ZANU-PF planned to “take out” a white MP


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There was total confusion when reports started circulating that the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front planned to “take out” a white Member of Parliament. The question was, which one?

Trudy Stevenson, one of the MPs excluded herself and said the targets were David Coltart and Mike Auret. All three MPs belonged to the Movement for Democratic Change.

Coltart said a message about the threat had been delivered to Auret by James Mushuri (actually Mushore) but Clive Puzey an MDC advisor told Coltart that he had been told by his long-time Central Intelligence Organisation contact that Coltart was the target.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE856, THREATS AGAINST WHITE OPPOSITION PARTY MEMBERS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE856

2001-02-27 15:20

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.

 

271520Z Feb 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4093

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00856 271523Z

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

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

PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /010W

——————CAFCAD 271523Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8300

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000856

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 02/26/11

TAGS: PHUM PGOV PINS PINR ZI

SUBJECT: THREATS AGAINST WHITE OPPOSITION PARTY MEMBERS

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL IRVING. REASONS: 1.5

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00856 271523Z

(B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) IN A FEBRUARY 23 MEETING WITH POLITICAL SECTION

CHIEF, MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) MP AND

SECRETARY FOR POLICY FORMULATION AND RESEARCH TRUDY

 

SIPDIS

STEVENSON EXPRESSED SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT ESCALATING

HARASSMENT OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY’S LEADERS. SHE

RECOUNTED A TROUBLING CONVERSATION THAT HER MDC MP

COLLEAGUE, MIKE AURET, SR., HAD HAD RECENTLY WITH AN

ACQUAINTANCE. THAT ACQUAINTANCE, WHO APPARENTLY IS WELL-

CONNECTED TO THE RULING PARTY, WARNED AURET THAT SENIOR

PEOPLE IN THE ZANU-PF HIERARCHY PLANNED TO “TAKE OUT” A

PROMINENT WHITE MEMBER OF THE MDC BY THE END OF FEBRUARY.

STEVENSON, WHO IS WHITE, SURMISED THAT THE PRINCIPAL

TARGETS WOULD BE AURET AND MP DAVID COLTART, BOTH OF WHOM

PRESIDENT MUGABE REGULARLY SINGLES OUT FOR CRITICISM, MOST

RECENTLY IN REMARKS TO THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED PRESS ON FEBRUARY

21. STEVENSON FEARED THAT ZANU-PF THUGS COULD INTERPRET THE

PRESIDENT’S REMARKS AS A GREEN LIGHT TO HARM AURET OR

COLTART.

 

2. (C) POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF SOUGHT ADDITIONAL DETAILS

IN A MEETING WITH COLTART ON FEBRUARY 27. COLTART

CONFIRMED TRUDY STEVENSON’S ACCOUNT, SAYING THE MESSAGE TO

AURET HAD BEEN DELIVERED ON FEBRUARY 21 BY JAMES MUSHURI

(PHONETIC), A SENIOR OFFICIAL OF THE NATIONAL MERCHANT BANK.

IN ADDITION, MDC ADVISOR CLIVE PUZEY TOLD COLTART ON FEBRUARY

22 THAT A LONGTIME CONTACT IN THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

ORGANIZATION HAD TOLD PUZEY THAT COLTART IS THE TARGET.

COLTART IS CONVINCED THAT THE THREAT IS GENUINE, SINCE HE

RECEIVED SIMILAR INFORMATION FROM TWO UNRELATED

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03        HARARE 00856 271523Z

SOURCES. ASKED WHETHER HE HAS TAKEN ANY ACTION TO

STRENGTHEN HIS PERSONAL SECURITY, COLTART SHRUGGED, SAYING

THERE WAS LITTLE HE COULD DO. HE DOES NOT OWN A HANDGUN,

FOR INSTANCE, AND HAS NO INTENTION OF PURCHASING ONE.

ASKED WHETHER THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT COULD DO

ANYTHING TO BE HELPFUL, COLTART ASKED THAT ANY PUBLIC

REMARKS CONTAIN A CATALOGUE OF ABUSES BY THE GOVERNMENT,

RATHER THAN ADDRESS HIS CASE INDIVIDUALLY.

 

3. (C) COMMENT: FOR SOME TIME, RUMORS HAVE CIRCULATED HERE

OF THE EXISTENCE OF A DEATH LIST CONTAINING THE NAMES OF

MDC MEMBERS. UNTIL RECENTLY, WE WOULD HAVE BEEN SKEPTICAL

THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD GO AS FAR AS ORDERING THE

ASSASSINATION OF MDC LEADERS, OR COMMIT SUCH INFORMATION TO

PAPER IF IT TRULY INTENDED TO PROCEED ALONG THIS COURSE.

NEVERTHELESS, THE MERE RUMOR OF A DEATH LIST WOULD BE AN

EFFECTIVE TOOL IN INTIMIDATING THE POLITICAL OPPOSITION.

HOWEVER, GIVEN THE EXTRAORDINARY LENGTHS THE GOZ HAS GONE

TO RECENTLY TO SUPPRESS POLITICAL DISSENT AND ALTERNATIVE

VIEWS — BOMBING THE “DAILY NEWS” PRINTING PRESS,

THREATENING JUDGES WITH PHYSICAL HARM AND FORCING OUT THE

CHIEF JUSTICE, BEATING UP SENIOR MDC OFFICIALS IN THEIR

HOMES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AS WELL AS ORDINARY

CIVILIANS IN HARARE’S HIGH DENSITY SUBURBS — WE FRANKLY

HAVE STOPPED BEING SURPRISED AT ANYTHING THE MUGABE

GOVERNMENT DOES. UNDERSTANDING THE CONSEQUENCES THAT SUCH

A HIT MIGHT BRING WITH IT, GOVERNMENT OPERATIVES PROBABLY

WOULD NOT CARRY IT OUT, BUT RATHER WOULD CREATE THE RIGHT

CLIMATE FOR A FANATIC TO DO SO.

 

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00856 271523Z

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(40 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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