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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
00HARARE3759 2000-07-11 15:38:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

INTIMIDATION AGAINST FARMERS AND MDC

Tags:   PGOV PINS PHUM 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.

111538Z Jul 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7614

PAGE 01        HARARE  03759  01 OF 03  111533Z 
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                  ------------------6CBC86  111534Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6567
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 003759 

SIPDIS

AF FOR P/DAS POWELL AND DAS SCHNEIDMAN
AF/S FOR A. RENDER, D. BOOTH, AND T. FAULK
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA WJEFFERS AND A/AID RMCCALL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/01/10
TAGS: PGOV PINS PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: INTIMIDATION AGAINST FARMERS AND MDC
CONTINUES IN POST-ELECTION PERIOD


CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 03759 01 OF 03 111533Z
REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) SUMMARY: ALTHOUGH WIDESPREAD FEARS OF A
SPIKE IN VIOLENCE TO APRIL-MAY LEVELS FOLLOWING THE
JUNE 24-25 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS HAVE SO FAR
PROVEN UNFOUNDED, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF DISTURBING
SIGNS THAT THE GOVERNMENT AND ZANU-PF ARE CONTINUING
THEIR PRE-ELECTION POLICY OF SPONSORING VIOLENCE AND
LAWLESSNESS. DESPITE HOPES THAT THE OCCUPATION OF
FARMS BY WAR VETS WAS A PRE-ELECTION PLOY, FARM
OCCUPATIONS HAVE CONTINUED AND ABOUT 25 ADDITIONAL
FARMS HAVE BEEN INVADED. FARMERS HAVE REPORTED
INCREASINGLY INTIMIDATING BEHAVIOR BY WAR VETS ON
THEIR FARMS, INCLUDING DEATH THREATS. IN ADDITION,
THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF INCIDENTS SINCE THE
ELECTION IN WHICH POLICE AND SOLDIERS HAVE BEATEN UP
PEOPLE PERCEIVED AS SUPPORTERS OF THE MOVEMENT FOR
DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC).



2. (C) THE PROBABILITY OF LARGE-SCALE ELECTION-
RELATED RETALIATORY VIOLENCE IS RECEDING AS TIME
PASSES. HOWEVER, WE NOTE THAT POLITICAL VIOLENCE
HAS ALWAYS BEEN ORCHESTRATED FROM THE TOP AND THAT
THE PRESIDENT MAY ONCE AGAIN FIND A NEW SPATE OF
VIOLENCE -- AGAINST THE MDC, FARMERS, OR OTHER
PERCEIVED OPPONENTS -- TO BE IN HIS POLITICAL
INTEREST. END SUMMARY.

SITUATION ON FARMS REMAINS GRIM


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



CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 03759 01 OF 03 111533Z


3. (C) BEFORE THE JUNE 24-25 PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS,
THE OCCUPATION OF FARMS BY WAR VETS WAS USED AS AN
ELECTION PLOY AIMED AT RALLYING THE PUBLIC BEHIND
THE IDEA OF LAND REDISTRIBUTION. IT WAS WIDELY
BELIEVED THAT THE VETS WERE LIKELY TO LEAVE THE
FARMS AFTER THE ELECTIONS, BUT THIS HAS NOT BEEN THE
CASE. THE VETS HAVE REMAINED ON OVER 1000 OCCUPIED
FARMS AND HAVE ESCALATED THE LEVEL OF VERBAL
INTIMIDATION AIMED AT FARMERS AND WORKERS, INCLUDING
THREATENED RETRIBUTION AGAINST MDC SUPPORTERS. IN
ADDITION, THERE HAVE BEEN ABOUT 25 NEW FARM
INVASIONS SINCE THE ELECTIONS. IN A JULY 5
STATEMENT, THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS' UNION (CFU) NOTED
THAT "THE ELECTIONS ARE OVER NOW AND YET THE
EXTORTION, DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, THEFT AND THE
THREATS CONTINUE LARGELY UNABATED ON FARMS."



4. (C) A SPOKESMAN FOR THE CFU TOLD US THAT,
FOLLOWING THE JULY 2 DEADLINE FOR FARMERS TO APPEAL
THE COMPULSORY ACQUISITION OF 804 FARMS, WAR VETS
DEMANDED THAT THE FARMERS LEAVE THEIR LAND
IMMEDIATELY. IN CONTRAST TO THE PRE-ELECTION
PERIOD, DURING WHICH MANY FARMERS WERE ALLOWED TO
CONTINUE RUNNING THEIR FARMS AS LONG AS THEY
ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE WAR VETS WERE IN CHARGE,
FARMERS ARE NOW IN MANY CASES BEING FORCED OFF THE
FARMS ALTOGETHER. TONY REELER (PROTECT), DIRECTOR
OF THE AMANI TRUST, AN NGO THAT ASSISTS VICTIMS OF
TORTURE AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, TOLD US
THAT THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS DEATH THREATS AGAINST
FARMERS SINCE THE ELECTION. ON THE POSITIVE SIDE,
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 03759 01 OF 03 111533Z
THE CFU REPORTS THAT THE LEVEL OF PHYSICAL VIOLENCE
BY WAR VETERANS ON THE FARMS HAS DECREASED SINCE THE
ELECTION. THERE HAVE BEEN NO POST-ELECTION REPORTS
OF KILLINGS ON FARMS.

INTIMIDATION OF MDC MEMBERS


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





5. (C) A NUMBER OF EMBASSY CONTACTS, INCLUDING MDC
LEADER MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, HAVE REPORTED TO US THAT
MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND MILITARY HAVE DESCENDED ON
NIGHTCLUBS IN HIGH-DENSITY HARARE SUBURBS ON RECENT
WEEKENDS AND ASSAULTED PATRONS THEY BELIEVED TO BE
MDC SUPPORTERS. THERE HAVE BEEN REPORTS OF SIMILAR
INCIDENTS IN THE MIDLANDS PROVINCE CITY OF KWEKWE,
WHERE MINISTER OF JUSTICE EMMERSON MNANGAGWA LOST TO
THE MDC IN A HIGH-PROFILE RACE. TONY REELER HAS
TOLD US THAT HIS ORGANIZATION IS RECEIVING A
"CONTINUING STREAM" OF VICTIMS WHO ARE PROVIDING
TESTIMONY OF CONTINUING VIOLENCE AND REPRISALS. HIS
UNDERSTANDING IS THAT SOLDIERS HAVE BEEN IMPLICATED
IN THE VIOLENCE TO A GREATER EXTENT THAN THE POLICE.

CONTINUED IMPUNITY

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ7616

PAGE 01 HARARE 03759 02 OF 03 111534Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 INL-00
DINT-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 FBIE-00 VC-00
H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-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 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /009W


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

6CBC96 111534Z /38
P 111538Z JUL 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6568
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 003759

SIPDIS

AF FOR P/DAS POWELL AND DAS SCHNEIDMAN
AF/S FOR A. RENDER, D. BOOTH, AND T. FAULK
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA WJEFFERS AND A/AID RMCCALL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/01/10
TAGS: PGOV PINS PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: INTIMIDATION AGAINST FARMERS AND MDC
CONTINUES IN POST-ELECTION PERIOD



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


CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 03759 02 OF 03 111534Z



6. (C) A NUMBER OF EMBASSY CONTACTS HAVE
EMPHASIZED TO US THAT THEY ARE SERIOUSLY CONCERNED
NOT ONLY ABOUT CONTINUING VIOLENCE BUT ABOUT
IMPUNITY FOR PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE. THERE HAVE BEEN
NO ARRESTS IN ANY OF THE MORE THAN 30 CASES OF
POLITICALLY MOTIVATED MURDER SINCE FEBRUARY. POLICE
HAVE FAILED TO LODGE CHARGES AGAINST PERSONS
WITNESSES HAVE IDENTIFIED AS THE PERPETRATORS OF
ACTS OF VIOLENCE, AND IN MANY CASES HAVE REFUSED
EVEN TO TAKE AFFIDAVITS FROM WITNESSES. REELER
POINTED OUT THAT, EVEN IN THE SMALL MINORITY OF
CASES WHERE CHARGES HAVE BEEN BROUGHT, THE SEVERITY
OF THE OFFENSE HAS BEEN UNDERSTATED -- FOR EXAMPLE,
PEOPLE GUILTY OF MURDER HAVE BEEN CHARGED ONLY WITH
PUBLIC VIOLENCE. REELER TOLD US THAT IN A NUMBER OF
CASES, SUCH AS THE MURDER OF FARMER DAVID STEPEHENS,
THE POLICE HAVE REFUSED TO MAKE ARRESTS EVEN THOUGH
THEY ADMIT THAT THEY KNOW WHO THE CULPRITS ARE.



7. (C) MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI COMPLAINED
TO THE AMBASSADOR IN A JULY 10 MEETING (SEPTEL) THAT
THE GOVERNMENT HAS FALSELY IMPLICATED HIGH-LEVEL MDC
MEMBERS IN INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE. HE NOTED THAT
NEWLY ELECTED MDC MP JUSTIN MUTENDADZAMERA HAD BEEN
ARRESTED ON JULY 6 FOR ALLEGEDLY SEVERELY ASSAULTING
A MAN WEARING A "VOTE YES" (FOR THE CONSTITUTIONAL
REFERENDUM) T-SHIRT. IN FACT, TSVANGIRAI SAID, THE
INCIDENT HAD BEEN A "SCUFFLE" BETWEEN GRASSROOTS-
LEVEL ZANU-PF AND MDC MEMBERS IN WHICH
MUTENDADZAMERA WAS NOT INVOLVED.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 03759 02 OF 03 111534Z



8. (C) THE POLITICAL OPPOSITION AND HUMAN RIGHTS
ORGANIZATIONS CONTINUE TO CALL, AS THEY HAVE SINCE
THE VIOLENCE BEGAN AFTER THE DEFEAT OF THE
CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM IN FEBRUARY, FOR A
COMPREHENSIVE INVESTIGATION INTO PRE-ELECTION
VIOLENCE. TSVANGIRAI TOLD THE AMBASSADOR ON JULY 10
THAT THE MDC WILL CALL FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A
COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO THE VIOLENCE AS ONE OF
ITS FIRST ACTS AS THE PARLIAMENTARY OPPOSITION.

LEVEL OF ORCHESTRATION


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





9. (C) OUR CONTACTS HAVE BEEN RELUCTANT TO
SPECULATE ABOUT THE LEVEL OF ORCHESTRATION OF POST-
ELECTION VIOLENCE. THE HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM, A GROUP
OF TEN LOCAL LEGAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS NGOS, CONTINUES
TO ASSESS THE SITUATION AND PLANS TO ISSUE A BRIEF
REPORT ON POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE IN RECENT WEEKS.
PHIL MATSHEZA (PROTECT), EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE
HUMAN RIGHTS RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION TRUST OF
SOUTHERN AFRICA, TOLD DCM ON JULY 6 THAT HE DOES NOT
HAVE A SENSE THAT THE POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE IS
BEING DIRECTED FROM SENIOR LEVELS OF THE GOVERNMENT
AT THIS STAGE. ABSENT A DECISION BY PRESIDENT
MUGABE TO LAUNCH ANOTHER SPATE OF ORCHESTRATED
AGGRESSION, HE CONTINUED, IT IS LIKELY THAT THE
CURRENT VIOLENCE WILL BURN ITSELF OUT IN A FEW
WEEKS.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 03759 02 OF 03 111534Z


10. (C) OTHERS, HOWEVER, HAVE POINTED OUT THAT
POLITICAL VIOLENCE HERE IS GENERALLY ORCHESTRATED AT
THE HIGHEST LEVEL, AND THE INVOLVEMENT OF UNIFORMED
SERVICE MEMBERS IN THE VIOLENCE POINTS TO HIGH-LEVEL
COMPLICITY. THERE IS ALSO WIDESPREAD CONCERN THAT
THE CURRENT RELATIVE QUIET, COMPARED TO THE APRIL-
MAY PERIOD, MAY MERELY BE A LULL BEFORE MORE
POLITICALLY-MOTIVATED RETRIBUTION FROM BOTH SIDES
BEGINS. MANY OF OUR CONTACTS HAVE REMINDED US THAT
THERE WAS A PERIOD OF RELATIVE PEACE BETWEEN
FEBRUARY 13, WHEN PRESIDENT MUGABE'S CONSTITUTIONAL
REFERENDUM WAS DEFEATED, AND APRIL 1, WHEN THE WAR
VETS ATTACKED A PEACEFUL NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL
ASSEMBLY MARCH IN HARARE AND THE VIOLENCE ASSOCIATED
WITH THE LAND INVASIONS BEGAN IN EARNEST.

COMMENT


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





11. (C) THERE HAS BEEN WIDESPREAD RELIEF THAT
POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE HAS NOT REACHED APRIL-MAY
LEVELS. IT IS LIKELY THAT THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN
MORE RETALIATORY VIOLENCE IF ZANU-PF HAD LOST OR IF
THE MDC HAD LOST BY A LARGER MARGIN. HOWEVER, GIVEN

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ7617

PAGE 01 HARARE 03759 03 OF 03 111534Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 INL-00
DINT-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 FBIE-00 VC-00
H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-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 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /009W


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

6CBCA1 111534Z /38
P 111538Z JUL 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6569
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 003759

SIPDIS

AF FOR P/DAS POWELL AND DAS SCHNEIDMAN
AF/S FOR A. RENDER, D. BOOTH, AND T. FAULK
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA WJEFFERS AND A/AID RMCCALL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/01/10
TAGS: PGOV PINS PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: INTIMIDATION AGAINST FARMERS AND MDC
CONTINUES IN POST-ELECTION PERIOD

NEW FARM OCCUPATIONS, CONTINUED THREATS OF VIOLENCE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 03759 03 OF 03 111534Z
AGAINST FARMERS AND FARM WORKERS, AND REPRISALS
AGAINST MDC MEMBERS BY UNIFORMED SERVICEMEN,
VIOLENCE REMAINS A SERIOUS CONCERN. WE BELIEVE THAT
THE CURRENT VIOLENCE, LIKE THE PRE-ELECTION
VIOLENCE, IS BEING ORCHESTRATED FROM THE TOP. THE
INVOLVEMENT OF UNIFORMED SERVICE MEMBERS IN VIOLENCE
IS A SIGN THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS DEVELOPING NEW
TACTICS OF INTIMIDATION IN THE POST-ELECTION PERIOD.
THE OVERALL LEVEL OF VIOLENCE IN COMING MONTHS IS
LIKELY TO DEPEND, AS IT HAS IN THE PAST, ON WHETHER
PRESIDENT MUGABE BELIEVES THAT VIOLENCE IS IN ZANU-
PF'S POLITICAL INTEREST. THE PRESIDENT AND ZANU-PF
ARE REELING FROM THE PARTY'S ELECTION DEFEAT AND MAY
NOT HAVE DECIDED WHAT NEXT STEPS TO TAKE. EMBASSY
WILL CONTINUE TO KEEP A CLOSE WATCH ON THE
SITUATION. END COMMENT.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

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