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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE4662
2000-08-22 15:59:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

FIRST STEP TOWARD RESTORATION OF RULE OF LAW?

Tags:  PHUM PGOV EAGR ECON ZI 
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221559Z Aug 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4017

PAGE 01        HARARE  04662  221559Z 
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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6889
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY PARIS
						C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 004662 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AF/EPS, EB/IFD/ODF, EB/TPP/ODC
TREASURY FOR ED BARBER, GRACE SONE, AND HOFFMAN BARAK
STATE PASS USTR/RWHITTAKER
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
PASS USAID FOR RICHARD MCCALL AND AFR/SA - MWILLIAMS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 04662 221559Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/22/10
TAGS: PHUM PGOV EAGR ECON ZI
SUBJECT: FIRST STEP TOWARD RESTORATION OF RULE OF LAW?
JURY IS STILL OUT

REF: A) HARARE 4627 B) HARARE 4389

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR MCDONALD. REASONS 1.5 (B) AND
(D).



1. (C) IN SEPARATE INCIDENTS ON AUGUST 21, POLICE
EVICTED WAR VETERANS FROM A COMMERCIAL FARM ON THE
SOUTHERN OUTSKIRTS OF HARARE AND ARRESTED 13 WAR VETERANS
WHO HAD BARRICADED A ROAD EAST OF THE CAPITAL. IN THE
FIRST INCIDENT, POLICE TOLD THE WAR VETERANS TO LEAVE
BECAUSE THE FARM THEY HAD OCCUPIED SINCE MAY HAD NOT BEEN
DESIGNATED FOR RESETTLEMENT, THEN PROCEEDED TO SET THEIR
MAKESHIFT HUTS ABLAZE. IN THE SECOND CASE, THE ARRESTED
WAR VETERANS HAD BLOCKADED A ROAD TO PROTEST THE SLOW
PACE OF RESETTLEMENT IN THE GOROMONZI AREA EAST OF
HARARE.



2. (C) ALTHOUGH THE GOZ CONTINUES TO PRESS AHEAD WITH ITS
ACCELERATED LAND ACQUISITION PROGRAM -- RECENTLY
IDENTIFYING 229 ADDITIONAL FARMS AS READY FOR THE FINAL
STEP OF COMPULSORY ACQUISITION -- IT APPEARS, FINALLY, AT
LEAST IN THESE TWO INSTANCES, TO BE CRACKING DOWN ON THE
FREE REIGN ENJOYED BY THE WAR VETERANS DURING THE PAST
SIX MONTHS. IN AN INTERVIEW IN THE GOVERNMENT-INFLUENCED
"THE HERALD" ON AUGUST 22, HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER JOHN
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 04662 221559Z
NKOMO INSISTED THAT LAWLESSNESS ON THE FARMS, INCLUDING
INTERFERENCE WITH NORMAL FARMING ACTIVITIES, AND
UNAUTHORIZED LAND ALLOCATIONS WOULD NOT BE TOLERATED.
NKOMO ALSO PUBLICLY CRITICIZED THE AUGUST 19 CALL BY WAR
VETERANS LEADER CHENJERAI HUNZVI FOR INVASIONS OF
ADDITIONAL FARMS, FACTORIES, AND COMMERCIAL
ESTABLISHMENTS. THIS IS ENCOURAGING IN LIGHT OF THE
MINISTER'S LESS THAN HELPFUL AND CONTRADICTORY COMMENTS
TO THE AMBASSADOR DURING THEIR MEETING ON AUGUST 16 (REF
A).



3. (C) COMMENT: THESE TWO INCIDENTS OF POLICE
INTERVENTION ARE AN ENCOURAGING DEPARTURE FROM GOZ NON-
ACTION TO DATE, IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HAS TURNED A
BLIND EYE TO THE VETERANS' ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR. IT IS
POSSIBLE THAT THE WAR VETERANS HAVE OUTLIVED MUCH OF
THEIR USEFULNESS FOR THE GOVERNMENT, AND, IN FACT ARE
DOING SO MUCH DAMAGE TO THE GOZ'S CREDIBILITY THAT THEY
HAVE BECOME A LIABILITY. THIS COULD EXPLAIN THE POLICE
ACTIONS DESCRIBED ABOVE. WHILE THE GOVERNMENT HAS TAKEN
THIS IMPORTANT FIRST STEP IN RESTORING SOME SEMBLANCE OF
ORDER, THE POLICE ACTIONS WERE, SO FAR, AN ISOLATED
INSTANCE. THEY OCCURRED IN THE WAKE OF REPORTS OF NEW
FARM INVASIONS NEAR MASVINGO, IN SOUTH-CENTRAL ZIMBABWE.
IT WILL BEAR CLOSE WATCHING, THEREFORE, TO SEE WHETHER
THE VETERANS' UNBRIDLED FREEDOM IS COMING TO AN END, AS
WELL AS THE GOVERNMENT'S TACIT, OFTEN DIRECT, SUPPORT FOR
THEIR ACTIVITIES. CLEARLY, MUCH, MUCH MORE MUST BE DONE
TO DEMONSTRATE TO ZIMBABWEANS AND THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY THAT THE GOZ IS GENUINELY COMMITTED TO
RESTORING THE RULE OF LAW.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 04662 221559Z

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

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