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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE197 2001-01-11 14:29:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

DISTURBANCE IN ZIMBABWE TOWN INVITES POLICE

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.

111429Z Jan 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTO2574

PAGE 01        HARARE  00197  111430Z 
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                  ------------------B5081F  111430Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7983
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000197 

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 00197 111430Z

PASS USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/11/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: DISTURBANCE IN ZIMBABWE TOWN INVITES POLICE
INTERVENTION


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



1. (U) THE JANUARY 11 EDITION OF THE INDEPENDENT "THE
DAILY NEWS" NEWSPAPER REPORTED THAT DISTURBANCES ERUPTED
IN KADOMA TOWN--ABOUT 80 MILES SOUTHWEST OF HARARE--ON
JANUARY 10. THE NEWSPAPER SAID THE "RIOT" BEGAN AS A
PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION AGAINST THE TOWN COUNCIL'S
FAILURE TO CONSULT LOCAL RESIDENTS ON THE TOWN BUDGET
THAT WAS SENT TO HARARE FOR APPROVAL. THE DEMONSTRATION
DEGENERATED WHEN POLICE UNITS MOVED IN TO DISPERSE THE
CROWD, AND THE PEOPLE REACTED BY ERECTING ROAD
BARRICADES. POLICE FIRED TEARGAS TO BREAK UP SEVERAL
GROUPS OF PEOPLE, AND BEAT UP THOSE WHO REFUSED TO
DISPERSE. "THE DAILY NEWS" DESCRIBED POLICE AS INVADING
HOMES AND "COMMANDEERING" RESIDENTS TO TAKE DOWN THE
BARRICADES, WHICH BLOCKED THE MAIN HARARE-BULAWAYO
HIGHWAY. TWENTY-TWO PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED, ACCORDING TO
THE NEWSPAPER.



2. (C) POLOFF SPOKE TO MDC MP FOR KADOMA CENTRAL,
AUSTIN MUPANDAWANA, ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN KADOMA. HE
SAID THE TROUBLE BEGAN WHEN THE RESIDENTS' ASSOCIATION
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 00197 111430Z
RECENTLY MET WITH THE TOWN COUNCIL TO GIVE INPUT ON THE
TOWN BUDGET. THE ASSOCIATION EXPRESSED SERIOUS CONCERN
ABOUT A PROPOSED 200 PERCENT INCREASE IN THE COST OF
CITY SERVICES, SUCH AS WATER AND REFUSE COLLECTION.
WHEN THE TOWN COUNCIL FAILED TO TAKE THEIR CONCERNS INTO
CONSIDERATION AND SENT THE BUDGET UNAMENDED TO HARARE
FOR APPROVAL, THE ASSOCIATION WAS OUTRAGED AND DEMANDED
A MEETING WITH THE TOWN MAYOR. MUPANDAWANA REPORTED
THAT THE MAYOR AGREED TO A MEETING, BUT BROUGHT WITH HIM
A NUMBER OF POLICE AND CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION
OFFICERS, WHO THREATENED TO ARREST THE ASSOCIATION
REPRESENTATIVES UNLESS THEY STOPPED "HARASSING" THE
MAYOR AND TOWN COUNCIL. THE PEOPLE LEFT THE MEETING TO
ERECT STREET BARRICADES OUT OF FEAR OF MORE POLICE UNITS
ARRIVING. MORE POLICE DID ARRIVE, AND REMOVED THE
BARRICADES AND BROKE UP EVERY LARGE GATHERING OF PEOPLE.
MUPANDAWANA DID NOT CHARACTERIZE THE DISTURBANCE AS A
"RIOT," SAYING NO SHOPS WERE LOOTED OR VEHICLES BURNED.
HE SAID THAT THE TOWN HAD RETURNED TO NORMAL, BUT THAT
THE TOWNSPEOPLE WERE STILL DISGRUNTLED. MUPANDAWANA
SAID HE WAS RETURNING TO KADOMA JANUARY 11 TO ARRANGE A
MEETING BETWEEN THE MAYOR AND RESIDENTS' ASSOCIATION TO
WORK OUT THEIR DIFFERENCES.



3. (C) COMMENT: BASED ON MUPANDAWANA'S COMMENTS, AND
"THE DAILY NEWS"'S OWN ARTICLE, THERE DOES NOT APPEAR TO
HAVE BEEN A TRUE "RIOT" IN KADOMA. IT IS APPARENT,
HOWEVER, THAT THE LOCAL TOWNSPEOPLE ARE VERY AGITATED BY
THE TOWN COUNCIL'S OVERBEARING APPROACH TO GOVERNANCE,
USE OF THREATS, AND ATTEMPT TO DRAMATICALLY INCREASE THE
PRICE OF CITY SERVICES. GIVEN THIS LATEST DISTURBANCE
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PAGE 04 HARARE 00197 111430Z
ON THE HEELS OF THREE DAYS OF STREET PROTESTS IN HARARE
IN OCTOBER, WE CAN EXPECT SIMILAR REACTIONS FROM
FRUSTRATED ZIMBABWEANS IN THE COMING MONTHS AS THE
COUNTRY'S ECONOMY DETERIORATES FURTHER. END COMMENT.

IRVING

CONFIDENTIAL

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