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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
00HARARE2297 2000-04-27 15:46:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR PUTS HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER ON NOTICE

Tags:   PGOV PREL PHUM PINS PINR KDEM ZI 
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271546Z Apr 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ9915

PAGE 01        HARARE  02297  01 OF 03  271542Z 
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                  ------------------50A48E  271543Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5884
INFO AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
NSC WASHDC
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 002297 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF A/S SUSAN RICE, DAS SCHNEIDMAN

AF/S RENDER, BOOTH, GURNEY

NSC FOR SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR AFRICA GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02297 01 OF 03 271542Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/27/00
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINS PINR KDEM ZI
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR PUTS HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER ON NOTICE
TO STOP THE POLITICAL VIOLENCE

REF: A) HARARE 2237, B) HARARE 2221, C) HARARE 2236

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL OFFICER MAKILA JAMES, REASONS
1.5 B/D.



1. (C) SUMMARY: ON APRIL 26 THE MINISTER OF HOME
AFFAIRS REPEATED THE PARTY LINE TO AMBASSADOR MCDONALD
THAT THE OCCUPATIONS OF THE COMMERCIAL FARMS IS A
"POLITICAL ISSUE" WITH WHICH NEITHER HE NOR THE POLICE
MAY INTERFERE, AS LONG AS THE TAKEOVERS ARE PEACEFUL.
DABENGWA MAINTAINS THAT THE POLICE ARE UNDER INSTRUCTION
TO INVESTIGATE AND ARREST THOSE WHO HARM PEOPLE OR
PROPERTY ON THE FARMS. TO DATE, HOWEVER, WE HAVE SEEN
NO EVIDENCE OF ANY ARREST FOR THE MURDERS OF TWO WHITE
COMMERCIAL FARMERS OR THE HUNDREDS OF BLACK FARM WORKERS
WHO HAVE BEEN INTIMIDATED, RAPED, OR KILLED. THE
MINISTER EXPRESSED A GREATER DESIRE TO STOP THE
WIDESPREAD POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN URBAN AREAS, BUT AGAIN
HAS YET TO DEMONSTRATE STRONG LEADERSHIP BY PUBLICIZING
ANY INVESTIGATIONS OR ARRESTS FOLLOWING SEVERAL DEATHS.
OPPOSITION PARTY MEMBERS SAY THE POLICE ARE UNDER
INSTRUCTIONS NOT TO MAKE ARRESTS IN ELECTION-RELATED
CRIMES AS THEY TOO ARE DEEMED "POLITICAL MATTERS." IN
OUR JUDGMENT, PUTTING AN END TO POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN
ZIMBABWE RESTS WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE WHO CONTINUES TO
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02297 01 OF 03 271542Z
SHOW NO INCLINATION TO STOP THE FARM OCCUPATIONS OR THE
ATTACKS ON OPPOSITION PARTY SUPPORTERS. IN RESPONSE,
AMBASSADOR MCDONALD, IN THE STRONGEST TERMS, CHASTISED
THE GOZ AND THE ZANU-PF PARTY FOR ORGANIZING AND
ENCOURAGING THE POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION. END
SUMMARY.



2. (C) FOLLOWING THE APRIL 26 SIGNING OF THE U.S.-
ZIMBABWE EXTRADITION TREATY, AMBASSADOR MCDONALD MEET
PRIVATELY WITH MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS, DUMISO
DABENGWA, TO RAISE OUR CONCERNS OVER THE ONGOING AND
EVER INCREASING POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN ZIMBABWE.
AMBASSADOR MCDONALD, ACCOMPANIED BY POLOFF (NOTETAKER),
EXPRESSED U.S. CONDEMNATION OF AND DISGUST WITH THE
POLITICAL VIOLENCE OCCURRING ON THE OCCUPIED COMMERCIAL
FARMS AGAINST BLACK FARM WORKERS, INCLUDING REPORTS OF
LYNCHINGS, BEATINGS, AND RAPES, AS WELL AS THE DEATHS OF
THE TWO WHITE FARMERS THE WEEK OF APRIL 16, AND GENERAL
INTIMIDATION OF FARM OWNERS BY THE OCCUPYING "WAR
VETERANS" AND THEIR HIRED BACKERS. ADDITIONALLY, THE
AMBASSADOR URGED THE GOVERNMENT TO ACT AGGRESSIVELY TO
STOP THE ESCALATING POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND TO UPHOLD LAW
AND ORDER BY ARRESTING AND PROSECUTING PERPETRATORS OF
THESE CRIMES. SPECIFICALLY, THE AMBASSADOR INQUIRED
ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE TO THE PETROL BOMB
MURDERS OF TWO MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC)
SUPPORTERS IN BUHERA ON APRIL 15 AND THE FATAL BEATINGS
OF TWO OTHER MDC SUPPORTERS IN KARIBA ON APRIL 25
(REFTEL A). THE AMBASSADOR INFORMED THE MINISTER THAT
HE HAD URGED PRESIDENT MUGABE TO TAKE A LEADERSHIP ROLE
IN STOPPING THE POLITICAL VIOLENCE (REFTEL B).
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 02297 01 OF 03 271542Z



3. (C) MINISTER DABENGWA RESPONDED BY EXPRESSING HIS
CONCERN ABOUT THE BREAKDOWN IN LAW AND ORDER, BUT WENT
ON TO SEPARATED THE VIOLENCE ON THE COMMERCIAL FARMS
FROM THE BROADER ELECTION-RELATED ASSAULTS AND DEATHS.
THE MINISTER WEAKLY ARGUED THAT THE OCCUPATIONS OF THE
FARMS BY WAR VETS AND OTHERS WERE THE RESULT OF A
LONGSTANDING POLITICAL PROBLEM IN THE COUNTRY THAT
REQUIRED A "POLITICAL SOLUTION." IN THE PAST, WHEN
COMMERCIAL FARMS WERE OCCUPIED BY COMMUNAL FARMERS WHO
HAD GROWN IMPATIENT WAITING FOR LAND RESETTLEMENT, LOCAL
POLITICIANS WOULD BE DISPATCHED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO
RESOLVE THE CRISIS AND NEGOTIATE A PEACEFUL REMOVAL.
THE POLICE HAVE NEVER EVICTED FARM OCCUPIERS BASED ONLY
ON A COURT ORDER, DABENGWA ADDED. THE SAME STRATEGY IS
NOW BEING EMPLOYED TO NEGOTIATE A SOLUTION TO THE
OCCUPATIONS BY THE WAR VETS. CONSEQUENTLY, NEITHER HIS
MINISTRY NOR THE POLICE WILL INTERFERE WITH THE
OCCUPIERS AS LONG AS THEY REMAIN PEACEFUL, I.E., IF THE
SQUATTERS REFRAINED FROM INTIMIDATION, PROPERTY DAMAGE,
OR PHYSICAL HARM TO THE RESIDENTS, THE MINISTER STATED.



4. (C) WHEN AMBASSADOR MCDONALD PRESSED THE MINISTER ON
POLICE FAILURE TO DO THEIR JOB OR TO DO SO IN A TIMELY
MANNER IN THE DEATHS OF THE TWO COMMERCIAL FARMERS OR IN

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ9918

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DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-01
FAAE-00 FBIE-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 SP-00 STR-00
TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /012W


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

50A4A4 271543Z /38
P 271546Z APR 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5885
INFO AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 002297

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF A/S SUSAN RICE, DAS SCHNEIDMAN

AF/S RENDER, BOOTH, GURNEY

NSC FOR SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR AFRICA GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02297 02 OF 03 271543Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/27/00
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINS PINR KDEM ZI
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR PUTS HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER ON NOTICE
TO STOP THE POLITICAL VIOLENCE

OTHER CASES OF PHYSICAL ASSAULT ON BLACK FARM WORKERS,
THE MINISTER INSISTED THEY POLICE "DID THEIR BEST" IN
LIGHT OF THEIR TRANSPORT AND FORCE SIZE LIMITATIONS.
THE MINISTER'S PERMANENT SECRETARY, TINAYE CHIGUDU,
CHIMED IN THAT WE DID NOT HAVE ACCURATE INFORMATION AND
QUESTIONED WHETHER SOME OF THE INCIDENTS OCCURRED.
AMBASSADOR MCDONALD CUT CHIGUDU SHORT AND INSISTED THE
INFORMATION THE EMBASSY HAD WAS CREDIBLE. DABENGWA SAID
THAT THE POLICE WERE INVESTIGATING THE TWO FARM DEATHS,
AND PROMISED TO SHARE THE REPORT WITH THE AMBASSADOR
WHEN COMPLETED.



5. (C) DABENGWA RECOUNTED HOW HE HAD INITIALLY
INSTRUCTED THE POLICE TO REMOVE THE OCCUPIERS DURING THE
FIRST WEEKS OF THE COMMERCIAL FARM INVASIONS THREE
MONTHS AGO. AT THAT TIME, HE SAID HE PERSONALLY TOLD
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION, CHENJERI
"HITLER" HUNZVI, TO ORDER THE VETS TO VACATE THE FARMS.
HUNZVI WAS REPORTEDLY EN ROUTE TO AN OCCUPIED FARM TO
DELIVER THAT MESSAGE WHEN PRESIDENT MUGABE'S
CONTRADICTORY INSTRUCTION THAT THE VETS COULD REMAIN
PEACEFULLY WAS BROADCAST OVER THE RADIO. AT THAT POINT,
HUNZVI CEASED HIS EFFORTS TO HAVE THE VETS LEAVE THE
OCCUPIED FARMS. THE MINISTER LAMENTED THAT HE DID NOT
HAVE A CHANCE TO CONSULT WITH THE PRESIDENT IN ADVANCE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02297 02 OF 03 271543Z
OF MUGABE'S STATEMENT, AS HE WOULD HAVE TRIED TO TALK
HIM OUT OF TAKING SUCH A POSITION ON THE OCCUPATIONS,
DABENGWA SAID.



6. (C) THE MINISTER THEN DESCRIBED UNSUCCESSFUL EFFORTS
BY HIMSELF AND OTHER SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN THE
CABINET AND ZANU-PF POLITBURO TO END THE OCCUPATIONS,
INCLUDING VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH MSIKA'S FLIP-FLOP ON THE
ISSUE. NEVERTHELESS, THE ISSUE OF ESCALATING POLITICAL
VIOLENCE CONTINUED TO BE DISCUSSED AMONG SENIOR
OFFICIALS, MOST RECENTLY IN THE APRIL 25 CABINET AND
POLITBURO MEETING. DABENGWA NOTED THAT THE AMBASSADOR'S
MESSAGE ON THIS ISSUE TO THE PRESIDENT WAS THE MOST THAT
COULD BE DONE, AS MUGABE WAS INSISTING ON NO FORCED
REMOVALS. THE MINISTER RESIGNEDLY SAID HIS HANDS WERE
TIED AS WERE THE POLICE, AS THERE WAS "NO POLITICAL
WILL" TO END THE OCCUPATIONS AT THE MOMENT.



7. (C) TURNING TO THE ISSUE OF GENERAL ELECTION
POLITICAL VIOLENCE, DABENGWA INSISTED THAT THE POLICE
WERE CONDUCTING INVESTIGATIONS AND MAKING ARRESTS.
ADDITIONALLY, THE MINISTER SAID HE HAD INSTRUCTED THE
POLICE COMMISSIONER TO PREPARE A WEEKLY SUMMARY OF
POLITICAL VIOLENCE INCIDENTS, INCLUDING ARRESTS, WHICH
HE GAVE US A COPY OF DATED APRIL 16 TO 23. (COMMENT:
THE REPORT MERELY CATALOGS THE NUMBER OF ZANU-PF AND
OPPOSITION PARTY RALLIES, GENERICALLY IDENTIFIES ARRESTS
OF PARTY MEMBERS, AND DRYLY STATES THE NUMBER OF DEATHS.
THERE ARE NO REPORTS OF ANY ARREST IN CONNECTION WITH
THE FARM OR POLITICAL PARTY DEATHS SO FAR. THERE ARE
ALSO NO NAMES OF SUSPECTS OR REFERENCE TO ANY POLICE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 02297 02 OF 03 271543Z
FOLLOW-UP ACTION. END COMMENT.)



8. (C) MINISTER DABENGWA INSISTS THAT THE LOCAL POLICE
AUTHORITIES WILL BE GIVEN COPIES OF THESE WEEKLY REPORTS
AND INSTRUCTED TO FOLLOW-UP. DABENGWA ALSO STATED THAT
A ZANU-PF SUPPORTER HAD BEEN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH
THE MURDERS OF THE TWO MDC SUPPORTERS IN BUHERA. THE
AMBASSADOR RESPONDED THAT THE POLICE SHOULD PUBLICIZE
ANY SUCH ARRESTS, AS THERE WAS CURRENTLY NO NEWS ON
POLICE EFFORTS TO END THE POLITICAL VIOLENCE, WHICH, IN
TURN, WAS ENCOURAGING MORE VIOLENCE. DABENGWA SAID HE
INTENDS TO HAVE THE REPORTS OF VIOLENCE AND THE
SUBSEQUENT ARRESTS PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAPERS. AT AN
MDC PRESS CONFERENCE ON APRIL 26, HOWEVER, MDC PRESIDENT
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI INSISTED THAT THE POLICE WERE NOT
INVESTIGATING THE ATTACKS ON MDC SUPPORTERS, AS THE
POLICE CLAIM TO BE UNDER INSTRUCTIONS THAT SUCH CRIMES
ARE "POLITICAL MATTERS" AND NOT APPROPRIATE FOR POLICE
INTERFERENCE. THE AMBASSADOR CONCLUDED BY URGING THE
GOVERNMENT TO ACT DECISIVELY TO END THE VIOLENCE ON THE
FARMS AND AMONG POLITICAL PARTY OPPONENTS, AND RETURN TO
AN ORDERLY LAND REFORM PROGRAM AS AGREED TO IN SEPTEMBER
1998 AT THE LAND CONFERENCE. AMBASSADOR MCDONALD WENT
ON TO STATE THAT THE POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN THE RURAL
AREAS IS DIRECTED AGAINST THE WEAKEST GROUP, THE FARM

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ9919

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ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DINT-00
DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-01
FAAE-00 FBIE-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 SP-00 STR-00
TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /012W


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

50A4AC 271543Z /38
P 271546Z APR 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5886
INFO AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 002297

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF A/S SUSAN RICE, DAS SCHNEIDMAN

AF/S RENDER, BOOTH, GURNEY

NSC FOR SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR AFRICA GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 02297 03 OF 03 271543Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/27/00
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINS PINR KDEM ZI
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR PUTS HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER ON NOTICE
TO STOP THE POLITICAL VIOLENCE

WORKERS, WHO ARE THE LEAST ABLE TO DEFEND THEMSELVES.



9. (C) COMMENT: THE ONGOING POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN
ZIMBABWE IS DESIGNED TO SET THE STAGE FOR A ZANU-PF WIN
IN THE UPCOMING PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION. THE BATTLE FOR
THE MAJORITY OF VOTES WILL PLAY OUT IN THE RURAL AREAS
(REFTEL C). CONSEQUENTLY, MUGABE BELIEVES HE CAN WIN
ONLY IF HE CONTINUES ALLOWING ENOUGH INSTABILITY IN THE
RURAL AREAS TO ENSURE THAT AN INTIMATED ELECTORATE
STICKS WITH ZANU-PF. NEITHER THE HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER
NOR OTHERS IN SENIOR GOVERNMENT POSITIONS ARE ABLE TO
INFLUENCE PRESIDENT MUGABE TO STOP THE ELECTION
VIOLENCE. THOSE WHO PROFESS ABHORRENCE OF THE VIOLENCE,
LIKE DABENGWA, ARE EITHER TOO AFRAID FOR THEIR POLITICAL
CAREERS OR TOO WEAK TO HAVE ANY IMPACT ON THE DEBATE.
MUGABE IS AGAIN CALLING ALL THE SHOTS AND NO ONE BELOW
HIM WILL TELL HIM JUST HOW DAMAGING THE VIOLENCE IS TO
THE COUNTRY'S STABILITY AND REPUTATION. THERE IS A
CHANCE THAT THE ZIMBABWEAN DELEGATION WHICH IS PRESENTLY
IN LONDON TO DISCUSS RESUMPTION OF DIALOGUE WITH THE UK
ON LAND REFORM MAY GET A REALITY CHECK, BUT THE ODDS ARE
AGAINST ANY QUICK SHIFT IN THE CURRENT STRATEGY. THE
ISSUE IS A CRITICAL ONE AND A MATTER OF BASIC HUMAN
RIGHTS REGARDING WHICH WE WILL CONTINUE TO SPEAK OUT.
END COMMENT.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 02297 03 OF 03 271543Z

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

>