War veterans attacked former general’s son


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George Walls, the son of Peter Walls, former commander of the Rhodesian army under Ian Smith, told a United States embassy official that he had been attacked by suspected war veterans who wanted to know the whereabouts of his father.

He said four men had pulled gun on him and then assaulted him when he told them that he did not know where his father was since he had not been to Zimbabwe over the past 21 years.

There had been reports that Peter Walls had been seen in Victoria Falls, but George Walls said this was false. Authorities had mistaken a Briton named Peter Wells for his father.The younger Walls said he had never told the Daily News, which reported on his attack, that the men who assaulted him were Central Intelligence Organisation officials because he didn’t know what a CIO agent looked like.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE881, SUSPECTED ZIMBABWE WAR VETERANS ATTACK FORMER

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Reference ID 

Created 

Classification 

Origin 

01HARARE881

2001-03-01 15:10

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
 
011510Z Mar 01
 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTO4413
 
PAGE 01       HARARE 00881 011512Z 
ACTION AF-00   
 
INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 USNW-00 
     DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   
     FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   
     IO-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   
     OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     
     SCT-00   SP-00   IRM-00   STR-00   TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 
     PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00   
      /010W
                 ------------------CC2219 011512Z /38   
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8323
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
UNCLAS HARARE 000881 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER 
 
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02       HARARE 00881 011512Z 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PINS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: SUSPECTED ZIMBABWE WAR VETERANS ATTACK FORMER 
GENERAL'S SON 
 
 
SENSITVE BY UNCLASSIFIED, PROTECT ACCORDINGLY. NOT FOR 
INTERNET POSTING. 
 
¶1. (SBU) ON MARCH 1, GEORGE WALLS CALLED ON POLOFF TO 
RELAY THE EVENTS SURROUNDING THE ATTACK ON HIM BY 
SUSPECTED WAR VETERANS THE NIGHT OF FEBRUARY 23. WALLS 
IS THE SON OF PETER WALLS, FORMER COMMANDER OF THE 
RHODESIAN ARMY UNDER THE IAN SMITH REGIME. THE FEBRUARY 
26 EDITION OF "THE DAILY NEWS" REPORTED THE ATTACK ON 
THE YOUNGER WALLS IN A HEADLINE STORY. 
 
¶2. (SBU) WALLS TOLD POLOFF THAT "THE DAILY NEWS" STORY 
WAS GENERALLY ACCURATE. AROUND 10:15 PM ON FEBRUARY 23, 
WHILE WALLS WAS DRIVING TO HIS SUBURBAN HARARE HOME, 
FOUR MEN IN ANOTHER VEHICLE PULLED A GUN ON HIM AND 
FORCED HIM TO STOP. THREE OF THE MEN, SHABBILY DRESSED, 
ACCORDING TO WALLS, GOT OUT AND DEMANDED TO KNOW THE 
LOCATION OF HIS FATHER. (NOTE: IT WAS REPORTED IN 
DECEMBER 2000 THAT WALLS' FATHER HAD BEEN SEEN IN 
ZIMBABWE AT VICTORIA FALLS. THE JUNIOR WALLS SAID IT 
WAS COMPLETELY FALSE, AS HIS FATHER HAD NOT BEEN TO 
ZIMBABWE IN 21 YEARS, AND THAT THE AUTHORITIES HAD 
MISTAKEN A BRITISH NATIONAL NAMED PETER WELLS FOR HIS 
FATHER. END NOTE.) WALLS STATED THAT THE MEN CLAIMED 
TO BE "LIBERATION FIGHTERS." HE NEVER CLAIMED THEY WERE 
CIO OPERATIVES, AS REPORTED IN "THE DAILY NEWS." WALLS 
SAID HE WOULD NOT KNOW WHAT A CIO AGENT LOOKED LIKE. 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03       HARARE 00881 011512Z 
 
¶3. (SBU) WHEN HE DENIED THAT HIS FATHER WAS IN THE 
COUNTRY, THE THREE MEN PROCEEDED TO BEAT WALLS. ONE 
STRUCK HIM IN THE FACE WITH AN ELECTRICAL CORD, WHICH 
PRODUCED A DEEP GASH FROM HIS FOREHEAD TO BELOW HIS 
RIGHT EYE, AND PUNCHED HIM IN THE FACE. ANOTHER STABBED 
HIM IN HIS RIGHT THIGH, HE STATED. (COMMENT: WALLS 
CLEARLY HAD BEEN SERIOUSLY INJURED. HIS FACE WAS 
COVERED WITH BANDAGES AND HE WALKED WITH A NOTICEABLE 
LIMP. END COMMENT.) THE ATTACKERS WARNED WALLS THAT IF 
HE REPORTED THE INCIDENT TO THE POLICE, THEY WOULD 
RETURN AND KILL HIM. A PASSER-BY TOOK WALLS TO THE 
HOSPITAL, WHERE HE WAS ADMITTED AND TREATED FOR THREE 
DAYS. THE GASH TO HIS FACE REQUIRED PLASTIC SURGERY, 
WALLS SAID. HIS SISTER WENT TO THE POLICE AND MADE A 
STATEMENT. THEY WERE SYMPATHETIC, WALLS REPORTED, BUT 
HE DID NOT KNOW IF THEY WERE GOING TO INVESTIGATE THE 
INCIDENT. WALLS SAID HE RECEIVED A THREATENING PHONE 
CALL THE NIGHT OF FEBRUARY 28. 
 
¶4. (SBU) POLOFF ASKED WALLS WHAT HE THOUGHT MIGHT HAVE 
LED TO THE INCIDENT. HE STATED HE DID NOT REALLY KNOW. 
HIS FATHER IS ACTUALLY LIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA, AND HE 
BELIEVES THE ZIMBABWEAN AUTHORITIES KNOW THIS. IN FACT, 
THE CIO HAD SENT HIS FATHER A LETTER THERE 10 YEARS AGO 
STATING THAT THEY HAD RECOMMENDED TO PRESIDENT MUGABE 
THAT WALLS BE ALLOWED TO RETURN TO ZIMBABWE. THE 
PRESIDENT NEVER FORMALLY GAVE PERMISSION, SO THE OLDER 
WALLS STAYED IN SOUTH AFRICA, THE SON REPORTED. HE ALSO 
SAID THAT IN APRIL 2000, THREE WELL-DRESSED CIO AGENTS 
HAD PAID HIM A VISIT AND POLITELY WARNED HIM AGAINST 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04       HARARE 00881 011512Z 
PURSUING POLITICAL ACTIVITIES. SINCE THEN, WALLS HAD 
NOT BEEN THREATENED IN ANY WAY UNTIL NOW. HE SPECULATED 
THAT UNION WORKERS AT HIS PLANT MAY HAVE HAD SOMETHING 
TO DO WITH IT, BECAUSE ONE OF THEM WARNED HIM A WEEK 
BEFORE THAT WAR VETERANS WOULD BE COMING AFTER HIM. 
WALLS SAID THAT WORKERS AT HIS PLANT SOMETIMES GET 
MILITANT WHEN CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS COME UP, BUT THAT 
THEY ARE NOT SCHEDULED UNTIL JULY, AND BESIDES, HE IS 
ONLY A MIDDLE MANAGER AND WOULD BE THE WRONG PERSON TO 
THREATEN. WALLS TOLD POLOFF THAT HE BELIEVED THE ATTACK 
HAD BEEN WELL-PLANNED AND ROBBERY WAS DEFINITELY NOT A 
MOTIVE. 
 
¶5. (SBU) COMMENT: THE ASSAULT ON WALLS IS UNUSUAL 
BECAUSE IT OCCURRED IN A LOW-DENSITY SUBURB OF HARARE 
AGAINST A WHITE PERSON OF SYMBOLIC VALUE, BASED ON WHO 
HIS FATHER WAS. THAT HE IS APOLITICAL MADE NO 
DIFFERENCE TO HIS ATTACKERS. GIVEN INCREASED WAR 
VETERAN ACTIVITY AND A CRACKDOWN ON GOVERNMENT OPPONENTS 
IN URBAN AREAS, WE SUSPECT THAT THE ATTACK ON WALLS WAS 
CARRIED OUT TO INTIMIDATE AND STRIKE FEAR INTO URBAN 
WHITES, A KEY SOURCE OF SUPPORT FOR THE OPPOSITION 
MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC). END COMMENT. 
 
IRVING 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 

 

(176 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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