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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
00HARARE7164
2000-12-20 13:08:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY CRANKS UP INTIMIDATION

Tags:  PGOV PHUM PINS PINR 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.

201308Z Dec 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ9192

PAGE 01        HARARE  07164  01 OF 02  201308Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  DINT-00  
      DODE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EB-00    EUR-00   OIGO-00  
      FAAE-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  R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-02   DRL-02   
      G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /010W
                  ------------------ADCFA2  201309Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7886
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 007164 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR A/AID RMCCALL, AA/AFR VDERRYCK, AFR/SA
CPALMA
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 07164 01 OF 02 201308Z

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/20/10
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY CRANKS UP INTIMIDATION
FOR NEW BY-ELECTION


CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR
REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) SUMMARY: THE ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY IS CRANKING
ITS VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION MACHINE INTO HIGH GEAR FOR
THE BIKITA WEST BY-ELECTION NOW SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY
13-14, 2001. THE BY-ELECTION IS BEING HELD TO REPLACE
THE MDC MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT WHO DIED OF AN ILLNESS IN
NOVEMBER. YOUTH DEVELOPMENT MINISTER AND NEW ZANU-PF
COMMISSAR BORDER GEZI HAS DEPLOYED BUSLOADS OF ZANU-PF
YOUTH AND WAR VETERANS TO BIKITA WEST, IN MASVINGO
PROVINCE, TO HARASS OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS, STEAL VOTER
IDENTIFICATION CARDS, AND CLOSE OFF THE AREA TO MDC
RALLIES, ACCORDING TO AN MDC ADVISOR IN BIKITA WEST.
FIFTY PEOPLE WERE INJURED IN CLASHES BETWEEN MDC AND
ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS ON DECEMBER 17. THE MDC CANDIDATE
HAS ALREADY GONE INTO HIDING. GIVEN THE MDC'S NARROW
MARGIN OF VICTORY IN JUNE, IT APPEARS LIKELY THAT ZANU-
PF WILL BE ABLE TO INTIMIDATE ANOTHER CONSTITUENCY INTO
VOTING FOR ITS CANDIDATE AND BOOST ITS MAJORITY IN
PARLIAMENT. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) ON DECEMBER 19, POLOFF MET ALEX MUPA, AN MDC
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 07164 01 OF 02 201308Z
MEMBER AND ADVISOR TO MDC CANDIDATE FOR PARLIAMENT IN
BIKITA WEST, BONIFACE PAKAI. MUPA REPORTED THAT AFTER
ZANU-PF CONCLUDED ITS CONGRESS ON DECEMBER 16, YOUTH
DEVELOPMENT MINISTER AND NEW RULING PARTY COMMISSAR
BORDER GEZI DEPLOYED FIVE BUSLOADS AND 14 TRUCKLOADS OF
ZANU-PF YOUTH AND WAR VETERANS TO NYIKA GROWTH POINT IN
BIKITA WEST. (NOTE: GEZI, JUST ELEVATED TO THE
POLITBURO, LED ZANU-PF'S INTIMIDATION CAMPAIGN IN JUNE
IN MASHONALAND WEST, WHERE HE WAS GOVERNOR. END NOTE.)
THE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT MINISTRY MAINTAINS A YOUTH
TRAINING FACILITY IN BIKITA, SO THE PARTY CAN EASILY PUT
UP HUNDREDS OF SUPPORTERS IN THE CONSTITUENCY, MUPA
CLAIMED. TWO OF THE TRUCKS USED IN THE OPERATION WERE
ARMY VEHICLES, HE ADDED. CHIKOMBA MP AND WAR VETERANS
LEADER CHENJERAI HUNZVI AND SELF-STYLED FARM OCCUPATIONS
LEADER JOSEPH CHINOTIMBA HAVE ALSO APPEARED IN BIKITA
WEST TO ORGANIZE THE INTIMIDATION CAMPAIGN. THE
DECEMBER 19 "THE DAILY NEWS" REPORTED THAT, SHORTLY
AFTER THE ZANU-PF OPERATIVES DESCENDED ON BIKITA WEST ON
DECEMBER 17, CLASHES ERUPTED WITH MDC SUPPORTERS, AND 50
PEOPLE WERE INJURED. THE "NEWS" REPORTED THAT A YOUTH
WEARING AN MDC T-SHIRT WAS SEVERELY BEATEN, AND MUPA
CLAIMED HE LATER DIED FROM HIS INJURIES.



3. (C) THE ZANU-PF "TASK FORCE" HAS WASTED NO TIME IN
INTIMIDATING THE RESIDENTS OF BIKITA WEST, ACCORDING TO
MUPA. WAR VETERANS ARE BEATING UP SUSPECTED MDC
SUPPORTERS, OCCUPYING COMMERCIAL FARMS AND THE BIKITA
MINERALS PLANT, AND FORCING PEOPLE TO SURRENDER THEIR
NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION CARDS SO THEY CANNOT VOTE IN
JANUARY. WOMEN ARE BEING FORCED TO SCRUB PAINTED MDC
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 07164 01 OF 02 201308Z
MARKINGS OFF OF ASPHALT ROADWAYS, MUPA CONTINUED. FARM
INVASIONS, WHICH BEGAN IN THE AREA LAST FEBRUARY, ARE
INTENSIFYING: WAR VETS ARE FORCIBLY REMOVING FARM
WORKERS FROM COMMERCIAL FARMS AND TRANSPORTING THEM TO
COMMUNAL FARMS, AT LEAST THREE PROMINENT LOCAL
COMMERCIAL FARMERS AND CATTLE RANCHERS HAVE FLED THE
AREA, AND WORK ON THE FARMS HAS HALTED. ZANU-PF CADRES
ARE ALSO THREATENING LOCAL CHIEFS AND SUB-CHIEFS, SAYING
THAT IF THEY DO NOT MAKE THEIR SUBJECTS VOTE FOR ZANU-
PF, THE RULING PARTY WILL TAKE AWAY THEIR GOVERNMENT
SALARIES AND POWERS OF LAND APPORTIONMENT, ACCORDING TO
THE MDC ADVISOR.



4. (C) THE MDC, FOR ITS PART, IS BEING FORCED TO HALT
ITS CAMPAIGN AND REFOCUS ON CIVIC EDUCATION, MUPA
REPORTED. THE WAR VETERANS HAVE THREATENED TO ABDUCT
THE MDC CANDIDATE, BONIFACE PAKAI, AND HE HAS GONE INTO
HIDING ALONG WITH HIS CAMPAIGN MANAGER. THE WIVES OF
OTHER LOCAL MDC OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN TAKEN OUT OF THE
AREA FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY, MUPA CONTINUED. SINCE OPEN
CAMPAIGNING IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE, THE MDC IS REFOCUSING
ITS EFFORTS ON CIVIC EDUCATION. THEY ARE COUNSELING
BIKITA WEST RESIDENTS ON THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO
VOTE, THE NEED TO REGISTER TO VOTE, AND THE IMPORTANCE
OF HOLDING ON TO THEIR IDENTIFICATION CARDS. OPPOSITION

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ9193

PAGE 01 HARARE 07164 02 OF 02 201309Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DINT-00
DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 FAAE-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 IRM-00 STR-00
TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-02 DRL-02 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W


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

ADCFB9 201309Z /38
P 201308Z DEC 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7887
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 007164

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

PASS USAID FOR A/AID RMCCALL, AA/AFR VDERRYCK, AFR/SA
CPALMA
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 07164 02 OF 02 201309Z

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/20/10
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE RULING PARTY CRANKS UP INTIMIDATION
FOR NEW BY-ELECTION

SUPPORTERS ARE ALSO TELLING PEOPLE THAT THEY SHOULD NOT
BE INTIMIDATED BY THE PRESENCE OF ZANU-PF CADRES.
BELYING HIS CLAIM THAT THE MDC IS TAKING A STRICTLY NON-
VIOLENT APPROACH, MUPA ADDED THAT ON THE NIGHT OF
DECEMBER 18, MDC YOUTHS IN BIKITA PAID A CALL ON WAR
VETERANS LEADER HUNZVI, BEAT HIM UP, AND SENT HIM
FLEEING.



5. (C) MUPA WENT ON TO CHARACTERIZE THE BIKITA WEST
VIOLENCE AS A LARGER CONFLICT BETWEEN THE KARANGA AND
ZEZURU SUBCLANS OF THE SHONA ETHNIC GROUP. THE ZEZURU,
WHO DOMINATE THE GOVERNMENT, ARE BENT ON BREAKING UP A
PERCEIVED ALLIANCE BETWEEN THE KARANGA OF MASVINGO
PROVINCE AND THE NDEBELE, WHO PREDOMINATE IN
MATABELELAND. MUPA STATED THAT THE INTENSITY OF THE
CAMPAIGN IN BIKITA WEST IS LINKED TO THE REMOVAL OF
MASVINGO "SUPREMO" EDDISON ZVOBGO FROM THE ZANU-PF
POLITBURO. MASVINGO, AND THE KARANGA OF BIKITA WEST,
ARE BEING PUNISHED FOR ZVOBGO'S DEFIANCE OF PRESIDENT
MUGABE. MUPA CLAIMED THAT ZANU-PF IS NO LONGER A
NATIONAL PARTY, BUT PURELY AN INSTRUMENT OF THE ZEZURU
SUBCLAN.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 07164 02 OF 02 201309Z


6. (C) COMMENT: ALTHOUGH WE HAVE NOT SEEN THE SITUATION
IN BIKITA WEST FIRST-HAND, WE FIND MUPA'S ACCOUNT
CREDIBLE. BIKITA IS REMOTE AND NOT SUBJECT TO SCRUTINY
BY THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA, DIPLOMATIC CORPS, OR FOREIGN
NON-GOVERNMENTAL OBSERVERS. THUS, WE INFER THE RULING
PARTY FEELS LESS CONSTRAINED IN HOW IT APPLIES THE
MAILED FIST TO THIS CONSTITUENCY THAT VOTED FOR THE MDC.
ZANU-PF IS PULLING OUT ALL THE STOPS TO PREVENT THE MDC
FROM MOBILIZING POPULAR SUPPORT AND TO WHITTLE AWAY AT
ITS SIZABLE MINORITY IN PARLIAMENT. THE MDC WON BIKITA
WEST IN THE JUNE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS BY FEWER THAN
300 VOTES, AND ZANU-PF APPARENTLY BELIEVES IT CAN
RECAPTURE THE SEAT WITH OVERWHELMING INTIMIDATION. IT
SAW THAT ITS VIOLENT TACTICS WERE SUCCESSFUL IN THE
NOVEMBER MARONDERA WEST BY-ELECTION, AND IT WILL STICK
WITH ITS PROVEN STRATEGY. POPULAR DISSATISFACTION WITH
ZANU-PF IS SO GREAT THAT THE PARTY SEES NO OTHER WAY TO
STAY IN POWER. ANY ZANU-PF LOSSES AT THIS POINT WOULD
ENCOURAGE MORE ZIMBABWEANS TO VOTE FOR THE OPPOSITION IN
THE FUTURE. THE RULING PARTY IS UNWILLING TO TAKE ANY
CHANCES. GIVEN THE OPPOSITION'S INABILITY TO
EFFECTIVELY CAMPAIGN IN THIS ENVIRONMENT AND THE POPULAR
FEAR OF MORE VIOLENCE AND RETRIBUTION, THE MDC IS
UNLIKELY TO RETAIN ITS SEAT IN BIKITA WEST.



7. (C) COMMENT CONTINUED: WE HAVE HEARD THAT URBAN
DWELLERS VISITING FAMILY IN BIKITA FOR THE HOLIDAYS MAY
TRY TO PLAY A ROLE IN LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD. THERE
ARE REPORTS THAT URBAN MDC SUPPORTERS MAY TAKE ADVANTAGE
OF THE EXTENDED HOLIDAY PERIOD TO VISIT BIKITA AND BOTH
BOLSTER THE RESOLVE OF BIKITA VOTERS AND "DEAL WITH" THE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 07164 02 OF 02 201309Z
ZANU-PF-DEPLOYED YOUTH AND WAR VETERANS. IF TRUE, THIS
COULD WELL RESULT IN EVEN MORE VIOLENCE THAN WAS
EXPERIENCED IN THE RECENT MARONDERA WEST BY-ELECTION.
ALSO, IT COULD SIGNAL A NEW KIND OF TAKE-THE-BULL-BY-
THE-HORNS "MASS ACTION" BY MDC SUPPORTERS. END COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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