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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE5270
2000-09-18 16:44:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

GOVERNMENT RESORTS TO HAM-FISTED INTIMIDATION

Tags:  PGOV PHUM ZI ZANU PF 
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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     PTQ8680

PAGE 01        HARARE  05270  01 OF 03  181642Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  CIAE-00  DODE-00  SRPP-00  
      DS-00    EB-00    EUR-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    SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  
      PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /010W
                  ------------------869A42  181642Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7133
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 005270 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/10
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI ZANU PF
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT RESORTS TO HAM-FISTED INTIMIDATION
CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE PARLIAMENTARY OPPOSITION

REF: A) HARARE 5214 B) HARARE 5187
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 05270 01 OF 03 181642Z

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

SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) IN THEIR TWO-DAY RAID ON MDC OFFICES, POLICE AND
CIO AGENTS SEIZED PAPER FILES AND DISKETTES, AND
DOWNLOADED COMPUTER FILES. SEIZED DOCUMENTS INCLUDED THE
MDC'S MEMBERSHIP LISTS, FUNDING SOURCES, STRATEGIES FOR
THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL CHALLENGES AND THE 2002
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, AND EVIDENCE GATHERED ON THE
MURDERS AND OTHER VIOLENCE COMMITTED DURING THE PRE-
ELECTION CAMPAIGN. ALL THE SEIZED INFORMATION WAS
RETURNED ON SEPTEMBER 16 ON THE INSTRUCTION OF A HIGH
COURT ORDER. MDC MP TENDAI BITI SPECULATED THAT THE
SERVING OF LEGAL PAPERS ON PRESIDENT MUGABE IN NEW YORK
HAD EMBARRASSED HIM AND LED HIM TO RETALIATE. HOME
AFFAIRS MINISTER JOHN NKOMO IS EXPECTED TO SPEAK TO
PARLIAMENT ABOUT THE RAIDS ON SEPTEMBER 19, AND BITI HAS
HEARD THAT NKOMO MAY LINK SENIOR MDC OFFICIALS TO ILLEGAL
ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING WEAPONS IMPORTATIONS.



2. (C) LAST WEEK'S RAIDS WERE THE LATEST CHAPTER IN THE
GOZ'S CAMPAIGN OF INTIMIDATION AGAINST THE MDC. IT IS
UNCLEAR HOW FAR THE GOVERNMENT PLANS TO GO, AND THE USG
NEEDS TO BE PREPARED WITH A STRONG RESPONSE IF IT BECOMES
CLEAR THAT THE GOZ IS TRYING TO ELIMINATE THE MDC AS A
VIABLE OPPOSITION PARTY. NKOMO'S SEPTEMBER 19 SPEECH
SHOULD PROVIDE A GUIDE TO THE GOVERNMENT'S INTENTIONS.
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 05270 01 OF 03 181642Z
END SUMMARY.

DOCUMENTS AND COMPUTER FILES SEIZED


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





3. (C) ACCORDING TO MDC ADVISOR CLIVE PUZEY, THE RAID ON
THE OFFICES OF THE OPPOSITION MDC CONCLUDED ON FRIDAY,
SEPTEMBER 15. HE STATED THAT POLICE, ACCOMPANIED BY
AGENTS OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION (CIO),
SEIZED ALL OF THE MDC'S PAPER FILES AND COMPUTER
DISKETTES, AND DOWNLOADED ALL OF THE PARTY'S COMPUTER
FILES. INCLUDED IN THE SEIZED INFORMATION, PUZEY SAID,
WERE THE PARTY'S MEMBERSHIP LISTS, FINANCIAL RECORDS,
STRATEGIES FOR THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND FOR
THEIR LEGAL CHALLENGES RELATED TO THE JUNE PARLIAMENTARY
ELECTIONS, AND ALL THE EVIDENCE COLLECTED ON THE MURDERS
AND OTHER SIGNIFICANT VIOLENCE COMMITTED DURING THE PRE-
ELECTION PERIOD.



4. (C) LATE ON SEPTEMBER 15, POLOFF SPOKE WITH SEKAYI
HOLLAND, THE MDC'S SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
AND UNSUCCESSFUL PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE. HOLLAND WAS
PRESENT AT THE MDC'S EASTGATE OFFICE AND PROVIDED AN
ACCOUNT OF THE SECOND RAID BY POLICE AND CIO OFFICERS.
HOLLAND REPORTED THAT EARLY IN THE MORNING ON SEPTEMBER 15
THE POLICE ORDERED EVERYONE OUT OF THE BUILDING BUT, AS THE
MOST SENIOR MDC OFFICIAL PRESENT, HOLLAND REFUSED TO LEAVE.
SHE REPORTED THAT THE POLICE, ACCOMPANIED BY THE CIO,
PROCEEDED TO USE RAMMING RODS TO BREAK DOWN THE DOORS TO
SEVERAL OFFICES, INCLUDING THAT OF MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN
TSVANGIRAI. THE OFFICERS TOOK THE WHOLE DAY TO REMOVE

SIPDIS
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 05270 01 OF 03 181642Z
VIRTUALLY ALL THE PAPER AND COMPUTER FILES. THE CIO
OFFICERS THREATENED TO TAKE HOLLAND TO THEIR HEADQUARTERS,
BUT DECIDED NOT TO UPON LEAVING AT THE END OF THE DAY.
HOLLAND WAS SHAKEN, BUT OTHERWISE UNHARMED.



5. (C) IN A MEETING ON SEPTEMBER 18 WITH THE AMBASSADOR,
DCM, AND POLOFF, MDC SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE AND
MDC MP (AND SHADOW FOREIGN MINISTER) TENDAI BITI PROVIDED
ADDITIONAL DETAILS ON THE RAID. ACCORDING TO NCUBE, IT
WAS CLEAR THAT THE GRENADE ATTACK ON MDC HEADQUARTERS
EARLIER IN THE WEEK HAD BEEN A PRETEXT FOR THE GOVERNMENT
TO GET ITS HANDS ON LISTS OF MDC PATRONS AND STRATEGIES.
THE MDC SECRETARY-GENERAL AFFIRMED THAT, DURING THE RAID,
THE POLICE AND CIO AGENTS APPEARED TO BE MOST INTERESTED
IN THE DOCUMENTS AND COMPUTER FILES RELATING TO FINANCIAL
TRANSACTIONS AND THE MDC'S FUNDING SOURCES. THEY SEIZED,
INTER ALIA, A LETTER FROM MORGAN TSVANGIRAI TO THE
INTERNATIONAL REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE (IRI) CONCERNING IRI'S
WORKSHOPS FOR NEW MDC MPS, A LETTER THANKING A DUTCH NGO
FOR PROVIDING ASSISTANCE, AND LETTERS OF CONGRATULATIONS
TO THE MDC FROM A VARIETY OF ORGANIZATIONS SENT AFTER THE
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.



6. (C) NCUBE INSISTED THAT NONE OF THE SEIZED

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ8681

PAGE 01 HARARE 05270 02 OF 03 181642Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 EB-00 EUR-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 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W


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

869A53 181643Z /38
O 181644Z SEP 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7134
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 005270

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/10
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI ZANU PF
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT RESORTS TO HAM-FISTED INTIMIDATION
CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE PARLIAMENTARY OPPOSITION

INFORMATION HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH "SECURITY-RELATED
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 05270 02 OF 03 181642Z
MATTERS." HE REPORTED THAT THE GOZ HAD NOT OBTAINED ALL
THE COMPUTER FILES AT THE EASTGATE OFFICE, AS THE MDC
STAFF THERE HAD MANAGED QUICKLY TO SWITCH SOME OF THEIR
COMPUTERS WITH A SYMPATHETIC ARCHITECTURAL FIRM NEXT
DOOR. THE PAPER FILES AND 21 COMPUTER DISKETTES WHICH
WERE TAKEN WERE RETURNED TO THE MDC ON SATURDAY
AFTERNOON, SEPTEMBER 16, AFTER A HIGH COURT JUDGE ORDERED
THEM TO DO SO. ACCORDING TO NCUBE, THE HIGH COURT ORDER
ALSO REQUIRED THAT THE MDC RECEIVE NOTIFICATION 48 HOURS
PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF ANY ADDITIONAL WARRANTS.

WHAT SPARKED IT


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





7. (C) WHEN ASKED WHY THE POLICE HAD SPENT TWO DAYS
REMOVING FILES, SEKAYI HOLLAND SAID ZANU-PF WAS ALARMED
BY A RESURGENCE OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT RALLIES IN
TRADITIONALLY STRONG ZANU-PF TERRITORY IN RURAL AREAS.
IN PARTICULAR, SHE SAID 15,000 PEOPLE HAD TURNED OUT FOR
AN MDC RALLY IN MBERENGWA EAST, MIDLANDS PROVINCE, THE
PREVIOUS WEEKEND TO CELEBRATE THE "REOPENING" OF THE
MBERENGWA DISTRICT TO MDC SUPPORTERS. MBERENGWA HAD BEEN
DECLARED A "NO-GO" AREA BY ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS DURING THE
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION CAMPAIGN, AND HAD BEEN
PARTICULARLY HARD-HIT BY PRE-ELECTION VIOLENCE, ACCORDING
TO HOLLAND. (COMMENT: IT IS A STRETCH TO LINK THE RAID
OF THE MDC OFFICES IN HARARE TO AN MDC RALLY IN MIDLANDS.
HOWEVER, HOLLAND WAS CLEARLY FRIGHTENED BY ONGOING
THREATS AGAINST HER LIFE FROM ZANU-PF, AND THIS MAY HAVE
EXAGGERATED HER RESPONSE TO THE MDC RAIDS. END COMMENT.)

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 05270 02 OF 03 181642Z
8 (C) TENDAI BITI SURMISED THAT THE RECENT SERVING OF
LEGAL PAPERS, INITIATED BY MDC MEMBERS, ON PRESIDENT
MUGABE IN NEW YORK LIKELY EMBARRASSED HIM AND LED HIM TO
RETALIATE. IN ADDITION, BITI CONTINUED, THE GOZ HAD
SERIOUSLY UNDERESTIMATED THE MDC'S ABILITY TO PLAY AN
EFFECTIVE ROLE IN PARLIAMENT. FACED WITH A SINKING
ECONOMY AND REGULAR CRITICISMS FROM THE MDC, MUGABE IS
INCREASINGLY DESPERATE AND ONE OF HIS FEW OPTIONS IS TO
COME AFTER THE MDC WITH STRONG-ARM TACTICS. MUGABE, BITI
SAID, HAS ALWAYS USED VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION AS AN
EFFECTIVE TACTIC. NCUBE SURMISED THAT THE GOZ WAS FORCED
TO ACT OVERTLY AGAINST THE MDC BECAUSE THE CIO HAD BEEN
UNSUCCESSFUL AT INFILTRATING THE PARTY.



9. (C) BITI EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT THE GOZ MIGHT CLAMP
DOWN ON SENIOR MDC LEADERS IN THE COMING WEEK, AS THE GOZ
DID IN THE EARLY 1980'S WHEN IT PROSECUTED SENIOR ZAPU
OFFICIALS ON TRUMPED-UP WEAPONS CHARGES. MINISTER OF
HOME AFFAIRS JOHN NKOMO IS SCHEDULED TO ADDRESS
PARLIAMENT ON SEPTEMBER 19 CONCERNING THE GRENADE ATTACK
AND THE POLICE/CIO RAIDS, AND THE MDC HAS HEARD HE MIGHT
LINK THE SENIOR-MOST MDC OFFICIALS TO ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES,
INCLUDING THE IMPORTATION OF WEAPONS. BITI INSISTED THAT
SUCH CHARGES ARE LUDICROUS, AS HE DOES NOT EVEN POSSESS A
GUN.

MDC'S NEXT STEPS


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





10. (C) NCUBE SAID THE MDC'S EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE PLANS
TO MEET ON SEPTEMBER 20 TO CONSIDER NEXT STEPS. THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 05270 02 OF 03 181642Z
COMMITTEE WILL CONSIDER LEGAL AND POLITICAL OPTIONS,
INCLUDING CHALLENGING THE GOVERNMENT'S ACTIONS IN COURT
AND ORGANIZING A NATIONAL STRIKE. BITI ADDED THAT THE
SUBSTANCE OF MINISTER NKOMO'S SPEECH ON SEPTEMBER 19
WOULD LIKELY DETERMINE THE MDC'S FUTURE MOVES.

COMMENT


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





11. (C) THE GOVERNMENT HAS HARASSED AND INTIMIDATED THE
MDC AT EVERY TURN SINCE ITS FOUNDING LAST YEAR. FACED
WITH THE MDC'S RISING POPULARITY IN THE AFTERMATH OF
FEBRUARY'S CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM DEFEAT, AND THE
PROSPECT OF LOSING CONTROL OF PARLIAMENT, THE GOZ
UNLEASHED A CAMPAIGN OF TERROR FOCUSED ON MDC SUPPORTERS
AND CANDIDATES IN THE RUN UP TO THE JUNE PARLIAMENTARY
ELECTIONS. THE OCCUPATIONS BY SO-CALLED WAR VETERANS OF
COMMERCIAL FARMS, MOST OF WHOM ARE OWNED BY MDC
SUPPORTERS, WERE A KEY ELEMENT IN THE GOZ'S ELECTION
STRATEGY.



12. (C) LAST WEEK'S RAID ON MDC OFFICES, AND THE GRENADE
ATTACK WHICH APPARENTLY SERVED AS A PRETEXT FOR IT, WAS
THE LATEST, AND PERHAPS MOST SINISTER, CHAPTER IN THIS

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ8683

PAGE 01 HARARE 05270 03 OF 03 181643Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 EB-00 EUR-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 SSO-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W


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

869A5B 181643Z /38
O 181644Z SEP 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7135
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 005270

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS
PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/10
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI ZANU PF
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT RESORTS TO HAM-FISTED INTIMIDATION
CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE PARLIAMENTARY OPPOSITION

INTIMIDATION CAMPAIGN. SPECULATION IS RIFE HERE ON WHAT
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 05270 03 OF 03 181643Z
MAY HAVE BEEN THE PRECIPITATING EVENT FOR THE GOVERNMENT
ACTION. THE BOTTOM LINE, THOUGH, IS THAT THE MDC IS
GAINING STRENGTH AND IS SUBJECTING THE GOZ TO CRITICISM,
CALLS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY, AND PUBLIC SCRUTINY TO WHICH IT
IS UNACCUSTOMED. THE OPPOSITION PARTY NOW POSES A VERY
REAL THREAT TO MUGABE'S HOLD ON POWER (THE MDC WILL SWEEP
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS EXPECTED LATER THIS YEAR AND LIKELY
WOULD WIN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IF IT WERE HELD TODAY
AND WERE HALF-WAY FAIR AND FREE), AND HE AND HIS CRONIES
WILL DO ALL THEY CAN TO MINIMIZE THAT THREAT. IN A SMALL
PRIVATE LUNCHEON ATTENDED BY FOUR GOVERNMENT MINISTERS
AND OTHER DIPLOMATS ON SEPTEMBER 15, THE AMBASSADOR ASKED
THE REASONS FOR THE GOZ ACTION AGAINST THE MDC. THE
MINISTERS WERE ALL SILENT, WITH NOT A SINGLE ONE
ATTEMPTING TO JUSTIFY THE RAID.



13. (C) IT IS APPARENT TO US NOW THAT THE GOZ (ZANU-PF)
NOT ONLY HAS NO INTENTION OF WORKING WITH THE MDC, BUT
WILL RESORT TO VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION TO TRY TO
RECOVER GROUND IT HAS LOST TO ITS UPSTART RIVAL. IT IS
UNCLEAR, THOUGH, HOW FAR THE GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO GO,
BUT THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE GOVERNMENT MAY TRY TO LINK
THE MDC LEADERSHIP TO ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES -- AND THUS
ARREST THEM -- IS EXTREMELY TROUBLING. AS BITI
MENTIONED, THE GOZ UNDERTOOK A SIMILAR APPROACH IN THE
1980'S IN ELIMINATING ZAPU AS A VIABLE OPPOSITION PARTY.
WE HAVE KNOWN THE MDC LEADERS FOR QUITE SOME TIME AND
FIND IT EXTREMELY UNLIKELY THAT ANY OF THEM WOULD BE
INVOLVED IN IMPORTING WEAPONS.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 05270 03 OF 03 181643Z

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

>