THEIR RESPECTIVE

REGIONAL POLICE COMMANDERS ON JANUARY 18 ORDERING THEM

TO SURRENDER ALL OF THEIR FIREARMS, LICENSED OR NOT, BY

FEBRUARY 4. THE LEGAL PROVISION ON WHICH THE GOZ HAS

BASED THIS MOVE IS APPARENTLY FULL OF HOLES, BUT WE

UNDERSTAND THE GOZ PLANS TO ISSUE A STATUTORY

INSTRUMENT (DECREE) LEGALIZING THE SEIZURES. (NOTE: WE

HAVE ALSO RECEIVED AN UNCONFIRMED REPORT THAT THE CIO

HAS CONFISCATED SOME WEAPONS AND LICENSES, WITHOUT

ISSUING RECEIPTS, IN THE FEATHERSTONE AREA 100 KM SOUTH

OF HARARE, ALTHOUGH THIS REPORTEDLY IS NOT YET GOZ

POLICY. END NOTE.) IAN COCHRAN, A COMMERCIAL FARMER

IN KAROI, WHICH HAS BEEN PARTICULARLY BADLY AFFECTED BY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00211 02 OF 02 231639Z

THE LAND INVASIONS, TOLD POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF HE WAS

EXTREMELY DISTURBED BY THIS NEW REQUIREMENT, AS HIS

FIREARMS PROVIDED HIS FAMILY’S ONLY PROTECTION IN THE

CHAOTIC ENVIRONMENT PREVAILING IN HIS REGION. IF

FORCED TO COMPLY, HE SAID HE AND HIS FAMILY WOULD LEAVE

THE COUNTRY. IN THE MEANTIME, COCHRAN AND A NUMBER OF

OTHER FARMERS ARE ENCOURAGING THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS

UNION TO CHALLENGE THE POLICE ACTION IN COURT.

 

SULLIVAN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(19 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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