War veterans on a rampage


0

War veterans went on a rampage country-wide and besieged the offices of The Daily News and confiscated copies of the paper from vendors and harassed striking civil servants.

The war veterans were being led by Chenjerai Hunzvi and Joseph Chinotimba who led a “hired crowd” to intimidate journalists at the Daily News which had just reported on the death of Democratic Republic of Congo leader Laurent Kabila.

The Herald described the rampage as a solidarity march to show Zimbabwean support for the DRC.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE537, ZIMBABWE WAR VETERANS ON THE RAMPAGE

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

01HARARE537

2001-01-26 10:21

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.

 

261021Z Jan 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ0132

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00537 261024Z

ACTION AF-00

 

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

DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00

FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00

L-00     VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01

PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00

SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /009W

——————BBE387 261024Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8103

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000537

 

SIPDIS

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/26/11

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE WAR VETERANS ON THE RAMPAGE

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00537 261024Z

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR

REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: ZIMBABWE’S SO-CALLED WAR VETERANS WENT

ON A RAMPAGE ACROSS THE COUNTRY DURING THE WEEK OF

JANUARY 22. HUNDREDS OF THEM, OR PEOPLE THEY DRAGOONED,

HAVE BESIEGED THE HARARE OFFICES OF THE INDEPENDENT “THE

DAILY NEWS” AND CONFISCATED THE PUBLICATION FROM

VENDORS, HARASSED STRIKING CIVIL SERVICE WORKERS, AND

RAIDED SEVERAL CITY COUNCIL OFFICES IN MATABELELAND TO

EXPEL THEIR MEMBERS. THE WAR VETERANS’ RENEWED ACTIVITY

IN OPPOSITION STRONGHOLDS COULD INDICATE THAT ZANU-PF

HAS NOT WRITTEN THEM OFF AS PRESUMED, AND THAT THESE

AREAS WILL BE TARGETS OF INTIMIDATION IN THE RUN-UP TO

THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (U) ON JANUARY 23, THE INDEPENDENT “THE DAILY NEWS”

REPORTED THAT WAR VETERANS AND A “HIRED CROWD,” LED BY

WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT CHENJERAI HUNZVI AND

SELF-STYLED FARM OCCUPATIONS LEADER JOSEPH CHINOTIMBA,

BESIEGED ITS HARARE OFFICES FOR SEVERAL HOURS. THE

NEWSPAPER REPORTED THAT WAR VETERANS BLOCKED TRAFFIC,

JOSTLED “DAILY NEWS” JOURNALISTS COVERING THE EVENT,

BEAT UP PASSERS-BY WHO FAILED TO CHANT ZANU-PF SLOGANS,

AND DAMAGED TWO OFFICE WINDOWS. APPARENTLY, NO WAR

VETERANS ENTERED THE NEWSPAPER’S OFFICES, HOWEVER. THE

JANUARY 24 GOVERNMENT MOUTHPIECE “THE HERALD”

CHARACTERIZED THE DEMONSTRATION AS A “SOLIDARITY MARCH”

TO SHOW ZIMBABWEAN SUPPORT FOR THE DRC. OBSERVERS

REPORTED THAT THE UNRULY CROWD WAVED PROFESSIONALLY-

PRINTED PLACARDS CRITICIZING THE NEWSPAPER’S REPORT THAT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00537 261024Z

MOST ZIMBABWEANS WERE ELATED BY THE DRC PRESIDENT’S

DEATH. THE JANUARY 25 “THE HERALD” REPORTED THAT WAR

VETERANS IN MUTOKO DISTRICT OF MASHONALAND EAST PROVINCE

DEMONSTRATED AGAINST THE “THE DAILY NEWS” FOR THE SAME

ARTICLE. THE DEMONSTRATORS SAID THEY WOULD ENSURE THAT

THE INDEPENDENT PAPER WAS NEVER CIRCULATED IN MUTOKO

AGAIN. THE JANUARY 26 ISSUE OF THE “THE DAILY NEWS”

STATED THAT ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS HAVE BEEN CONFISCATING

FROM VENDORS COPIES OF “THE DAILY NEWS” AND BURNING

THEM, AND THAT POLICE HAVE FAILED TO INTERVENE.

 

3. (U) ON JANUARY 24, ABOUT 100 WAR VETERANS DESCENDED

ON MASVINGO TOWN TO FORCE STRIKING CIVIL SERVANTS,

PRINCIPALLY TEACHERS, TO RETURN TO WORK, ACCORDING TO

“THE DAILY NEWS.” THE WAR VETS WARNED THAT ALL TEACHERS

NOT REPORTING FOR WORK WOULD BE “AUTOMATICALLY

DISMISSED.” RETIRED ARMY CAPTAIN FRANCIS ZIMUTO, KNOWN

AS BLACK JESUS, IS REPORTED TO HAVE ARRESTED THREE

STRIKING TEACHERS AND TAKEN THEM TO A POLICE STATION.

THE POLICE RELEASED THEM LATER THAT DAY. THE CAMPAIGN

APPEARS TO HAVE WORKED AS NEARLY ALL THE TEACHERS IN

MASVINGO SUBSEQUENTLY REPORTED FOR WORK.

 

4. (U) ON JANUARY 25, WAR VETERANS INVADED THE VICTORIA

FALLS TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES AND FORCED ITS WORKERS TO

LEAVE. THE COUNCIL OFFICE BUILDING ALSO HOUSES A NUMBER

OF TOUR OPERATORS, WHO WERE FORCED TO CLOSE DOWN. THE

VETS REPORTEDLY ACCUSED THE COUNCIL OF SYMPATHIZING WITH

THE OPPOSITION MDC. PRESS REPORTS INDICATED SAID THAT

ZANU-PF WAS ANGRY THAT THREE TOWN COUNCILLORS HAD

RECENTLY DEFECTED TO THE MDC, AND THAT IT SENT THE WAR

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00537 261024Z

VETERANS IN TO RETALIATE. IN MID-JANUARY, WAR VETS

INVADED ANOTHER MATABELELAND COUNCIL IN PLUMTREE TO

PROTEST ITS COMPOSITION. THE MATABELELAND SOUTH

GOVERNOR, STEPHEN NKOMO, LATER SUSPENDED EIGHT OFFICIALS

ON THE COUNCIL.

 

5. (C) COMMENT: THE RECENT WAVE OF WAR VETERANS ACTIONS

IN URBAN AND MATABELELAND AREAS–OPPOSITION STRONGHOLDS-

-INDICATES THAT ZANU-PF HAS NOT WRITTEN THESE AREAS OFF

AS PRESUMED, AND THAT IT MAY EXTEND ITS INTIMIDATION

CAMPAIGN TO INCLUDE THESE AREAS IN THE RUN-UP TO THE

EARLY 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. THE RULING PARTY HAS

A LOT OF GROUND TO COVER BEFORE THE ELECTION. WE CAN

EXPECT IT TO USE ITS “WAR VETERAN” SHOCK TROOPS MORE

FREQUENTLY OVER THE NEXT YEAR IN WAYS THAT ARE DIFFICULT

FOR THE STATUTORY SECURITY FORCES TO DO, I.E. TO REIN IN

WAYWARD LOCAL GOVERNMENT STRUCTURES AND TO INTIMIDATE

TRADITIONAL OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS, SUCH AS TEACHERS,

URBANITES, AND THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA. END COMMENT.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(7 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 *