Zimbabwe sliding slowly into police state


0

Zimbabwe was sliding slowly into a police state with the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front escalating its intimidation of Movement for Democratic Change leaders and supporters.

The ruling party had in early 2001 raided the MDC offices in both Harare and Bulawayo; beaten several opposition Members of Parliament and people close to them; destroyed the house of an MDC MP; targeted MDC supporters in terror campaigns nationwide; and intensified repression of commercial farmers.

According to a cable dispatched by the United States embassy in Harare all of these developments were part of the ruling party’s increasingly vicious but well-coordinated strategy to remain in power beyond the 2002 presidential elections.

MDC spokesman Learnmore Jongwe said “this high-handedness in dealing with legitimate dissent will not stop the people of this country from demanding that the elected leaders behave responsibly”.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 01HARARE2171, ZIMBABWE SLIDING OMINOUSLY TOWARD A POLICE STATE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2171

2001-07-13 09:54

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.

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4204

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02171 01 OF 04 130953Z

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NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

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/009W

——————051A03 130953Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9301

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 HARARE 002171

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 07/10/11

TAGS: PHUM PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE SLIDING OMINOUSLY TOWARD A POLICE STATE

 

REF: A) HARARE 2124 B) HARARE 2104   C) HARARE 1992

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02171 01 OF 04 130953Z

D) HARARE 1955

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES MARK WOERNER. REASONS: 1.5

(B) AND (D).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) ZANU-PF HAS ESCALATED ITS INTIMIDATION OF OPPOSITION MDC

LEADERS AND SUPPORTERS, AND IS MOVING TO ELIMINATE MANEUVERING

ROOM FOR ALL OTHER INDIVIDUALS AND INSTITUTIONS THAT MIGHT

THREATEN THE RULING PARTY’S CONTINUED HOLD ON POWER. IN THE LAST

SEVERAL WEEKS, ZANU-PF OR THOSE ACTING ON ITS BEHALF HAVE RAIDED

THE MDC’S OFFICES IN HARARE AND BULAWAYO; BEATEN SEVERAL

OPPOSITION MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND PEOPLE CLOSE TO THEM;

DESTROYED THE HOUSE OF AN MDC MP; TARGETED MDC SUPPORTERS IN

TERROR CAMPAIGNS NATIONWIDE; AND INTENSIFIED REPRESSION OF

COMMERCIAL FARMERS. ALL OF THESE DEVELOPMENTS ARE PART OF THE

RULING PARTY’S INCREASINGLY VICIOUS BUT WELL-COORDINATED STRATEGY

TO REMAIN IN POWER BEYOND THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. IT IS

IMPORTANT THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY DO ALL IT CAN TO HALT

THIS ONCE-PROMISING COUNTRY’S SLIDE TOWARD TOTALITARIANISM. AN

IMPORTANT STARTING POINT IS TO MAKE THE UPCOMING ELECTION A FOCAL

POINT OF OUR DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS AND TO EMPHASIZE TO PRESIDENT

MUGABE AND HIS ADVISORS PRECISELY WHAT CONSEQUENCES THEY WILL FACE

IF THE ELECTION IS NOT FREE AND FAIR. END SUMMARY.

 

ESCALATING HARASSMENT OF MDC OFFICIALS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS

——————————————— ————-

 

2. (C) ON JULY 5, THE DAY AFTER A NATIONAL TWO-DAY LABOR STAYAWAY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02171 01 OF 04 130953Z

SHUT DOWN MUCH OF ZIMBABWE, UNIFORMED POLICE OFFICERS DESCENDED ON

ONE OF THE OFFICES OF THE OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC

CHANGE (MDC) IN DOWNTOWN HARARE. ACCORDING TO PRESS REPORTS, THE

ARMED POLICE BLOCKED THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE BUILDING, SEARCHED

AND DEMANDED IDENTIFICATION FROM EVERYONE COMING IN AND OUT. MDC

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE, WHO WAS IN THE OFFICE AT THE

 

SIPDIS

TIME OF THE RAID, TOLD US THAT POLICE SAID THEY WERE LOOKING FOR

ARMS OF WAR AND FOR ZANU-PF YOUTH BEING HELD HOSTAGE AND TORTURED

ON-SITE. THE POLICE HAD NO SEARCH WARRANT, BUT PROCEEDED TO

SEARCH THE PREMISES BEFORE DEPARTING. THEY DID NOT ARREST ANYONE

OR CONFISCATE RECORDS OR EQUIPMENT. NCUBE WAS ALMOST NONCHALANT

IN HIS CONVERSATION WITH US, SAYING THAT HE HAS COME TO EXPECT

SUCH HARASSMENT FROM THE SECURITY SERVICES ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE

RULING PARTY AND ANTICIPATED SIMILAR INCIDENTS IN THE RUN-UP TO

THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. (COMMENT: THE MDC’S LEADERSHIP

HAS GONE TO GREAT LENGTHS TO EMPHASIZE AND LIVE UP TO ITS

COMMITMENT TO PEACEFUL CHANGE AND TO AVOID REACTING TO REGULAR

PROVOCATIONS. IN THAT CONTEXT, THE POLICE OFFICERS’ CLAIM TO BE

LOOKING FOR ARMS OF WAR AND TORTURE VICTIMS IS ABSURD, AND

CONFIRMS THAT THIS PARTICULAR ACTION WAS NOTHING MORE THAN

HARASSMENT. END COMMENT.)

 

3. (C) ON JULY 6, PLAINCLOTHES POLICE OFFICERS ENTERED THE MDC’S

OFFICE IN BULAWAYO, ZIMBABWE’S SECOND-LARGEST CITY. ACCORDING TO

MDC MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT DAVID COLTART, THE POLICE, WHO WERE

EXTREMELY AGGRESSIVE, HAD NEITHER A SEARCH WARRANT NOR AN ARREST

WARRANT BUT REFUSED TO EXPLAIN WHY THEY WERE THERE. THEY ARRESTED

THE MDC’S TREASURER, FLETCHER DULINI-NCUBE, AND AN MDC DRIVER,

KHETHANI SIBANDA, AND CONFISCATED A 10-TON TRUCK BELONGING TO THE

OPPOSITION PARTY. DULINI-NCUBE WAS RELEASED SEVERAL HOURS LATER,

BUT SIBANDA REMAINED IN DETENTION UNTIL JULY 9, WHEN HE WAS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02171 01 OF 04 130953Z

RELEASED ON BAIL.

 

4. (C) IN OTHER ACTIONS, IT IS CLEAR THAT MDC MEMBERS OF

PARLIAMENT ARE BEING SINGLED OUT FOR PHYSICAL ABUSE AND THEIR

PROPERTY TARGETED FOR DESTRUCTION. ON JULY 7, PAUL THEMBA NYATHI,

THE MDC’S DIRECTOR OF ELECTIONS, WAS FORCED OFF THE ROAD IN

BULAWAYO BY A CAR WHICH HAD BEEN FOLLOWING HIM FOR SOME TIME. HIS

CAR ROLLED OVER SEVERAL TIMES, BUT HE MIRACULOUSLY AVOIDED SERIOUS

INJURY. ACCORDING TO NYATHI, FOUR MEN DISEMBARKED FROM THE

VEHICLE WHICH HAD RAMMED NYATHI’S TO INSPECT THE ACCIDENT SCENE,

THEN SPED OFF. ON JUNE 23, A GROUP OF APPROXIMATELY 200 WAR

VETERANS (SOME OF WHOM WORE ZANU-PF T-SHIRTS) USED STONES, BRICKS,

AND BOTTLES TO DESTROY THE HOUSE OF MDC MP WILLIAS MADZIMURE, WHO

REPRESENTS THE HARARE HIGH-DENSITY SUBURB OF KAMBUZUMA. MADZIMURE

TOLD US THAT POLICE HAVE TAKEN NO ACTION AGAINST THE PERPETRATORS,

WHO ARE WELL-KNOWN BUT CONTINUE TO CIRCULATE FREELY. ON JUNE 27,

MADZIMURE WAS ASSAULTED BY A GROUP OF ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS WHILE IN

A POLICE STATION FILING A COMPLAINT. NO ONE HAS BEEN ARRESTED IN

THAT INCIDENT. ACCORDING TO PRESS REPORTS, A SHOP OWNED BY MDC MP

JOB SIKHALA, WHO HAS BEEN BEATEN TWICE THIS YEAR BY ZANU-PF

SUPPORTERS, WAS RANSACKED ON JUNE 27 BY 15 PEOPLE CARRYING AXES,

STICKS, BRICKS, AND STONES. THE GROUP, LED BY A REPORTED ZANU-PF

ACTIVIST IN THE AREA, BEAT THE SHOP’S TWO EMPLOYEES, ONE OF WHOM

REQUIRED HOSPITALIZATION.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4208

 

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

DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   JUSE-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   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

/009W

——————051A1B 130953Z /38

O 130954Z JUL 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9302

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 04 HARARE 002171

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 07/10/11

TAGS: PHUM PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE SLIDING OMINOUSLY TOWARD A POLICE STATE

 

5. (C) MDC SUPPORTERS ARE ALSO BEING TARGETED IN THE SWELLING

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02171 02 OF 04 130953Z

WAVE OF GOVERNMENT-SANCTIONED VIOLENCE. IN THE HARARE HIGH-

DENSITY SUBURB OF EPWORTH, SIX PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED IN THE LAST

TWO WEEKS IN POLITICAL VIOLENCE PROVOKED BY SELF-STYLED WAR

VETERANS AND GOONS IN THE EMPLOY OF ZANU-PF. THE LONG-SIMMERING

TENSIONS IN THIS TOWNSHIP HAVE BEEN EXACERBATED IN RECENT WEEKS BY

ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS, WHO HAVE DRAGGED SUSPECTED MDC BACKERS OUT OF

THEIR HOMES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND FORCED THEM TO WALK

SEVERAL KILOMETERS TO A BASE CAMP, WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN SEVERELY

BEATEN. ON JULY 7, THREE MDC OFFICIALS WERE REPORTEDLY SERIOUSLY

INJURED IN RUSAPE, 170 KM SOUTHEAST OF HARARE, IN SEPARATE ATTACKS

ON THEM BY ZANU-PF YOUTHS. THE RIGHT EYE OF ONE OF THE VICTIMS —

NATION SAGWETE, THE MDC DISTRICT YOUTH CHAIRMAN FOR MAKONI EAST —

WAS BLINDED IN THE SECOND ATTACK ON HIM IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS.

MEANWHILE ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS CONTINUE TO WAGE A CAMPAIGN OF TERROR

AGAINST RESIDENTS IN THE MASHONALAND CENTRAL CAPITAL OF BINDURA,

WHERE A PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTION IS SCHEDULED FOR JULY 28 AND 29.

 

INCREASING REPRESSION OF COMMERCIAL FARMERS

——————————————-

 

6. (C) THE SITUATION ON COMMERCIAL FARMS NATIONWIDE IS HEATING

UP, AS THE GOVERNMENT APPEARS INTENT ON BEATING FARMERS — IN SOME

CASES, QUITE LITERALLY — INTO SUBMISSION. DAVID HASLUCK,

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION (CFU), TOLD

ECON/COMMERCIAL CHIEF ON JULY 9 THAT THE ORCHESTRATED CAMPAIGN OF

VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION TARGETING COMMERCIAL FARMERS HAS

INTENSIFIED IN RECENT WEEKS. ACCORDING TO HASLUCK, THE GOZ HAD

RECENTLY ORDERED ITS GANGSTER MILITIA OF WAR VETERANS AND ZANU-PF

SUPPORTERS (WHOSE TACTICS ARE BECOMING INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM

THOSE OF MUSSOLINI’S BROWNSHIRTS) TO DELIVER A CLEAR MESSAGE TO

WHITE FARMERS THAT ANY RESISTANCE TO THE CHAOTIC LAND RESETTLEMENT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02171 02 OF 04 130953Z

PROGRAM WAS FUTILE AND WOULD ONLY RESULT IN INJURIES OR DEATH.

THE CFU DIRECTOR INFORMED US THAT 92-95% OF ALL WHITE-OWNED FARMS

IN ZIMBABWE HAVE NOW BEEN LISTED FOR COMPULSORY ACQUISITION, WITH

THE GOVERNMENT AIMING FOR 100 PERCENT.

 

7. (C) SEVERAL RECENT INCIDENTS PROVIDE COMPELLING EVIDENCE THAT

HASLUCK’S SOURCES ARE RIGHT-ON IN THEIR ASSESSMENT OF A NEW GOZ

CAMPAIGN AGAINST FARM OWNERS. IAIN KAY, A FARMER AND MDC ACTIVIST

RESIDENT IN MARONDERA, 75 KM SOUTHEAST OF HARARE, WAS HELD

HOSTAGE, ALONG WITH TWO NEIGHBORING FARMERS, IN HIS HOME FOR THREE

DAYS BY HOSTILE WAR VETERANS JULY 6-8. LAST YEAR, KAY WAS

SEVERELY BEATEN AND LEFT FOR DEAD BY WAR VETERANS ANGRY THAT HE

HAD NOT BUILT SHACKS FOR SQUATTERS ON HIS PROPERTY. IN THE MOST

RECENT INCIDENT, MDC MP DAVID COLTART TOLD US, A WELL-KNOWN

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION (CIO) AGENT SUPERVISED THE

ACTIVITIES OF THE WAR VETERANS, WHO ASSAULTED 20 OF KAY’S FARM

WORKERS. THEY ENTERED HIS HOUSE TWICE BUT WERE FORCED TO RETREAT

AFTER THE FARM OWNER FIRED A PISTOL INTO THE AIR. THE WAR

VETERANS THREATENED TO KILL KAY IF HE DID NOT VACATE THE FARM

IMMEDIATELY. THE TENSE STANDOFF WAS DEFUSED ON JULY 8 AFTER KAY

AND HIS NEIGHBORS WERE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE PREMISES, ALTHOUGH THE

WAR VETERANS HAVE INSISTED THEY WILL ASSUME CONTROL OF THE

PROPERTY WITHIN A MONTH.

 

8. (C) PHIL MATIBE, AN MDC ACTIVIST, COMMERCIAL FARMER, AND

PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE IN THE JUNE 2000 POLLS, HAD HIS 650-

HECTARE FARM SEIZED AFTER HE REFUSED TO WITHDRAW HIS LEGAL

CHALLENGE OF ZANU-PF’S VICTORY IN CHEGUTU. THE VICTORIOUS ZANU-PF

CANDIDATE, WEBSTER SHAMU, HAD INSTRUCTED MATIBE TO WITHDRAW HIS

CHALLENGE OR HIS FARM WOULD BE SEIZED. MATIBE TOLD POLITICAL

SECTION CHIEF THAT ON JUNE 7, THE DAY AFTER THE HIGH COURT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02171 02 OF 04 130953Z

SCHEDULED A DATE TO HEAR HIS CASE, A GROUP COMPRISING THE DISTRICT

ADMINISTRATOR AND REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE WAR VETERANS, POLICE,

AND ZANU-PF APPEARED ON THE FARM AND GAVE MATIBE AND HIS FAMILY 24

HOURS TO VACATE THE PREMISES. (COMMENT: THE FACT THAT MATIBE’S

FARM HAD NOT BEEN LISTED FOR COMPULSORY ACQUISITION UNDER THE

GOVERNMENT’S FAST TRACK RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM, OR THAT HE IS BLACK,

DID NOT SEEM TO MATTER TO ANY OF THE GOZ PLAYERS. END COMMENT.)

FIFTEEN TO TWENTY SQUATTER FAMILIES WERE DROPPED OFF SOON AFTER,

ERECTED TEMPORARY SHACKS, BURNED ALL OF HIS CROPS IN THE GROUND

(WHICH INCLUDED TOBACCO, BARLEY, AND MAIZE) AND DESTROYED MOST OF

THE INFRASTRUCTURE ON THE FARM.

 

9. (C) ON JUNE 15, A MESSAGE WAS CONVEYED INDIRECTLY TO MATIBE

ORDERING HIM TO RESIGN FROM THE MDC AND TO WITHDRAW HIS LEGAL

CHALLENGE; OTHERWISE, HE AND HIS FAMILY WOULD FACE UNSPECIFIED

CONSEQUENCES. ON JUNE 22, THE CIO PROVINCIAL DIRECTOR FOR

MASHONALAND WEST MET WITH MATIBE AND STATED EXPLICITLY THAT HE HAD

BEEN SENT AS AN ENVOY FROM PRESIDENT MUGABE’S OFFICE. THE CIO

DIRECTOR TOLD MATIBE THAT, IF HE WITHDREW HIS HIGH COURT PETITION,

HE COULD CHOOSE WHATEVER FARM HE WANTED ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY

AND THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BACK OFF IMMEDIATELY. IF HE DECLINED THE

OFFER, THE ENVOY SAID, MATIBE WOULD BE CRUSHED. THE SENIOR CIO

OFFICIAL CONTINUED THAT ZANU-PF WOULD ENSURE THAT ANY BUSINESS OR

OTHER ECONOMIC INITIATIVE MATIBE TRIED TO UNDERTAKE WOULD FAIL,

AND HIS PHYSICAL SECURITY AND THAT OF HIS FAMILY WOULD NOT BE

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4211

 

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ACTION ECA-00

 

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

DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   JUSE-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   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

/009W

——————051A2C 130954Z /38

O 130954Z JUL 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9303

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 04 HARARE 002171

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 07/10/11

TAGS: PHUM PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE SLIDING OMINOUSLY TOWARD A POLICE STATE

 

GUARANTEED. ALTHOUGH CLEARLY SHAKEN BY THIS ORDEAL, MATIBE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02171 03 OF 04 130954Z

APPEARS DETERMINED NOT TO BACK DOWN AND TO MOVE FORWARD WITH HIS

COURT CASE. (COMMENT: THE TREATMENT OF MATIBE PROVIDES THE MOST

GLARING EXAMPLE TO DATE THAT THE GOVERNMENT’S FAST TRACK

RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM IS MORE ABOUT INTIMIDATING POLITICAL

OPPONENTS THAN RIGHTING HISTORICAL WRONGS OR EMPOWERING THE

PEASANTRY. END COMMENT.)

 

10. (U) ACCORDING TO PRESS REPORTS, WAR VETERANS AND ZANU-PF

SUPPORTERS ARMED WITH SPEARS AND AXES WENT ON A RAMPAGE THE WEEK

OF JULY 2 IN MWENEZI, IN THE SOUTHERN PROVINCE OF MASVINGO,

BEATING UP FARM WORKERS WHOM THEY ACCUSED OF SUPPORTING THE MDC.

ONE BAFFLED FARMER IN THE AREA TOLD JOURNALISTS: “IT IS VERY

DANGEROUS FOR US TO MOVE AROUND THE FARM BECAUSE THE WAR VETERANS

HAVE BECOME VERY HOSTILE. THE WHOLE AREA HAS BEEN TURNED INTO A

BATTLEFIELD.” ON JULY 5, GROUPS OF AXE-WIELDING WAR VETERANS

REPORTEDLY BROUGHT THE TOWN OF PLUMTREE, A BORDER TOWN 100 KM

SOUTHWEST OF BULAWAYO, TO A STANDSTILL WHEN THEY HARASSED WORKERS

AT COMPANIES THEY ACCUSED OF PARTICIPATING IN THE JULY 3-4

STAYAWAY ORGANIZED BY THE ZIMBABWE CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS

(ZCTU). THE WAR VETERANS ALLEGEDLY THREATENED TO TAKE OVER THE

COMPANIES AND DEMANDED THE TRANSFER OF ALL OF THEIR MANAGERS. ON

JULY 5, THE GAME RANCH OF AN AMERICAN CITIZEN WAS OCCUPIED BY WAR

VETERANS DROPPED OFF BY A POLICE LAND ROVER (REF A).

 

DETENTION OF ZCTU SECRETARY-GENERAL

———————————–

 

11. (U) THE JULY 12 DETENTION OF WELLINGTON CHIBHEBHE, THE ZCTU’S

SECRETARY-GENERAL, SIGNALED THE GOVERNMENT’S UNHAPPINESS OVER THE

 

SIPDIS

SUCCESS OF THE JULY 3-4 STAYAWAY AND ITS CONCERN OVER THREATS BY

THE LABOR ORGANIZATION TO CALL FOR AN INDEFINITE WORK STOPPAGE.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02171 03 OF 04 130954Z

CHIBHEBHE WAS QUESTIONED FOR TWO HOURS BY POLICE, WHO ASKED ABOUT

HIS POLITICAL AFFILIATION, THE COMPOSITION OF THE ZCTU AND ITS

VARIOUS ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES, WHICH KEY FIGURES DECIDE TO

PROCEED WITH STAYAWAYS, AND THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE ZCTU AND

THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST ORGANIZATION. ZCTU PRESIDENT LOVEMORE

MATOMBO CALLED THE QUESTIONING OF CHIBHEBHE “MERE HARASSMENT.”

MDC SPOKESMAN LEARNMORE JONGWE HAD STRONGER WORDS, SAYING “THIS

HIGH-HANDEDNESS IN DEALING WITH LEGITIMATE DISSENT WILL NOT STOP

THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY FROM DEMANDING THAT THE ELECTED LEADERS

BEHAVE RESPONSIBLY.”

 

NEW CITIZENSHIP LAW

——————-

 

12. (U) ON JULY 6, PRESIDENT MUGABE SIGNED INTO LAW AN AMENDMENT

TO THE CITIZENSHIP ACT OF ZIMBABWE INTENDED TO STRENGTHEN ZANU-

PF’S PROSPECTS IN THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. ACCORDING TO

THE IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS, ZIMBABWEANS HOLDING DUAL CITIZENSHIP

ARE REQUIRED TO RENOUNCE THEIR FOREIGN CITIZENSHIP WITHIN SIX

MONTHS OF THE ENACTMENT DATE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREIGN

COUNTRY’S LAWS. PREVIOUSLY, ZIMBABWEANS HOLDING DUAL CITIZENSHIP

WERE ONLY REQUIRED TO RENOUNCE THEIR FOREIGN CITIZENSHIP UNDER

ZIMBABWEAN LAW, A RENUNCIATION WHICH SOME FOREIGN COUNTRIES DID

NOT RECOGNIZE.

 

13. (C) COMMENT: OBSERVERS AGREE THAT THE AMENDMENT IS AIMED

SOLELY AT DISENFRANCHISING WHITES, WHOM THE GOZ BELIEVES TO BE

OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORTIVE OF THE MDC. IT IS UNCLEAR, HOWEVER, HOW

THE GOVERNMENT PLANS TO ENFORCE THE NEW PROVISION. WILL ALL WHITE

ZIMBABWEANS, FOR EXAMPLE, BE FORCED TO PROVE THAT THEY ARE NOT

CITIZENS OF ANOTHER COUNTRY WHEN THEY APPLY FOR RENEWAL OF THEIR

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02171 03 OF 04 130954Z

ZIMBABWEAN PASSPORTS? SINCE WHITE ZIMBABWEANS COMPRISE LESS THAN

TWO-THIRDS OF ONE PERCENT OF THE POPULATION, THIS LAW BY ITSELF

LIKELY WILL NOT HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE ELECTION OUTCOME.

THE MOST WORRYING POSSIBILITY, HOWEVER, IS THE POTENTIAL IMPACT ON

DUAL CITIZENS, MANY OF WHOM HAVE LIVED IN ZIMBABWE MOST OF THEIR

LIVES, IF THEY OPT TO MAINTAIN THEIR FOREIGN CITIZENSHIP. THEY

WILL HAVE TO APPLY FOR ZIMBABWEAN RESIDENCE PERMITS, AND A

GOVERNMENT DENIAL OF THEIR APPLICATIONS COULD POTENTIALLY LEAVE

THOUSANDS OF THESE INDIVIDUALS NOT ONLY STATELESS, BUT ASSET-LESS

TOO. END COMMENT.)

 

COMMENT

——-

 

14. (C) THINGS ARE RAPIDLY GOING FROM BAD TO WORSE IN ZIMBABWE,

AS THE RULING PARTY SEEMS TO HAVE CONCLUDED THAT RUNNING ON ITS

RECORD IS NOT A RECIPE FOR ELECTORAL SUCCESS NEXT YEAR. ZANU-PF

HAS ESCALATED ITS INTIMIDATION OF THE OPPOSITION AND THOSE

SUSPECTED OF SUPPORTING IT, AND IS ELIMINATING THE MANEUVERING

ROOM OF OTHER INSTITUTIONS AND INDIVIDUALS THAT MIGHT EVEN

REMOTELY THREATEN THE PARTY’S STRANGLEHOLD ON POWER. CRUSHING THE

OPPOSITION AND COMMERCIAL FARMERS; PROHIBITING CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS

FROM CONDUCTING VOTER EDUCATION; THREATENING RURAL VOTERS WITH

DEATH IF THEY VOTE MDC; OUTLAWING FOREIGN FUNDING OF POLITICAL

PARTIES AND NGOS; MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR INDEPENDENT

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4212

 

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ACTION ECA-00

 

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

DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   JUSE-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   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

/009W

——————051A2F 130954Z /38

O 130954Z JUL 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9304

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 04 OF 04 HARARE 002171

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 07/10/11

TAGS: PHUM PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE SLIDING OMINOUSLY TOWARD A POLICE STATE

 

BROADCASTERS TO OBTAIN A LICENSE; AND IMPOSING STRINGENT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02171 04 OF 04 130954Z

ACCREDITATION REQUIREMENTS ON FOREIGN JOURNALISTS THAT MAKE IT

IMPOSSIBLE TO COVER BREAKING STORIES ARE ALL KEY ELEMENTS IN ZANU-

PF’S INCREASINGLY VICIOUS BUT WELL-COORDINATED STRATEGY.

 

15. (C) GIVEN THAT THE RAPID POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DETERIORATION

IN ZIMBABWE WILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

STABILITY OF THE REGION, AND THAT THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY HERE IS

IN PERIL, IT IS CRITICAL THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY DO ALL

IT CAN NOW TO ARREST THIS COUNTRY’S SLIDE TOWARD TOTALITARIANISM.

THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION, OF COURSE, IS WHAT ACTIONS FROM THE

UNITED STATES AND OTHERS WOULD ELICIT THE KINDS OF CHANGES WE ARE

SEEKING. AT A MINIMUM, WE WOULD ARGUE, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE

WEIGH IN WITH THE GOVERNMENT NOW, PERHAPS IN CONCERT WITH KEY

ALLIES, TO EMPHASIZE THAT WE EXPECT A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION, TO

CLARIFY WHAT WE MEAN BY THAT, AND TO SPECIFY THE CONSEQUENCES THAT

WILL FOLLOW IF THE ELECTION DOES NOT MEET THAT STANDARD. A

RESPONSE FROM SECRETARY POWELL TO FM MUDENGE’S RECENT LETTER (REF

D) MIGHT PROVIDE AN APPROPRIATE SENIOR-LEVEL CHANNEL FOR

COMMUNICATING THAT INFORMATION. IN ADDITION, THE EMBASSY AND

USAID MISSION ARE PREPARED TO MOVE FORWARD IMMEDIATELY WITH

DEPLOYMENT OF A NON-PARTISAN TEAM OF ELECTION-RELATED MONITORS

WHEN THE ESF FUNDS PLEDGED TO US FOR THIS PURPOSE IN FEBRUARY 2001

ARE DISBURSED. AS WE PROCEED WITH PLANNING FOR THE MONITORING

EFFORT, WE WILL TAKE INTO ACCOUNT PREVAILING SECURITY CONDITIONS

AND ADOPT ADEQUATE SECURITY PRECAUTIONS.

 

WOERNER

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

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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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