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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
00HARARE1969 2000-04-11 15:27:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR URGES GOVERNMENT RESTRAINT IN

Tags:   PGOV PREL PINS PHUM KDEM ZI 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2729

PAGE 01        HARARE  01969  01 OF 02  111521Z 
ACTION AF-00    

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      TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01   L-00     AC-01    NSAE-00  
      NSCE-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  R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     
      NFAT-00  SAS-00     /012W
                  ------------------4A55BB  111521Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5719
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001969 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/S - CHARLES GURNEY

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/09
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINS PHUM KDEM ZI
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR URGES GOVERNMENT RESTRAINT IN
DEALING WITH OPPOSITION

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD REASONS 1.5 B/D.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01969 01 OF 02 111521Z

REF: HARARE 1778



1. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD HAD A CORDIAL, BUT SPIRITED,
1 1/2-HOUR CONVERSATION WITH MINISTER OF LOCAL
GOVERNMENT AND NATIONAL HOUSING AND ZANU-PF PARTY
CHAIRMAN, JOHN NKOMO, ON APRIL 7 DURING A FLIGHT BACK
FROM SOUTH AFRICA. THE AMBASSADOR EXPRESSED THE USG'S
SERIOUS CONCERN OVER THE VIOLENCE THAT OCCURRED ON APRIL
1 IN HARARE WHEN ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS ATTACKED A "PEACE
MARCH" ORGANIZED BY THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY
(NCA) (REFTEL). THE AMBASSADOR STRESSED THAT THE USG
ALONG WITH THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY FIND THE GOVERNMENT'S INACTION IN THE FACE OF,
AND, INDEED, SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT OF ATTACKS ON
PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATORS ABHORRENT. HE NOTED THAT RIGHT
THINKING MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY URGED
THE ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT TO TAKE RESPONSIBLE STEPS TO
CURB SUCH VIOLENCE IN THE FUTURE. MINSTER NKOMO
DEFENDED THE POLICE FAILURE TO PROTECT THE NCA
PROTESTORS, ARGUING THAT THE ORGANIZATION HAD BEEN
WARNED OF THE COMPETING DEMONSTRATION BY THE WAR
VETERANS ON APRIL 1, BUT INSISTED ON HOLDING ITS MARCH
ANYWAY. MOREOVER, NKOMO ACCUSED THE NCA OF PROVOKING
THE WAR VETS THROUGH "LOUD TALK AND SONGS" WHICH
CRITICIZED THE VETERANS' OCCUPATION OF WHITE-OWNED
COMMERCIAL FARMS.



2. (C) THE AMBASSADOR STATED UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT THE
GOVERNMENT'S ABDICATING ITS RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT
PEACEFUL PROTESTORS WAS UNACCEPTABLE. AMBASSADOR
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01969 01 OF 02 111521Z
MCDONALD STRESSED THAT WE ARE LOOKING TO THE GOVERNMENT
OF ZIMBABWE TO RESPECT THE OPPOSITION'S RIGHT TO FREEDOM
OF SPEECH AND ASSEMBLY, AND SPECIFICALLY URGED THE
GOVERNMENT TO TAKE STEPS TO ENSURE THAT NO HARM COMES TO
MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) PRESIDENT, MORGAN
TSVANGIRAI. NKOMO RESPONDED THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAD NO

SIPDIS
INTENTION OF HARMING TSVANGIRAI, BUT WARNED, WITHOUT
ELABORATING, THAT THE MDC PRESIDENT NEEDED TO "BE
CAREFUL."



3. (C) THE AMBASSADOR THEN TOLD MINISTER NKOMO THAT
WASHINGTON WAS ALSO DISTURBED ABOUT THE COMMERCIAL FARM
INVASIONS AND THE GOVERNMENT'S HAND IN FACILITATING THE
OCCUPATIONS BY THE WAR VETERANS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS.
NKOMO DID NOT DENY THAT THE GOVERNMENT, THROUGH ZANU-PF
OFFICIALS, WAS SUPPORTING THE OCCUPATIONS. "WHAT WAS
THE POINT OF OUR FIGHTING A WAR OF LIBERATION IF WE
CANNOT CONTROL OUR LAND," NKOMO ASKED RHETORICALLY. THE
MINISTER THEN BLAMED THE LACK OF FUNDS WITH WHICH TO
PURCHASE FARMS AND THE WHITE COMMERCIAL FARMERS' LEGAL
CHALLENGES TO THE GOVERNMENT'S LAND REFORM PROGRAM AS
THE CAUSE OF THE CURRENT OCCUPATIONS. THE AMBASSADOR
RESPONDED THAT THE USG WOULD NOT TOLERATE THE VIOLATION
OF THE RULE OF LAW WITH RESPECT TO THE TAKING OF FARM
LAND WITHOUT COMPENSATION AND SAW THE OCCUPATIONS AS
PART OF THE GOVERNMENT'S POLITICAL AGENDA, TO WHICH
MINISTER NKOMO DID NOT REPLY. AMBASSADOR MCDONALD ALSO
UNDERSCORED USG SUPPORT FOR LAND REFORM AS AGREED TO AT
THE DONOR'S CONFERENCE IN SEPTEMBER 1998.



4. (C) THE CONVERSATION THEN TURNED TO GENERAL
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01969 01 OF 02 111521Z
POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN THE RULING PARTY AND
PRESIDENT MUGABE'S FUTURE PLANS. NKOMO TOLD THE
AMBASSADOR THAT HE WAS FINDING THE POSITION OF ZANU-PF
PARTY CHAIRMAN A VERY DIFFICULT ONE AND THEN CRITICIZED
THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION (CFU) FOR ITS SUPPORT OF
THE MDC. NKOMO ASSERTED THAT THE CFU AS A GROUP HAD NO
RIGHT TO SUPPORT A POLITICAL PARTY, ALTHOUGH HE CONCEDED
ITS INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS COULD DO SO. THE ZANU-PF PARTY
CHAIRMAN THEN STATED THAT IT WAS NO LONGER CLEAR WHETHER
PRESIDENT MUGABE WOULD STEP DOWN AT THE END OF HIS TERM
IN 2002. PRIOR TO THE FEBRUARY DEFEAT OF THE
CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM, THE PLAN WAS FOR MUGABE TO
PAVE THE WAY FOR A SUCCESSOR AND THEN MAKE A GRACEFUL
EXIT BY THE YEAR 2002. WITH THE DEFEAT OF THE DRAFT
CONSTITUTION, AND ITS PROVISIONS FOR A PRIME MINISTER
AND PRESIDENT OF A SENATE, "ALL BETS ARE OFF" AS TO WHAT
MUGABE WILL DO, ACCORDING TO NKOMO. NKOMO STATED: "THE
NEW CONSTITUTION PROVIDED MUGABE WITH COVER TO ANNOUNCE
HIS PLANNED RETIREMENT." MOREOVER, NO ONE IN THE
GOVERNMENT WILL EVEN RAISE THE ISSUE OF THE PRESIDENT'S
FUTURE PLANS WITH HIM, NKOMO SAID.



5. (C) COMMENT: MINISTER NKOMO, LIKE MANY OTHER SENIOR
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, HAS CHOSEN NOT TO SEEK REELECTION
IN THE UPCOMING PARLIAMENTARY RACE. NKOMO SAYS HE WILL

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ2730

PAGE 01 HARARE 01969 02 OF 02 111521Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-01 FBIE-00 VC-01 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 L-00 AC-01 NSAE-00
NSCE-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
R-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 /012W


--------------------------

4A55C8 111521Z /38
O 111527Z APR 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5720
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 001969

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/S - CHARLES GURNEY

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/09
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINS PHUM KDEM ZI
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR URGES GOVERNMENT RESTRAINT IN
DEALING WITH OPPOSITION

CONCENTRATE ON RULING PARTY MATTERS. MANY OTHERS,
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01969 02 OF 02 111521Z
HOWEVER, SEE THE WRITING ON THE WALL FOR ZANU-PF AND
HAVE JUST RESIGNED. NKOMO, LIKE MANY OTHERS IN THE
RULING PARTY, ARE ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED THAT ZANU-PF IS
FACED WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF LOSING TO THE MDC -- A
PARTY THEY SEE CONSISTING OF POLITICAL UPSTARTS WITH
WHITE FINANCIAL BACKING. THESE ZANU-PF OFFICIALS ARE
LASHING OUT AT OPPOSITION, WHITE FARMERS, AND ANY ONE
WHO SUPPORTS THOSE GROUPS IN THE RUN-UP TO THE ELECTION.
IN THIS REGARD, WE NOTE THAT AT AN APRIL 10 MEETING OF
WESTERN DONOR COUNTRY POLITICAL OFFICERS AND DEVELOPMENT
ASSISTANCE OFFICERS IN HARARE, THERE WAS NO INDICATION
THAT ANY OF THE RESIDENT MISSIONS INTENDS TO DELIVER
TOUGH BILATERAL MESSAGES IN SUPPORT OF RESTRAINT AND
NON-VIOLENCE TO THE GOVERNMENT. NEVERTHELESS, THE
AMBASSADOR WILL CONTINUE TO ENGAGE OUR CIVIL SOCIETY
ORGANIZATION, OPPOSITION AND GOVERNMENT INTERLOCUTORS TO
PRESS FOR A PEACEFUL PRE- AND POST-ELECTION CAMPAIGN
SEASON.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

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