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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE3106
2000-06-09 11:16:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

EDUCATION MINISTER DECLINES TO PUBLICLY CONDEMN

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  PHUM  KDEM  EAGR  PINR  ZI 
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                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5379

PAGE 01        HARARE  03106  01 OF 02  091112Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AGRE-00  AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00  COME-00  
      INL-01   DINT-00  DODE-00  DOTE-00  ANHR-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    
      EB-00    ED-01    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     SP-00    IRM-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   
      DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /012W
                  ------------------61020E  091113Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6259
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
NSC WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003106 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/09/2010
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KDEM EAGR PINR ZI
SUBJECT: EDUCATION MINISTER DECLINES TO PUBLICLY CONDEMN
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AGAINST TEACHERS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 03106 01 OF 02 091112Z
DEPARTMENT PASS TO USTR FOR ROSA WITAKER

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL OFFICER MAKILA JAMES, REASONS
1.5 (B) AND (D).

REFTEL: HARARE 3094



1. (C) SUMMARY: IN CONTINUING DIALOGUE WITH SENIOR
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ON PRE-ELECTION ISSUES, ON JUNE 7
THE AMBASSADOR AND POLOFF CALLED ON THE MINISTER OF
EDUCATION, SPORTS AND CULTURE, GABRIEL MACHINGA. IN
RESPONSE TO THE AMBASSADOR'S CONDEMNATION OF THE
TARGETING OF TEACHERS FOR POLITICAL ATTACKS, THE
MINISTER CONCEDED THE BRUTALITY OF THE ASSAULTS ON
EDUCATORS BUT PROFESSED AN INABILITY TO STOP IT THROUGH
PUBLIC STATEMENTS. MINISTER MACHINGA SAID HE PREFERRED
TO DEAL QUIETLY WITH THE SITUATION ON THE GROUND AND HAD
GONE TO SOME OF THE MOST TROUBLED SPOTS TO NEGOTIATE A
SOLUTION. MACHINGA ATTRIBUTED MUCH OF THE VIOLENCE TO
EXTREME POLITICAL TENSIONS AND SOCIOLOGICAL STRESS IN
THE RURAL AREAS WHERE TEACHERS, WHO ARE GENERALLY SEEN
AS THE POSITIVE CHANGE ELEMENTS, ARE ENCOURAGING A
TRANSFORMATION THAT THE COMMUNITIES ARE NOT YET READY
FOR. IN ANY EVENT, MACHINGA INDICATED THAT THE
SITUATION WAS BEST ADDRESSED INDIVIDUALLY AND NOT
"GLOBALLY," AS EACH CASE OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE AGAINST
TEACHERS HAD UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE CONSIDERED. THE
EDUCATION MINISTER, LIKE THE HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER, FEEL
POWERLESS TO INTERFERE WITH THE STATE-ORCHESTRATED
VIOLENCE COMING FROM SENIOR ZANU-PF OFFICIALS, BUT ARE
NOT PREPARED TO COMMIT POLITICAL SUICIDE TO DENOUNCE IT.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 03106 01 OF 02 091112Z
END SUMMARY.



2. (C) DURING A CORDIAL MEETING WITH EDUCATION MINISTER
MACHINGA, THE AMBASSADOR PROBED WHY SO LITTLE WAS BEING
DONE BY SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO STOP THE VIOLENT
ATTACKS AGAINST TEACHERS, WHICH HAD RESULTED IN SEVERAL
DEATHS, WIDESPREAD BEATINGS, DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTIES,
GENERAL INTIMIDATION, AND FORCED CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS AND
TRANSFERS OF TEACHERS. ADDITIONALLY, THE AMBASSADOR
NOTED THAT TWO-THIRDS OF OUR PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS, WHO
NORMALLY WORK IN RURAL SCHOOLS, HAVE HAD TO LEAVE THE
COUNTRY BECAUSE OF THE INSTABILITY AND ATTACKS AGAINST
TEACHERS. MINISTER MACHINGA, WHO HAS A REPUTATION FOR
BEING A DECENT AND HARD-WORKING MINISTER, ACKNOWLEDGED
THAT THERE WAS WIDESPREAD VICTIMIZATION OF TEACHERS,
PRIMARILY IN THE RURAL AREAS. HE EXPLAINED THIS
DEVELOPMENT AS A RESULT OF THE PREDOMINANT LEADERSHIP
ROLE TEACHERS HAD IN THOSE COMMUNITIES AND THE THREAT
THEIR OPEN INVOLVEMENT IN POLITICS, PARTICULARLY IN
SUPPORT OF THE OPPOSITION, POSED TO ZANU-PF AND MANY
PRO-RULING PARTY VILLAGERS. THE MINISTERS CLAIMED MANY
YOUNG TEACHERS DO NOT IDENTIFY WITH THE LIBERATION
STRUGGLE TO THE EXTENT OF THE OLDER NATIONAL LEADERSHIP
AND HAVE ACTIVELY SUPPORTED POLITICAL CHANGE IN THEIR
CLASSROOMS. SIMILARLY, RURAL BUSINESS PEOPLE AND
MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS HAVE EQUALLY BEEN TARGETED AS
COMMUNITY LEADERS WHO ARE OUT OF STEP WITH THE PEOPLE IN
THEIR AREAS OR THE RULING PARTY POSITION, MACHINGA
OPINED. AGAINST THIS POLITICAL BACKGROUND, "THERE IS A
LIMIT TO WHICH THE MINISTRY CAN ENGINEER AN ATMOSPHERE
THAT IS SOILED," MACHINGA ASSERTED.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 03106 01 OF 02 091112Z



3. (C) THE EDUCATION MINISTER, HOWEVER, DISTANCED HIS
MINISTRY FROM THE VIOLENCE AND PLEDGED HIS CONTINUED
SUPPORT FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF A HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION
PROGRAM INTO THE PRIMARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM. THE
MINISTER TOOK PRIDE IN NOTING THAT ZIMBABWE WAS A
PIONEER IN AFRICA IN INTRODUCING SUCH A PROGRAM IN THE
SCHOOL SYSTEM AND SAID THAT THE RECENT HUMAN RIGHTS
VIOLATIONS AGAINST TEACHERS WOULD NOT HAVE OCCURRED WERE
THIS NOT SUCH A POLITICALLY CHARGED TIME IN THE COUNTRY.
AMBASSADOR MCDONALD RESPONDED THAT THE POLITICAL
MOTIVATIONS BEHIND THE CURRENT VIOLENCE MADE IT EVEN
MORE SURPRISING THAT MACHINGA AND OTHERS WERE NOT
SPEAKING OUT IN SUPPORT OF TEACHERS WHO WERE MERELY
EXERCISING THEIR RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH.



4. (C) MACHINGA SAID HE PREFERRED TO QUIETLY RESOLVE
THE CRISES AT THE MOST TROUBLED SCHOOLS BY GOING TO THE
COMMUNITIES TO TALK WITH THE TEACHERS AND COMMUNITY
PEOPLE. THE MINISTER SAID HE VISITED 30 OF HIS 6,200
SCHOOLS AND HAD EFFECTED PEACEFUL SOLUTIONS, RESULTING
IN TEACHERS KEEPING THEIR JOBS OR TRANSFERRING WHERE
NECESSARY. MACHINGA DECLINED TO ISSUE ANY PUBLIC
STATEMENT ARGUING THAT TO DO SO WOULD BE FUTILE. ANY
SUCH GLOBAL STATEMENT WOULD ALIENATE PARENTS BY BLAMING

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ5377

PAGE 01 HARARE 03106 02 OF 02 091112Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AGRE-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 COME-00
DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 ANHR-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00
ED-01 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
SP-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01
DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /011W


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

610201 091112Z /38
P 091116Z JUN 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6260
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003106

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/09/2010
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KDEM EAGR PINR ZI
SUBJECT: EDUCATION MINISTER DECLINES TO PUBLICLY CONDEMN
POLITICAL VIOLENCE AGAINST TEACHERS

THEM FOR THE VIOLENCE, HE SAID. MOREOVER, THERE WERE
OFTEN PERSONAL FEUDS AT ISSUE THAT HAD LED TO THE
VIOLENCE AND HE NEEDED TO SEPARATE OUT THOSE CASES, THE
MINSTER ADDED.



5. (C) THE MINISTER ALSO LAMENTED THAT HE DID NOT EVEN
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 03106 02 OF 02 091112Z
HAVE THE RESOURCES TO RESPOND TO WIDESPREAD VIOLENCE AT
ALL OF HIS SCHOOLS AND THAT, IN MOST CASES, THE POLICE
COULD ONLY REACH AN AFFECTED AREA A DAY OR SO AFTER THE
VIOLENCE. THERE IS ALSO INSUFFICIENT MINISTRY STAFF TO
PROVIDE COUNSELING TO YOUNG TEACHERS TO HELP PRESERVE
THEIR JOBS AND SO THESE TEACHERS HAVE OFTEN BEEN
TARGETED FOR ASSAULT AND FORCED TO FLEE. NEVERTHELESS,
THE CABINET DID TAKE A DECISION RECENTLY TO ENSURE THAT
ANYONE WHO COMMITS A CRIME IS ARRESTED AND PROSECUTED,
MACHINGA INFORMED. THE MINISTER CONCEDED, HOWEVER, THAT
WHILE HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER, DUMISO DABENGWA, WAS
UNSUCCESSFUL IN HIS EFFORTS TO REMOVE THE WAR VETERANS
FROM THE COMMERCIAL FARMS, THE POLICE HAVE NOW BEGUN TO
ARREST PERPETRATORS OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE.



6. (C) MACHINGA SPECULATED THAT TEACHERS WOULD STILL BE
ALLOWED TO FULFILL THEIR TRADITIONAL ROLE AS ELECTION
OFFICERS IN THE JUNE 24 AND 25 PARLIAMENTARY VOTING,
DESPITE VICE PRESIDENT MSIKA'S STATEMENTS TO THE
CONTRARY. THE EDUCATION MINISTER SAID HE HAD NOT BEEN
OFFICIALLY NOTIFIED BY THE MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR GENERAL THAT THERE WOULD BE ANY
CHANGE. THE MINISTER SAID HE THOUGHT THAT THINGS WOULD
RETURN TO NORMAL IN THE COUNTRYSIDE AFTER THE ELECTION
AS ZIMBABWEANS ARE "PEACE LOVING" AND THERE HAD NOT BEEN
EXTREME INTER-PARTY VIOLENCE. MACHINGA THANKED
AMBASSADOR MCDONALD FOR HIS PERSONAL EXPRESSION OF
CONCERN ABOUT THE SITUATION OF TEACHERS AND PROMISED TO
CONTINUE OUR CONVERSATIONS ON THIS ISSUE.



7. (C) COMMENT: THE EDUCATION MINISTER, LIKE THE HOME
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 03106 02 OF 02 091112Z
AFFAIRS MINISTER, AND OTHER SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.
WITH WHOM WE SPOKE ARE EITHER IN DENIAL ABOUT THE LEVEL
OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE OR IMPOTENT TO
DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. MACHINGA APPEARS TO BE ONE OF
THOSE MINISTERS WHO IS DISTURBED BY THE UGLINESS OF THE
POLITICAL VIOLENCE, BUT ACCEPTS HIS LIMITATIONS IN THE
SITUATION, AND IS AFRAID TO PUBLICLY CONDEMN THE
PERPETRATORS, WHICH LEAD ALL THE WAY BACK TO STATE
HOUSE. THE VIOLENCE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE AGAINST RURAL
TEACHERS MAY LESSEN WITH THE DEPLOYMENT OF INTERNATIONAL
OBSERVERS, BUT IS LIKELY TO CONTINUE, ALBEIT ON A
REOUCEO SCALE. END COMMENT.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

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