wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE1026
2001-03-15 11:26:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ZIMBABWE LEGAL COMMUNITY IS EXTREMELY CONCERNED

Tags:  PHUM PGOV KJUS PINR ZI 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

151126Z Mar 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2110

PAGE 01        HARARE  01026  01 OF 03  151129Z 
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    STR-00   TRSE-00  
      USIE-00  BBG-00   R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   
      G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00   SWCI-00    /009W
                  ------------------D20CD6  151130Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8433
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001026 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AFR/SA - CPALMA,
NNEWMAN, AA/AFR - VDICKSON-HORTON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/11
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KJUS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE LEGAL COMMUNITY IS EXTREMELY CONCERNED
CONFIDENTIAL


PAGE 02 HARARE 01026 01 OF 03 151129Z
THAT MUGABE IS SUBVERTING JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE

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

-------
SUMMARY
-------



1. (C) ON MARCH 9, ACTING PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT
SECRETARY (PDAS) MARK BELLAMY, CHARGE EARL IRVING, AND

SIPDIS
ECONOFF (NOTETAKER) MET WITH STERNFORD MOYO, PRESIDENT
OF THE LAW SOCIETY OF ZIMBABWE AND A MEMBER OF THE
JUDICIAL SERVICES COMMISSION, AND BEATRICE MTETWA, THE
ZIMBABWEAN LAWYER WHO IS COORDINATING THE OPPOSITION
MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE'S (MDC) LEGAL CHALLENGES
TO LAST JUNE'S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, TO DISCUSS THE
STATE OF THE JUDICIARY IN ZIMBABWE. BELLAMY EXPRESSED
THE USG'S CONCERN THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ)
IS SELECTIVELY APPLYING THE RULE OF LAW, AND IS
THREATENING THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY. HE ADDED
THAT BECAUSE OF THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CRISES
AFFECTING ZIMBABWE, AND THE GOZ'S REACTIONS TO THESE
CRISES, THE USG WAS RE-EVALUATING ITS POLICIES TOWARDS
THE GOZ. MOYO AND MTETWA AGREED THAT THE SITUATION IN
ZIMBABWE IS DETERIORATING, AND THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE IS
ACTIVELY UNDERMINING THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY.
MOYO PINPOINTED THE THREAT TO THE JUDICIARY'S
INDEPENDENCE TO HAVE BEGUN IN EARNEST IN FEBRUARY 2000
AFTER A MAJORITY OF ZIMBABWEAN VOTERS REJECTED THE DRAFT
CONSTITUTION SUPPORTED BY MUGABE. WITH THE FINAL
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01026 01 OF 03 151129Z
AGREEMENT ON THE RESIGNATION OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE
SUPREME COURT ON MARCH 2, MOYO FEARS THAT THE CONTINUED
INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY IS EXTREMELY PRECARIOUS.
THE LAW SOCIETY PRESIDENT INDICATED THAT THE MAJORITY OF
THE MEMBERS OF THE ZIMBABWE LEGAL PROFESSION OPPOSE
THESE DEVELOPMENTS. MOYO IS ALSO COORDINATING EFFORTS
TO DETERMINE IF THERE IS A WAY TO BLOCK MUGABE'S
APPOINTMENT OF GODFREY CHIDYAUSIKU, THE JUDGE PRESIDENT
OF THE HIGH COURT, AS THE NEXT CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE
SUPREME COURT. IN A SEPARATE MEETING WITH BELLAMY ON
MARCH 10, CHIEF JUSTICE ANTHONY GUBBAY SAID THAT HE NOW
BELIEVES MUGABE IS DETERMINED TO ELIMINATE THE
INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY, AND THAT HE WILL NOT GIVE
UP POWER, EVEN IF HE LOSES THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION. END SUMMARY.



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


BELLAMY EXPRESSES USG CONCERNS


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





2. (C) BELLAMY OPENED THE MEETING BY EXPRESSING THE
HEIGHTENED USG CONCERN WITH DEVELOPMENTS THAT APPEAR TO
THREATEN ZIMBABWE'S DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS. BELLAMY
SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED THE BOMBING OF "THE DAILY NEWS"
PRINTING PRESS, THE FORCED RESIGNATION OF THE CHIEF
JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT, ANTHONY GUBBAY, AND THE
EXPULSION OF TWO FOREIGN JOURNALISTS, AS PARTICULARLY
ALARMING DEVELOPMENTS. HE STATED THAT WASHINGTON
WORRIED THAT THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE WAS
DETERIORATING RAPIDLY, AND SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED THE
USG CONCERN THAT THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01026 01 OF 03 151129Z
APPEARS THREATENED. HE ASKED MOYO AND MTETWA WHAT THEY
FELT WOULD BE PROPER RESPONSES BY THE USG TO THIS
SITUATION.



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


A LONG TRADITION OF JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE


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





3. (C) MOYO LAID OUT THE HISTORY OF THE JUDICIAL BRANCH
IN ZIMBABWE GOING BACK TO THE COLONIAL PERIOD. HE
STATED THAT EXCEPT FOR SPECIFIC CASES DURING THE
COLONIAL, UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, AND
POST-INDEPENDENCE PERIODS, THE JUDICIARY HAS ALWAYS
MAINTAINED ITS INDEPENDENCE FROM THE EXECUTIVE AND
LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES OF THE GOZ. AT THE TIME OF
ZIMBABWE'S INDEPENDENCE IN 1980, THE JUDICIARY DECIDED
THAT JUDGES COULD SERVE THE NEW GOVERNMENT REGARDLESS OF
WHO WAS IN POWER. FOLLOWING THE 1980 ELECTIONS, THERE
WAS A DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN THE NEW MUGABE GOVERNMENT AND
THE JUDICIARY OVER WHOM WOULD BECOME THE CHIEF JUSTICE.
THE JUDICIARY WANTED TO FOLLOW THE RULE THAT THE SENIOR
APPELLATE JUDGE WOULD BECOME CHIEF JUSTICE. THE THEN
PRIME MINISTER MUGABE, ON THE OTHER HAND, WANTED TO MAKE
A POLITICAL APPOINTEE CHIEF JUSTICE. IN THE END, A
COMPROMISE WAS REACHED WITH THE APPOINTMENT OF A JUSTICE

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ2112

PAGE 01 HARARE 01026 02 OF 03 151130Z
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 STR-00 TRSE-00
USIE-00 BBG-00 R-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02
G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /009W


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

D20CE5 151130Z /38
R 151126Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8434
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 001026

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AFR/SA - CPALMA,
NNEWMAN, AA/AFR - VDICKSON-HORTON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/11
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KJUS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE LEGAL COMMUNITY IS EXTREMELY CONCERNED
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01026 02 OF 03 151130Z
THAT MUGABE IS SUBVERTING JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE

WHO HAD RESIGNED FROM THE RHODESIAN SUPREME COURT IN
1968, FOLLOWING DISAGREEMENTS WITH THE UDI GOVERNMENT
OVER LEGAL RULINGS, AND HAD RETURNED TO THE UNITED
KINGDOM. MOYO CONCLUDED THAT UP UNTIL A YEAR AGO, WITH
A FEW NOTABLE EXCEPTIONS RELATED TO COURT DECISIONS
DURING THE 1983-87 REPRESSION OF THE NDEBELE IN SOUTHERN
ZIMBABWE, THE GOZ HAD LARGELY RESPECTED THE JUDICIARY'S
INDEPENDENCE AND HAD ENFORCED COURT RULINGS.



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


THE ASSAULT ON THE JUDICIARY BEGINS


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





4. (C) ACCORDING TO MOYO, THE GOZ ASSAULT ON THE
JUDICIARY BEGAN IN EARNEST FOLLOWING THE VOTER REJECTION
OF THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION IN FEBRUARY 2000. MOYO
BELIEVES THAT MUGABE AND THE GOZ PANICKED FOLLOWING THIS
VOTE, AND BEGAN TO SEE ENEMIES IN EVERY CORNER OF THE
COUNTRY. WHEN THE GOZ-SPONSORED FARM INVASIONS BY "WAR
VETS" AND SQUATTERS BEGAN IN EARNEST FOLLOWING THE "NO"
VOTE ON THE CONSTITUTION, COURT RULINGS AGAINST THESE
INVASIONS PUT THE JUDICIARY ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH
MUGABE AND THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOZ. SINCE LAST
FEBRUARY THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF SUPREME COURT AND
HIGH COURT RULINGS THAT HAVE ORDERED THE GOZ TO EVICT
THE "WAR VETS" AND SQUATTERS FROM OCCUPIED FARMS, AS
WELL AS TO FOLLOW EXISTING LAW IN UNDERTAKING LAND
REFORM AND RESETTLEMENT. MOYO ADDED THAT OVER THE PAST
YEAR THE GOZ HAS (IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE COMMERCIAL
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01026 02 OF 03 151130Z
FARMERS UNION) AGREED TO TWO SUPREME CONSENT ORDERS (ONE
IN MARCH 2000, THE OTHER IN NOVEMBER 2000) THAT STATED
THAT THE GOZ WAS NOT FOLLOWING ITS OWN LAWS IN PURSUING
THE "FAST-TRACK" RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM, AND THAT IT
SHOULD BEGIN TO DO SO BY REMOVING THE OCCUPIERS.
FOLLOWING THE NOVEMBER CONSENT ORDER, "WAR VETS" BEGAN
TO THREATEN THE SUPREME COURT JUDGES, AND THE GOZ BEGAN
A FULL-COURT PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN THAT CLAIMED THE
JUDICIARY WANTED TO BRING BACK "WHITE SETTLER" RULE AND
AGAIN MAKE ZIMBABWE A COLONY OF BRITAIN. THIS CAMPAIGN
RESULTED IN CHIEF JUSTICE GUBBAY REQUESTING A MEETING
WITH ACTING PRESIDENT SIMON MUZENDA (MUGABE WAS OUT OF
THE COUNTRY). AT THIS MEETING, GUBBAY REQUESTED THAT
THE GOZ OFFER ADDITIONAL PROTECTION TO THE JUSTICES, AND
IF THEY WOULD NOT, GUBBAY STATED THAT HE MIGHT HAVE TO
RESIGN. MOYO OPINED THAT THE GOZ SEIZED ON THIS
STATEMENT, AND FORCED GUBBAY TO TENDER HIS RESIGNATION
TWO DAYS LATER.



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


APPOINTING A RUBBER STAMP CHIEF JUSTICE


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





5. (C) AFTER CONSIDERABLE WRANGLING, A FINAL AGREEMENT
WAS REACHED ON MARCH 2 BETWEEN THE GOZ AND GUBBAY,
WHEREBY THE LATTER WOULD GO ON LEAVE FROM THE BEGINNING
OF MARCH UNTIL THE END OF JUNE. PRESIDENT MUGABE WOULD,
AS A RESULT, BE FREE TO APPOINT AN ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE,
BUT COULD NOT APPOINT A NEW CHIEF JUSTICE UNTIL JULY 1.
MUGABE QUICKLY NOMINATED THE JUDGE PRESIDENT OF THE HIGH
COURT, GODFREY CHIDYAUSIKU, AS THE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01026 02 OF 03 151130Z
ON MARCH 9, AND HE WAS SWORN IN ON MARCH 13.
CHIDYAUSIKU HAD LONG BEEN RUMORED TO BE MUGABE'S CHOICE
FOR CHIEF JUSTICE DUE TO HIS LONG HISTORY AS A LOYAL
SUPPORTER OF ZANU-PF. (NOTE: CHIDYAUSIKU HEADED THE
CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION THAT PREPARED THE DRAFT
CONSTITUTION THAT WAS REJECTED IN THE FEBRUARY 2000
REFERENDUM. ZIMBABWEAN CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS HAD
PUBLICLY PROCLAIMED THAT THE CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
PROCESS HAD BEEN HIJACKED BY THE GOZ AND THE FINAL
VERSION DID NOT REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF ZIMBABWEAN
SOCIETY. END NOTE.) MOYO ADMITTED THAT MUGABE HAD THE
CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY TO APPOINT WHOMEVER HE CHOSE AS
ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE. HOWEVER, HE STATED THAT THE ISSUE
IS NOT CLEAR FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A CHIEF JUSTICE.
ACCORDING TO MOYO, THE JUDICIAL SERVICES COMMISSION
(JSC), OF WHICH HE IS A MEMBER, HAS A KEY ROLE IN
ADVISING THE PRESIDENT ON THE APPOINTMENT OF A CHIEF
JUSTICE. HE MADE CLEAR THAT MEMBERS OF THE JSC WOULD
LIKE TO FIND A WAY TO BLOCK CHIDYAUSIKU'S APPOINTMENT AS
CHIEF JUSTICE. MOYO IS CONCERNED THAT IF CHIDYAUSIKU IS
APPOINTED CHIEF JUSTICE HE WILL BE IN A POSITION TO HELP
MUGABE REMOVE OTHER SUPREME COURT AND HIGH COURT
JUSTICES, AND REPLACE THEM WITH JUDGES WHO WILL BE
COMPLIANT WITH MUGABE AND ZANU-PF. THIS WOULD,
ACCORDING TO MOYO, MARK THE END OF ANY HOPE FOR A TRULY

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ2113

PAGE 01 HARARE 01026 03 OF 03 151130Z
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 STR-00 TRSE-00
USIE-00 BBG-00 R-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02
G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 SWCI-00 /009W


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

D20CEF 151130Z /38
R 151126Z MAR 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8435
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 001026

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR BWILLIAMS
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD - DWELLER, AFR/SA - CPALMA,
NNEWMAN, AA/AFR - VDICKSON-HORTON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/11
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KJUS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE LEGAL COMMUNITY IS EXTREMELY CONCERNED
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 HARARE 01026 03 OF 03 151130Z
THAT MUGABE IS SUBVERTING JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE

DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION IN ZIMBABWE. MOYO STATED THAT
CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS ONLY HAVE THE INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY
TO TURN TO IN TRYING TO RESTRAIN THE AUTHORITARIAN
PRACTICES OF MUGABE AND ZANU-PF.



6. (C) FOR THIS REASON, MOYO REQUESTED OUR ASSISTANCE IN
RESEARCHING HOW THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE U.S. SUPREME
COURT, AND THOSE IN COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES, ARE
APPOINTED, TO INCLUDE GROUNDS UPON WHICH APPOINTMENTS
ARE DENIED (E.G. EXTREME POLITICAL VIEWS, CRIMINAL
CONDUCT, IMMORAL BEHAVIOR, ETC.)



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


CHIEF JUSTICE GUBBAY PESSIMISTIC


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





7. (C) BELLAMY AND CHARGE CALLED ON CHIEF JUSTICE GUBBAY
AT HIS HOME MARCH 10. THE SOFT-SPOKEN JUDGE RECOUNTED
HOW WAR VETERANS HAD INVADED THE SUPREME COURT AFTER ITS
DECISIONS ON THE "FAST-TRACK" PROGRAM AND THE FARM
INVASIONS. GUBBAY POINTED OUT THAT ALTHOUGH THE
DECISIONS HAD BEEN LABELED "RACIST" BY THE GOZ, THEY HAD
ACTUALLY BEEN MADE BY NON-WHITE JUDGES. GUBBAY ADDED
THAT WHITE JUDGES ARE A MINORITY OF THE MEMBERS OF BOTH
THE HIGH AND SUPREME COURTS, BUT THE GOZ DOES NOT LIKE
TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS. GUBBAY CONFIRMED THAT VICE
PRESIDENT MUZENDA HAD REFUSED TO GUARANTEE THE SAFETY OF
JUSTICES FROM THE "WAR VETS". MINISTER OF JUSTICE
PATRICK CHINAMASA TOLD GUBBAY THAT IT WAS "NORMAL" FOR
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 01026 03 OF 03 151130Z
"WAR VETS" TO REACT BADLY TO THE COURT'S DECISIONS, AND
THAT THE JUSTICES SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED THIS. GUBBAY
SAID HE HAD DESPAIRED AT HIS INABILITY TO REASON WITH
MUZENDA AND CHINAMASA. GUBBAY INDICATED THAT THE
ZIMBABWE LEGAL COMMUNITY DID NOT RATE HIGHLY JUDGE
PRESIDENT CHIDYAUSIKU IN TERMS OF EITHER EXPERTISE OR
IMPARTIALITY. HE ADDED THAT THE REMAINING FOUR SUPREME
COURT JUSTICES - ALL OF WHOM GUBBAY PRAISED FOR THEIR
PROFESSIONALISM AND ETHICS - WOULD ACT AS A BRAKE ON THE
NEW CHIEF JUSTICE FOR AT LEAST A WHILE. GUBBAY REVEALED
THAT THERE IS NO GOOD LEGAL WAY FOR PRESIDENT MUGABE TO
OUST THE REMAINING JUSTICES AND THAT HE WOULD MOST
LIKELY INSTEAD ATTEMPT TO PACK THE COURT WITH ZANU-PF
LOYALISTS. (NOTE: THE ZIMBABWE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT
SET A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICES.
END NOTE.) THE CHIEF JUSTICE IS CONVINCED THAT MUGABE
WILL NOT RELINQUISH POWER EVEN IF HE LOSES THE NEXT
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. HE ADDED THAT HE IS DEEPLY
SADDENED THAT ZIMBABWE'S HIGHEST COURTS, WHICH HAD FOR
TWENTY YEARS OPERATED AS A STRONG CONSTITUTIONAL CHECK
AGAINST ABUSES OF EXECUTIVE POWER, APPEARED TO BE
NEARING AN END AS AN INDEPENDENT BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT.



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


COMMENT:


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





8. (C) WE SHARE GUBBAY'S AND MOYO'S CONCERN FOR THE
CONTINUED INDEPENDENCE OF THE ZIMBABWE JUDICIARY. THERE
IS A CONCERTED EFFORT BY MUGABE AND HIS SYCOPHANTS IN
THE EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES OF THE GOZ TO
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 01026 03 OF 03 151130Z
POLITICIZE BOTH THE HIGH AND SUPREME COURTS. THIS
CAMPAIGN IS REFLECTED IN THE ZANU-PF-CONTROLLED
PARLIAMENT VOTING IN FAVOR OF A MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE
IN THE JUDICIARY ON FEBRUARY 28. THE GOZ AGREED IN ITS
MARCH 2 SETTLEMENT WITH GUBBAY TO REFRAIN FROM ATTACKING
JUSTICES THROUGH GOZ-CONTROLLED MEDIA (WE DOUBT THAT THE
GOZ WILL HONOR THIS AGREEMENT.) FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE,
THE USG CAN PROVIDE THE GREATEST ASSISTANCE TO THE
SUPPORTERS OF JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE IN ZIMBABWE BY
CONTINUING TO PUBLICLY STATE, IN UNEQUIVOCAL TERMS, OUR
POSITION ON THE IMPORTANCE OF JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE FOR
THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY IN ZIMBABWE, AND THAT EFFORTS AT
DESTROYING THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY WILL HAVE
REPERCUSSIONS IN BILATERAL RELATIONS. WE EXPLAINED TO
MOYO THAT THE APPOINTMENT PROCESS FOR A CHIEF JUSTICE OF
THE US SUPREME COURT IS NOT DIRECTLY APPLICABLE TO THAT
OF A CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE ZIMBABWE SUPREME COURT. WE
ENCOURAGED HIM TO CONTACT THE HIGH COMMISSIONS OF OTHER
COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES IN HARARE TO PURSUE THIS LINE OF
INQUIRY. END COMMENT.



9. (U) ACTING PDAS BELLAMY CLEARED THIS MESSAGE.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

>