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Army blackmails voters

The Daily News accused the Zimbabwe Defence Forces of blackmailing voters and said that the statement by army generals that they would not salute anyone without liberation credentials signalled that democracy in Zimbabwe was no longer in the intensive care but was dead.

The Zimbabwe Independent said Defence Forces Chief Vitalis Zvinavashe had conducted a coup against democracy.

“By stating that the armed forces will not ‘support or salute anyone with a different agenda that threatens the very existence of our sovereignty, or country and our people’, Zvinavashe has in effect carried out a coup against the democratic process.”

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 02HARARE136, MEDIA REPORT ARMY STANCE CRITICIZED; HARARE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE136

2002-01-14 11:05

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

141105Z Jan 02

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTO6962

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00136 141243Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   A-00     ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   DODE-00

DS-00   EUR-00   UTED-00 VC-00   TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01

VCE-00   NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 IIP-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /003W

——————57560D 141244Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0719

INFO NSC WASHDC

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS HARARE 000136

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/PD FOR COX, ROBERTSON, SCHLACHTER, AF/S FOR KRAFT, AF/P,

INR/R/MR, NSC FOR FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT ARMY STANCE CRITICIZED; HARARE

 

 

1.   EDITORIALS IN JANUARY 11 EDITIONS OF THE INDEPENDENT

DAILY “THE DAILY NEWS” AND THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY

“ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT,” HAVE CRITICIZED A STATEMENT ISSUED

BY THE ZIMBABWE DEFENSE FORCES ON JANUARY 9 THAT THEY WOULD

NOT ACCEPT A PRESIDENT WITHOUT A CREDIBLE LIBERATION WAR

RECORD. EXCERPTS FOLLOW:

 

2.   UNDER HEADLINE “ARMY IS ATTEMPTING TO BLACKMAIL

VOTERS,” THE “DAILY NEWS” COMMENTS:

 

“. . .MAKE NO MISTAKE, FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY’S BLOOD-

CURDLING DECLARATIONS BY THE ARMY GENERALS, DEMOCRACY

IN THIS COUNTRY IS NO LONGER IN THE INTENSIVE CARE

UNIT. DEMOCRACY IS DEAD. . .WE SHALL POINTEDLY IGNORE

COMMANDER OF THE ZDF, GENERAL VITALIS ZVINAVASHE’S

DECLARATION ABOUT THE COUNTRY’S SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS

BEING PREPARED TO ‘ONLY STAND IN SUPPORT OF THOSE

POLITICAL LEADERS THAT WILL PURSUE ZIMBABWEAN VALUES,

TRADITIONS AND BELIEFS FOR WHICH THOUSANDS OF LIVES

WERE LOST IN PURSUIT OF ZIMBABWE’S HARD-WORN

INDEPENDENCE.’ WE DISMISS THAT WITH THE CONTEMPT IT

DESERVES. . . .”

 

3.   UNDER HEADLINE “ZVINAVASHE CONDUCTS COUP AGAINST

DEMOCRACY,” THE “ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT” COMMENTS:

 

“IN A DISGRACEFUL BETRAYAL OF HIS CONSTITUTIONAL

RESPONSIBILITIES GENERAL VITALIS ZVINAVASHE DECLARED ON

WEDNESDAY THE ARMED FORCES WILL ONLY SUPPORT LEADERS

WHO FOUGHT IN THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE. IN OTHER WORDS

THEY WILL REFUSE TO SUPPORT THE VERDICT OF THE

ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLE IF IT GOES AGAINST PRESIDENT MUGABE

IN THE MARCH (9 AND 10) POLL. BY STATING THAT THE

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00136 141243Z

ARMED FORCES WILL NOT ‘SUPPORT OR SALUTE ANYONE WITH A

DIFFERENT AGENDA THAT THREATENS THE VERY EXISTENCE OF

OUR SOVEREIGNTY, OR COUNTRY AND OUR PEOPLE,’ ZVINAVASHE

HAS IN EFFECT CARRIED OUT A COUP AGAINST THE DEMOCRATIC

PROCESS. . .ZVINAVASHE’S COMMENTS CLEARLY MARK ANOTHER

MILESTONE IN THE COUNTRY’S DESCENT INTO TYRANNY. A

MILITARY COMMAND THAT OPENLY TELLS THE PEOPLE OF

ZIMBABWE THAT IT WILL NOT HONOR THEIR DEMOCRATICALLY-

EXPRESSED WISHES IS ONE THAT IMMEDIATELY FORFEITS THEIR

CONFIDENCE. . .THIS LATEST EXAMPLE OF THE PROSTITUTION

OF STATE POWER WILL BE A LITMUS TEST FOR SADC AND

ZIMBABWE’S FRIENDS ABROAD. THEY MUST NOT CONTINUE TO

INDULGE A REGIME THAT HOLDS THE WILL OF ITS PEOPLE IN

SUCH CONTEMPT IN THE NAME OF A REVOLUTION IT LONG AGO

BETRAYED.”

 

SULLIVAN

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

 

(7 VIEWS)

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