wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HARARE3739
2001-12-17 14:01:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

MDC LEADER CHARGED WITH POSSESSING UNLICENSED

Tags:  PGOV PHUM 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.

171401Z Dec 01


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ0156

PAGE 01        HARARE  03739  171459Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  CIAE-00  INL-00   USNW-00  
      DODE-00  WHA-00   SRPP-00  DS-00    EAP-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  CAEX-01  
      PA-00    PC-01    PM-00    PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    
      STR-00   TRSE-00  USIE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-00   DRL-02   
      G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00   SWCI-00    /011W
                  ------------------4C96F0  171459Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0553
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 
AMEMBASSY OSLO 
AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 
AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 
AMEMBASSY KINGSTON 
AMEMBASSY ABUJA
						C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 003739 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: DECL. 12/17/11
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: MDC LEADER CHARGED WITH POSSESSING UNLICENSED
RADIO


CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF MATT HARRINGTON.
REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).



1. (C) ON DECEMBER 15, POLICE CHARGED OPPOSITION MOVEMENT
FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) LEADER MORGAN TSVANGIRAI UNDER
THE POSTAL AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT WITH POSSESSING AN
UNLICENSED RADIO. THE RADIO WAS A WALKIE-TALKIE USED BY
ONE OF HIS BODYGUARDS. AFTER INSTRUCTING TSVANGIRAI TO
WRITE A STATEMENT ACKNOWLEDGING THE PRESENCE OF THE RADIO
IN HIS HOME AND THAT NO LICENSE HAD BEEN OBTAINED FOR IT,
POLICE SAID HE COULD EXPECT A SUMMONS LATER IN THE WEEK TO
APPEAR IN COURT. TSVANGIRAI TOLD JOURNALISTS THAT THE
RADIO BELONGED TO THE MDC AS A PARTY, NOT TO HIM
PERSONALLY. INNOCENT CHAGONDA, TSVANGIRAI'S ATTORNEY, TOLD
US THAT THE POSTAL AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT PROVIDES FOR
A MAXIMUM PENALTY UPON CONVICTION ON THIS CHARGE OF A FINE
OF UP TO 200,000 ZIMBABWEAN DOLLARS (APPROXIMATELY U.S.
$600) AND/OR UP TO TWO YEARS IMPRISONMENT. HE TOLD US IT
IS NOT CLEAR THAT THE ACT APPLIES IN THIS CASE, AS THE
MDC HAD PURCHASED THE RADIO BEFORE THE LAW CAME INTO EFFECT
LAST YEAR. CHAGONDA DISMISSED THE CHARGE AS PURE
HARASSMENT, AND SAID HE HAD NO DOUBT THAT THE GOZ "WILL
COME UP WITH SOMETHING ELSE AGAINST TSVANGIRAI BY JANUARY."



2. (C) THE FILING OF CHARGES FOLLOWED SEVERAL DAYS OF
POLICE HARASSMENT OF TSVANGIRAI. AT 12:30 A.M. ON DECEMBER
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 HARARE 03739 171459Z
13, POLICE, ARMED WITH A SEARCH WARRANT, SEARCHED THE MDC
LEADER'S HOUSE FOR SOMEONE THEY SAID WAS WANTED IN
CONNECTION WITH THE RECENT MURDER OF BULAWAYO WAR VETERAN
LEADER CAIN NKALA. POLICE DID NOT FIND THE ALLEGED
FUGITIVE BUT MUST HAVE SEEN THE BODYGUARD'S WALKIE-TALKIE
SITTING IN ITS CHARGER, PROVIDING THE PERFECT EXCUSE FOR A
RETURN VISIT. AT 5:30 A.M. ON DECEMBER 14, POLICE RETURNED
TO TSVANGIRAI'S HOUSE, THIS TIME TAKING HIM TO HARARE'S
CENTRAL POLICE STATION. THE MDC LEADER WAS ONLY
ASKED TO PRODUCE A LICENSE FOR THE RADIO, BUT WAS RELEASED
AT THAT POINT WITHOUT CHARGE AFTER THREE HOURS.



3. (C) GANDI MUDZINGWA, TSVANGIRAI'S SPECIAL ASSISTANT,
SURMISED THAT THE GOZ IS TRYING TO MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR
TSVANGIRAI TO CAMPAIGN AROUND THE COUNTRY BY KEEPING HIM

SIPDIS
TIED DOWN IN HARARE ON CONTRIVED LEGAL MATTERS. CLIVE
PUZEY, WHO SERVES AS TSVANGIRAI'S INFORMAL INTELLIGENCE
CHIEF, EXPRESSED MORE SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT THE LENGTHS TO
WHICH AN INCREASINGLY DESPERATE GOVERNMENT MIGHT GO. PUZEY
TOLD US HE HAS ARRANGED TO SPIRIT AWAY THE MDC LEADERSHIP
TO SAFEHOUSES AROUND THE COUNTRY SHOULD THE SECURITY
SITUATION DETERIORATE SIGNIFICANTLY. HE ALSO BELIEVES THE
PARTY OUGHT TO EXPLORE A LAST RESORT OPTION OF ESTABLISHING
A GOVERNMENT-IN-EXILE IN EITHER BOTSWANA OR SOUTH AFRICA
AND IS SEEKING TSVANGIRAI'S GO-AHEAD TO FEEL OUT THOSE TWO
GOVERNMENTS ON THIS POSSIBILITY. PUZEY AND OTHERS AROUND
TSVANGIRAI ARE MORE AND MORE CONCERNED THAT AN INCREASINGLY

SIPDIS
DESPERATE MUGABE MIGHT BE DRIVEN TO TAKE HIM OUT OR THAT,
AT THE VERY LEAST, BELLICOSE PRESIDENTIAL RHETORIC MIGHT
ENCOURAGE ZANU-PF SYMPATHIZERS TO MAKE SUCH AN ATTEMPT.

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 HARARE 03739 171459Z
COMMENT


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





4. (C) IT IS LIKELY NO CONCIDENCE THAT THE DETENTION OF
TSVANGIRAI OCCURRED AT THE SAME TIME AS THE ZANU-PF

SIPDIS
CONGRESS IN VICTORIA FALLS, WHERE PRESIDENT MUGABE
OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED HIS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN BY DECLARING
WAR ON THE MDC (SEPTEL). THE TREATMENT OF TSVANGIRAI
CONSTITUTES SIMPLE HARASSMENT OF A LEGITIMATE POLITICAL
LEADER -- THE RADIO POSSESSION CHARGE PROVIDED MERELY A
HANDY PRETEXT -- AND WAS THE LATEST EPISODE IN THE GOZ'S
ONGOING EFFORT TO KEEP THE MDC LEADERSHIP OFF-BALANCE AND
FORCE IT TO SPEND SCARCE RESOURCES ON LEGAL FEES.

SULLIVAN

CONFIDENTIAL

>