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Chinotimba collected “tax” from people of Buhera South

War veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba who lost the Buhera South elections in March to Movement for Democratic Change candidate Naison Nemadziwa was reportedly collecting a “tax” of beef or cows from villagers in the area because they had “cheated him” so he needed to recoup what he lost in the election.

Chinotimba was masterminding the post-elections violence in the area and was being helped by a Colonel Mzilikazi.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE712, ZANU-PF INTIMIDATION (STILL) CONTINUES IN RURAL

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE712

2008-08-21 15:17

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO5857

OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0712/01 2341517

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 211517Z AUG 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3322

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2221

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2342

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0872

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1619

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1975

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2396

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4828

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1491

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000712

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR G. GARLAND

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

DCHA/AA FOR MIKE HESS

AFR/AA FOR KATE ALMQUIST AND FRANKLIN MOORE

AFR/SA FOR ELOKEN, LDOBBINS, JKOLE

DCHA/OFDA FOR KLUU, ACONVERY, TDENYSENKO, LTHOMAS

DCHA/FFP FOR JBORNS, JDWORKEN, LPETERSON, ASINK

PRETORIA FOR HHALE, JWESSEL, GJUSTE

STATE/PRM FOR MMCKELVEY, MLANGE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/21/2018

TAGS: PHUM KDEM PGOV ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: ZANU-PF INTIMIDATION (STILL) CONTINUES IN RURAL

AREAS

 

REF: HARARE 652

 

Classified By: Ambassador James McGee for reason 1.4(d).

 

——

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) Despite a commitment – on paper – by ZANU-PF to

halt violence, reports of violence and intimidation in rural

areas continue. While there has been a notable reduction in

beatings and injuries since the June 27 election and a

further reduction since the signing of the Memorandum of

Understanding on July 21 that launched political negotiations

(reftel), fear and intimidation continue. Notably, food is

used increasingly as a political tool as the ban on

non-governmental organizations and food distribution programs

continue. Perpetrators of violence continue to enjoy

impunity, and some fear that even if a political agreement is

reached, they will not accept it and will renew the campaign

of violence. END SUMMARY.

 

————————————

MDC offices still sheltering victims

————————————

 

2. (C) Despite calls for a halt to political violence,

reports from rural areas – particularly Manicaland and the

Mashonaland provinces – indicate ZANU-PF structures continue

to intimidate MDC supporters. David Chimhini, MDC MP-elect

for Mutasa North in Manicaland, told poloff on August 19 that

that the MDC’s regional office in Mutare continues to house

about 20 people. The 20 victims went to Mutare either

fleeing violence or immediately following discharge from the

hospital after being beaten, and they continue to fear

returning home. The MDC in Mutare does not have anywhere

else to house them and does not know where to send them. In

a separate meeting with MDC National Youth Organizing

Secretary, Simangaliso Chikataya Mutsigwa, on August 20,

Mutsigwa told poloff that at least 7 people who were

victimized last week in Shamva in Mashonaland Central are

currently at MDC’s headquarters seeking shelter. The victims

from Shamva – one of the areas most affected by violence in

the runup to the June 27 election – were intimidated just

after returning home from Harare, where they’d sought

sanctuary after being intimidated in the post-election

violence. In this latest attack, the ZANU-PF thugs told them

the violence “wasn’t over yet.”

 

——————-

Manicaland violence

——————-

 

3. (C) Chimhini reported violence in Manicaland is most

prevalent in the Nyanga North and Buhera South

constituencies. He said notorious war veteran Joseph

Chinotimba was leading a campaign of intimidation in Buhera

South, where he recently lost his election for parliament.

Colonel Mzilikazi is helping Chinotimba as well. Chinotimba,

who played a leading role in the land invasions in 2001, has

been collecting a “tax” of beef or cows from villagers in

recent weeks. Chimhini reported that Chinotimba tells the

villagers that the people “cheated him” and that he needs to

collect from them to recoup what he lost in the election.

 

HARARE 00000712 002 OF 003

 

 

Press reports indicate Chinotimba has been ordering village

headmen to pressure returning MDC members and that he has

ordered them to ignore the ongoing negotiations and calls to

end the violence. While Chimhini could not confirm that

report, he said it was likely true.

 

4. (C) In Nyanga North, Chimhini said that intimidation had

followed a similar pattern and that the campaign was being

led by Colonel Kuhuri and a war veteran known as Mashaya. In

these areas and elsewhere in Manicaland, villagers have been

told that losing (ZANU-PF) MPs and councilors are still in

office, even if they lost in the March 29 election. In many

areas, MDC councilors who won in March have still not been

sworn in. In some cases, the Ministry of Local Government,

which has power to appoint “Special Interest Councilors”, has

appointed losing ZANU-PF councilors, ensuring that ZANU-PF

can continue to monitor and manipulate local government.

 

——————————————— ———–

Food as a political tool in Mashonaland East and Central

——————————————— ———–

 

5. (C) Mutsigwa, from Mashonaland East, and Philip Mabika,

MDC Vice Treasurer for Mashonaland Central, called on poloff

on August 20 and reported that there are still pockets of

violence, but that mostly villagers are being intimidated and

robbed of food, which is being increasingly politicized. In

Zarabani, in Mashonaland Central, MDC members were beaten

within the last two weeks. In Mashonaland East, Mutsigwa

reported the areas of Wedza, Mudzi, and Chikomba were

experiencing acute food shortages, and war vets, ZANU-PF

youth, and soldiers were using the shortage and limited

stocks of food from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to bribe

people to change political affiliations. Mutsigwa’s father,

a councilor in Wedza South, has been unable to hold meetings

due to continued ZANU-PF interference. Although he was sworn

into his position, ZANU-PF thugs have forbidden him to hold

meetings because they do not recognize him as councilor.

Mutsigwa and Mubika report that while the torture camps have

been dismantled, the intimidation continues and that people

continue to be forced to attend ZANU-PF rallies and must show

their ZANU-PF cards to receive food aid. Mabika further

reported that the ZANU-PF MP for Mt. Darwin South, Saviour

Kasukwere, forced constituents to “donate” food when they

attended his recent rallies.

 

6. (C) Mutsigwa and Mabika said that food distribution

mechanisms, even through churches, are highly politicized at

the local level. In many areas the Catholic church has a

ZANU-PF member who works with the village chief to identify

those who should receive food aid. The result is that the

MDC members are not receiving food aid. While they

appreciated that food aid should be distributed through a

neutral party, the on-the-ground reality is that ZANU-PF

structures have control.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

7. (C) This pattern of intimidation, violence, and

manipulation of food aid is a hallmark of ZANU-PF’s political

agenda to subjugate rural populations. The intimidation

appears to be localized and dependent on the individual whim

 

HARARE 00000712 003 OF 003

 

 

of the local ZANU-PF structures, and it continues to be worst

in the northern and eastern provinces. Despite political

agreement to halt the violence, ZANU-PF continues to be

unable or unwilling to actually stop it. In addition, while

MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai has called some attention to

the humanitarian crisis and violence in recent days, the MDC

has not made significant efforts to publicize these ongoing

violations of the Memorandum of Understanding by ZANU-PF.

While mid-level MDC officials may be outraged by the

continued state of affairs in rural areas, it is not clear

that anger has made it to the top or to the negotiating

table. END COMMENT.

MCGEE

(13 VIEWS)

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