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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE2120
2000-04-17 15:32:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

WEEKEND VIOLENCE NOTCHES UP

Tags:  PREL PGOV 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     PTQ4183

PAGE 01        HARARE  02120  01 OF 03  171528Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    
      VC-01    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01   L-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    IRM-00   TRSE-00  
      USIE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00   
        /010W
                  ------------------4CB326  171534Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5781
INFO NSC WASHDC
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 002120 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF A/S RICE, AF POAS POWELL,
AF DAS
SCHNEIDMAN, AF/S DIRECTOR RENDER, AF/S DESK
OFFICER GURNEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 4/17/10
TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI
SUBJECT: WEEKEND VIOLENCE NOTCHES UP
POLITICAL TENSION
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02120 01 OF 03 171528Z

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL OFFICER JON HOOPER
FOR REASONS 1.5 (B), (0)



1. (C) SUMMARY. THIS WEEKEND SAW THREE
DEATHS ASSOCIATED WITH POLITICAL ACTIVITY,
APPARENTLY THE START OF WHAT MANY OBSERVERS
THINK WILL BE A SEASON OF ELECTION-RELATED
VIOLENCE FOR ZIMBABWE. PRESIDENT MUGABE
REMAINS INTRANSIGENT IN DEFYING THE COURTS
OVER ONGOING FARM OCCUPATIONS, AND APPEARED
UNMOVED BY THE DEATHS. HIS MAIN POLITICAL
OPPOSITION CONTINUES TO APPEAR MORE NIMBLE
THAN MUGABE IN ATTEMPTING TO GARNER
POLITICAL SUPPORT. WE FORESEE NO QUICK END
TO THE SPORADIC VIOLENCE. END SUMMARY.

SOWING THE DRAGON'S TEETH



2. (U) TWO MEMBERS OF THE MOVEMENT FOR
DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC), THE MAIN POLITICAL
OPPOSITION PARTY, WERE KILLED APRIL 15 IN
WHAT LOCAL OBSERVERS BELIEVE TO BE A
POLITICALLY-INSPIRED ATTACK. ONE OF THE
DEAD WAS THE OFFICIAL CHAUFFEUR FOR MDC
LEADER MORGAN TSVANGIRAI. HE HAD BEEN
TRANSPORTING MDC SUPPORTERS HOME FROM A
POLITICAL RALLY WHEN HIS TRUCK WAS ATTACKED
AND STOPPED BY GUN-TOTING ASSAILANTS, WHO
PROCEEDED TO FIREBOMB THE VEHICLE. THE TWO
DECEASED WERE TRAPPED IN THE TRUCK AND DIED
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02120 01 OF 03 171528Z
OF BURNS. THE SUPPORTERS THAT HAD BEEN
PASSENGERS ESCAPED LARGELY UNHARMED.



3. (C) ALSO ON APRIL 15, A WHITE FARMER
WAS SHOT TO DEATH IN A CLASH WITH SOME OF
THE SO-CALLED "WAR VETERANS" WHO HAD BEEN
OCCUPYING HIS FARM. THIS FIRST FARMER
CASUALTY OF THE GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED
OCCUPATION CAMPAIGN RESULTED WHEN THE FARMER
BACKED UP HIS LABORERS TO ATTEMPT TO GET THE
OCCUPIERS OFF HIS FARM. WHILE HE AND HIS
LABORERS WERE INITIALLY SUCCESSFUL, THE
OCCUPIERS, WITH HELP FROM OTHERS IN THE
AREA, REORGANIZED AND COUNTERATTACKED. IT
IS EVIDENT THAT THE OCCUPIERS ARE PREPARED
TO ESCALATE VIOLENCE IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN
THEIR PRESENCE AGAINST FORCEFUL ATTEMPTS BY
FARMERS TO EVICT THEM AND HAVE ORGANIZED
THEMSELVES TO A CERTAIN DEGREE.

MUGABE DEFIANT ON FARM OCCUPATIONS



4. (C) PRESIDENT MUGABE RETURNED ON
SUNDAY, APRIL 16, FROM THE G-77 SUMMIT TO A
RENT-A-CROWD RECEPTION AT HARARE AIRPORT,
WHERE HIS PUBLIC REMARKS UNDERLINED HIS
INTRANSIGENCE ON THE LAND OCCUPATION ISSUE.
CONTINUING THE LINE OF ARGUMENT HE MADE AT
THE SUMMIT, MUGABE MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE
WILL NOT SUPPORT ATTEMPTS TO CLEAR THE
OCCUPIERS FROM THE FARMS, MUCH LESS ORDER
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 02120 01 OF 03 171528Z
POLICE TO FOLLOW THE RECENT COURT ORDERS
THAT THEY SHOULD DO SO. THIS CAME IN
COMPLETE CONTRAST TO ACTING PRESIDENT
MSIKA'S APRIL 14 DECLARATION THAT THE
COURT'S RULING TO WITHDRAW FROM THE OCCUPIED
FARMS SHOULD BE HEEDED. IN WHAT MUST HAVE
STRUCK MORE THAN A FEW IMPARTIAL OBSERVERS
AS A NEW LEVEL OF HYPOCRISY, MUGABE ARGUED
THAT ENFORCING THE COURT ORDERS WOULD BE A
DANGEROUS ESCALATION OF VIOLENCE.



5. (C) PART OF MUGABE'S AND THE POLICE'S
ARGUMENT AGAINST HAVING THE POLICE FORCE
MOVE AGAINST THE FARM OCCUPIERS HAS BEEN
THAT THE POLICE LACK THE NECESSARY
RESOURCES. CURIOUSLY, WHEN RUMORS FILLED
HARARE THAT A NON-ZANU-PF POLITICAL RALLY
WAS PLANNED FOR SATURDAY, THE POLICE HAD NO
DIFFICULTY MAKING THEIR PRESENCE KNOWN.
THERE WERE ROVING PATROLS OF RIOT-EQUIPPED
OFFICERS IN THE DOWNTOWN BUSINESS AREA,
MOVING IN GROUPS OF FIVE TO TEN. FURTHER
POLICE MANPOWER LOUNGED IN SEVERAL ARMORED
CARS PARKED NEAR PARLIAMENT, AND POLICE

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ4189

PAGE 01 HARARE 02120 02 OF 03 171528Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
VC-01 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 L-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 IRM-00 TRSE-00
USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/010W


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

4CB336 171535Z /38
R 171532Z APR 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5782
INFO NSC WASHDC
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 002120

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF A/S RICE, AF POAS POWELL,
AF DAS
SCHNEIDMAN, AF/S DIRECTOR RENDER, AF/S DESK
OFFICER GURNEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 4/17/10
TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: WEEKEND VIOLENCE NOTCHES UP
POLITICAL TENSION
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02120 02 OF 03 171528Z

ROADBLOCKS ON MAJOR TRAFFIC ARTERIES HEADING
INTO TOWN CAUSED MAJOR TRAFFIC BACK-UPS AS
OFFICERS SLOWLY SEARCHED OR INSPECTED THE
INTERIOR OF ALL PASSING VEHICLES. IN THE
END THERE WAS NO DEMONSTRATION--WE HAVE BEEN
TOLD NONE WAS IN FACT PLANNED--AND HARARE'S
FINEST, RARE RESOURCE THAT THEY APPARENTLY
ARE, SIMPLY HAD A LONG DAY OF DOING NOTHING
MUCH.



6. (C) FURTHER TO THE LAND ISSUE, THE
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSIONER IN HARARE TOLD
AMBASSADOR MCDONALD DURING LUNCH ON APRIL 17
THAT THE BRITISH HAVE PROPOSED TO THE GOZ
THAT THEY SEND A DELEGATION TO LONDON ON
APRIL 27 FOR BILATERAL LAND REFORM
DISCUSSIONS.

MDC STILL THINKING AHEAD, ZANU-PF NOT



7. (C) IN THE MORE PURELY POLITICAL ARENA,
THE MDC SPONSORED ADS IN MAJOR NEWSPAPERS
THIS WEEKEND URGING THEIR URBAN-BASED
SUPPORTERS TO PICK UP INFORMATION PAMPHLETS
TO TAKE WITH THEM AS THEY RETURN TO THEIR
RURAL FAMILIES OVER THE UPCOMING LONG EASTER
WEEKEND. AS IS COMMON IN MANY AFRICAN
COUNTRIES, MANY EXTENOEO FAMILIES WILL
GATHER IN THEIR VILLAGES THIS HOLIOAY. BY
HAVING INFORMATION PACKETS REAOY TO BE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02120 02 OF 03 171528Z
TRANSPORTED BY THESE WILLING--ANO FREE--
COURIERS, THE MOC IS TAKING A SMALL STEP TO
OVERCOME THE COMMUNICATION GAP THAT
SEPARATES THEM FROM RURAL AREAS, WHERE ONLY
THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLEO ELECTRONIC MEDIA
IS REAOILY AVAILABLE.



8. (C) IN CONTRAST, NEWS FROM THE ZANU-PF
FRONT SHOWS THEY HAVE A CONSIDERABLE
OISTANCE TO GO BEFORE THEY ARE IN TUNE WITH
THE MOOO OF THEIR PUTATIVE SUPPORTERS.
ACCOROING TO NEWS REPORTS MONOAY MORNING,
VICE PRESIOENT MSIKA WAS BOOEO OVER THE
WEEKENO WHEN HIS SPEECH AT THE FUNERAL OF
THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR OF BULAWAYO STRAYED INTO
AN ATTACK ON MDC PRESIDENT TSVANGIRAI.

COMMENT



9. (C) THE NO-HOLDS-BARRED POLITICAL
SEASON IS NOW APPARENTLY OPEN IN ZIMBABWE.
OUR READING OF LOCAL REACTION TO THE WEEKEND
VIOLENCE IS THAT THERE IS CONSIDERABLE SHOCK
AND DISMAY THAT THINGS HAVE COME TO THIS
PASS. NO ONE IS LOOKING TO A QUICK END TO
WHAT LOCALS SEE AS A ZANU-PF INTIMIDATION
CAMPAIGN.



10. (C) THIS IS A TIME OF TESTING FOR THE
MDC. THEIR RESPONSE TO WHAT APPEARS TO BE
BLATANT AND CLEARLY LIFE-THREATENING
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 02120 02 OF 03 171528Z
PROVOCATION WILL BE TELLING. SO FAR THEIR
OFFICIAL REACTION HAS BEEN LOW KEY. WE HAVE
NOT HEARD OF PLANS FOR RETALIATION. IT IS
STILL TOO EARLY TO TELL WHAT EFFECT THESE
EVENTS WILL HAVE ON THEIR SUPPORTERS, BUT WE
SENSE MANY VOTERS HERE EXPECTED POLITICAL
CONFLICT TO CAUSE LOSS OF LIFE EVENTUALLY,
AND WILL NOT BE PUT OFF BY SPORADIC
VIOLENCE.



11. (C) FOR ZANU-PF, THE TIME TO RESCUE
WHATEVER POLITICAL CREDIBILITY THEY HAVE IS
NOW. WE SENSE THERE ARE CONSIDERABLE RIFTS
WITHIN THE RULING PARTY OVER THE FARM
OCCUPATIONS. VICE PRESIDENT MSIKA SURELY
WAS NOT SPEAKING SOLELY FOR HIMSELF WHEN HE
GREETED WITH SOME APPARENT ENTHUSIASM LAST
WEEK'S COURT DECISION THAT POLICE SHOULD
EVICT THE FARM INVADERS--A BLATANT
CONTRADICTION OF WHAT, SINCE MUGABE HAS
SPOKEN, IS NOW OFFICIAL PARTY POLICY. WE DO
NOT KNOW HOW FAR THESE POLICY SPLITS RUN ON
OTHER ISSUES, BUT POLITICIANS WHO EXPECT TO
HAVE A CAREER HERE BEYOND THE MUGABE ERA

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ4190

PAGE 01 HARARE 02120 03 OF 03 171528Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
VC-01 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 L-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 TRSE-00 USIE-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W


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

4CB33A 171535Z /38
R 171532Z APR 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5783
INFO NSC WASHDC
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 002120

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF A/S RICE, AF POAS POWELL,
AF DAS
SCHNEIDMAN, AF/S DIRECTOR RENDER, AF/S DESK
OFFICER GURNEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 4/17/10
TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: WEEKEND VIOLENCE NOTCHES UP
POLITICAL TENSION

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02120 03 OF 03 171528Z
MUST BE LOOKING WITH SOME CONSTERNATION AT
THE CURRENT GROWTH OF CHAOS. MOREOVER, THE
LONGER AND MORE SEVERE THE VIOLENCE, THE
GREATER WILL BE THE DIFFICULTY IN FINDING
ANY TAKERS FOR THEIR ASSERTION THAT
ELECTIONS WILL BE FREE AND FAIR.



12. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD LEARNED LATE
THIS AFTERNOON IN A TELEPHONE CALL WITH DR.
CHARLES UTETE, CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE
CABINET, THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE MAY HAVE AN
ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY REGARDING THE LAND
OCCUPATIONS, WHICH HE SAID "MAY BE OF
INTEREST TO US." WE WILL LET YOU KNOW IF
SUCH AN ANNOUNCEMENT IS MADE. END COMMENT.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

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