You can be prosecuted for anything in Zimbabwe


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Zimbabwe had laws regulating everything and anyone could be prosecuted for anything if someone put his mind to it, the World Food Programme country director for Zimbabwe Felix Bamezon said.

He said Zimbabwe had retained laws and regulations of both the British colonial and the Ian Smith regimes.

“They have a law regulating nearly everything,” he said.

While these laws did not seem to be applied to the very top people, those below the top knew that they could be prosecuted for almost anything if someone decided to do it.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 10HARARE68, AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH WFP REPRESENTATIVE TO

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

10HARARE68

2010-02-02 09:50

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO3896

PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0068/01 0330950

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 020950Z FEB 10

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5362

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3404

RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0249

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0610

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2564

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUEHDS/USMISSION USAU ADDIS ABABA

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000068

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR BWALCH

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MGAVIN

USAID FOR JHARMON AND ELOKEN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/01/2020

TAGS: EAID PHUM PREL ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR’S MEETING WITH WFP REPRESENTATIVE TO

ZIMBABWE

 

Classified By: Ambassador Charles A. Ray for reasons 1.4 (b) (d).

 

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: The WFP experienced a decline in the number

of people receiving food aid in Zimbabwe in 2009, but expects

to see an increase in 2010 because of drought conditions.

The WFP Director also worries about post-World Cup conditions

when xenophobic actions against Zimbabweans in South Africa

could generate a reverse flow of Zimbabweans. END SUMMARY.

 

¶2. (U) Ambassador met with World Food Program (WFP) Country

Director and Representative Felix M. Bamezon at his office on

January 28. A native of Togo, Bamezon served in Chad, the

DRC, WFP’s U.S. office, and WFP headquarters before coming to

Zimbabwe just under a year ago.

 

¶3. (U) Bamezon said that in 2009, WFP provided food aid to 5

million Zimbabweans. Aid is currently being provided to only

1.4 million, but he expects a sharp increase because of the

drought and the affect it will have on the maize crop. He is

already seeing increases in people requesting aid. He also

worries that after the World Cup concludes there will be a

xenophobic backlash against Zimbabweans in South Africa,

which could cause a reverse flow of Zimbabweans that will

affect the numbers of people in need of food assistance.

(NOTE: USG support accounted for approximately 62 percent of

WFP’s 2009 feeding programs. END NOTE.)

 

¶4. (U) According to Bamezon, ZANU-PF ministers and MPs have

often tried to influence delivery of food as a way to reward

party supporters and punish opponents, but WFP has resisted

their efforts. Grudgingly, ZANU-PF has allowed the program

to continue. MDC officials, even though they recognize that

food delivery to rural areas can influence voting patterns,

have resisted the temptation to interfere, and simply monitor

where the food goes.

 

¶5. (C) Corruption in Zimbabwe is endemic, Bamezon said.

When the Zimbabwe Defense Force (ZDF) was deployed to the

DRC, units engaged openly in smuggling from their area of

operation. He said it was clear to him when he was serving

in the DRC as WFP country director that ZDF corruption

occurred with the complicity of the DRC leadership, and

appeared to be on orders from higher-ups in ZDF or the

Government of Zimbabwe. When the ZDF redeployed to Zimbabwe,

however, the smuggling stopped, unlike with Rwandan forces

who continue to smuggle from their former area of operations

through proxies. The Zimbabwean corruption, said Bamezon, is

less blatant than some other countries in the region, like

the DRC. DRC officials abroad have no “sense of honor” he

said. When he was WFP country director in Chad, for

instance, the DRC ambassador there approached him and asked

for several hundred thousand dollars to “pay his staff.”

After Bamezon informed him that he could not do this, the man

never spoke to him again.

 

¶6. (U) One of the unique things Bamezon notices about

Zimbabwe is that the country has retained the laws and

regulations of both the British colonial and the Ian Smith

regimes. “They have a law regulating nearly everything,” he

said. While these laws don’t seem to be applied to the very

top people, those below the top know that almost anything

Qtop people, those below the top know that almost anything

they do can be prosecuted if someone takes a mind to do it.

 

¶7. (C) Bamezon said that although WFP has not been involved

with the Malawians in Zimbabwe as a distinct group, he is

aware of their plight and the negative potential of the large

number here that are stateless. ZANU-PF punishes them, he

said, because they are seen as collaborators with the white

farmers and former colonial masters. The GOZ routinely

refuses to allow them to be registered for food aid and

denies them identification documents. This is also, he said,

out of fear that with documents they will be able to vote and

will swell the roles of opposition voters. It is strange, he

mused, that the Zimbabweans would so maltreat these people

when they protest so vehemently about South African treatment

of the illegal and legal Zimbabweans in their midst.

 

¶8. (C) BIO NOTE: Bamezon is a low key, but forceful

 

HARARE 00000068 002 OF 002

 

 

international organization representative, who tries to

maintain an even-handed approach to the government here. His

wife and children are U.S. citizens who live in New Rochelle,

NY, and he plans to retire there after this tour of duty.

END BIO NOTE.

 

RAY

 

(25 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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