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Chiwewe asks US to drop case against Mugabe

The permanent secretary for Foreign Affairs Willard Chiwewe on 3 November 2000 asked United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald to ask his government to stop a civil lawsuit that had been filed against President Robert Mugabe in New York.

He said that the Zimbabwe government was not going to defend itself in the case. It was therefore up to the United States government to live up to its “sovereign responsibility” in this connection.

McDonald declined to comment on the subject but undertook to transmit the text of Chiwewe’s note immediately to the department of state.

Although the cable or Chiwewe’s note did not state what the case was about, it is believed that the cable was referring to a lawsuit that had been filed by Movement for Democratic Change officials or activists who had lost relatives or had been victims of the violence in the run-up to the 2000 parliamentary elections.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 00HARARE6219, SENIOR MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OFFICIAL

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE6219

2000-11-03 14:19

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

 

031419Z Nov 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7856

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06219 01 OF 02 031420Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OMB-01   PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   SS-00   TRSE-00 T-00

USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

/005W

——————9A7912 031421Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7549

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 006219

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/03/2010

TAGS: PREL ZI

SUBJECT: SENIOR MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OFFICIAL

REQUESTS DEPARTMENT’S ASSISTANCE IN SUPPRESSING LAWSUIT

AGAINST PRESIDENT MUGABE

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5

(B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (MFA) PERMANENT

SECRETARY WILLARD CHIWEWE REQUESTED THAT AMBASSADOR

 

SIPDIS

MCDONALD COME TO THE MFA ON NOVEMBER 3 TO RECEIVE THE

TEXT OF A DIPLOMATIC NOTE, WHEREIN THE GOZ ASKS FOR THE

DEPARTMENT’S INTERVENTION TO PREVENT A CIVIL SUIT FILED

AGAINST PRESIDENT MUGABE IN THE UNITED STATES, ON THE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06219 01 OF 02 031420Z

BASIS OF “ALLEGATIONS,” FROM GOING FORWARD. THE

PERMANENT SECRETARY STATED THAT HIS GOVERNMENT HAD TAKEN

NOTE OF THE ABSENCE OF CRITICAL STATEMENTS AGAINST

ZIMBABWE FROM THE USG IN THE LAST SIX MONTHS,

COMPLIMENTED THE ADMINISTRATION FOR MAKING NO PUBLIC

CALLS FOR ENACTMENT OF THE ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY ACT, AND,

WITH RESPECT TO RESOLVING THE CONFLICT IN THE DEMOCRATIC

REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, OBSERVED THE TWO COUNTRIES AGREED

ON 90% OF ALL MATTERS PERTAINING THERETO. IT WAS IN

THIS SPIRIT, THE PERMANENT SECRETARY OBSERVED, THAT HE

HANDED THE NOTE TO THE AMBASSADOR. HE CONTINUED THAT

HIS GOVERNMENT WAS CONFIDENT, BASED ON STATEMENTS MADE

BY DEPARTMENT OF STATE PERSONNEL, THAT THE USG HAD THE

“APPARATUS” TO BLOCK PROSECUTION OF THE SUIT IN THE

FEDERAL OR ANY OTHER COURT. HE STATED CATEGORICALLY,

MAKING “THE FUNDAMENTAL POINT,” THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF

ZIMBABWE WILL NOT DEFEND ITSELF IN THE CASE. HE CLOSED

BY STATING THAT HE HOPED THAT THE USG WOULD LIVE UP TO

ITS “SOVEREIGN RESPONSIBILITY” IN THIS CONNECTION.

 

2. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD RESPONDED THAT HE HAD NOTED

THE PERMANENT SECRETARY’S CONCERNS BUT WAS ENJOINED FROM

MAKING FURTHER SUBSTANTIVE COMMENT, DESPITE HIS OWN

BACKGROUND AS A LAWYER. HE OBSERVED THAT, WHEN THE CASE

FIRST BECAME PUBLIC, THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAD SAID IT

WAS WILLING TO ASSIST THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE IN THE

MATTER. HE UNDERTOOK TO TRANSMIT THE TEXT OF THE NOTE

IMMEDIATELY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.

 

2. (SBU) BEGIN TEXT OF DIPLOMATIC NOTE.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 06219 01 OF 02 031420Z

THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF

ZIMBABWE PRESENTS ITS COMPLIMENTS TO THE EMBASSY OF THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND HAS THE HONOUR TO REQUEST

THAT THE FOLLOWING URGENT COMMUNICATION BE TRANSMITTED

TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

 

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE NOTES WITH

GRAVE CONCERN REPORTS THAT A CIVIL SUIT HAS BEEN FILED

IN A COURT IN THE TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST

THE PRESIDENT AND HEAD OF STATE OF THE REPUBLIC OF

ZIMBABWE, HIS EXCELLENCY MR. ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE, AND

TWO MINISTERS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE HON. I.S.G.

MUDENGE, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND HON. J. MOYO,

MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY BY PLAINTIFFS FROM

ZIMBABWE ALLEGING THAT WRONGS WERE COMMITTED AGAINST

THEM IN THE TERRITORY OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE.

 

THE GOVERNMENT STRONGLY PROTESTS THE ENTERTAINING OF

SUCH A SUIT BY COURTS OF LAW IN THE TERRITORY OF THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS SUCH ACTION CONSTITUTES AN

ATTEMPT BY COURTS IN THE UNITED STATES TO ASSERT EXTRA-

TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION AND AUTHORITY OVER ZIMBABWE.

THE ATTENDANT HARASSMENT OF THE PERSON AND OFFICE OF THE

PRESIDENT AND HEAD OF STATE OF ZIMBABWE, HIS EXCELLENCY

ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE AND OF THE HONOURABLE MINISTERS

ACCOMPANYING HIM DURING AN OFFICIAL VISIT TO NEW YORK TO

ATTEND THE UNITED NATIONS MILLENNIUM (SIC) VIOLATES

INTERNATIONAL NORMS, PRACTICE AND OBLIGATIONS RELATING

TO THE DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY AND THE PROTECTION OF

VISITING HEADS OF SOVEREIGN STATES WHILE IN THE

TERRITORY OF ANOTHER STATE.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 06219 01 OF 02 031420Z

 

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE TAKES A DIM

VIEW OF THE HARASSMENT AND PURPORTED PROSECUTION OF THE

HEAD OF STATE OF ZIMBABWE AND HIS ENTOURAGE ON THE

TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DURING THE UN

MILLENNIUM SUMMIT THIS SEPTEMBER.

 

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE STRONGLY

URGES THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO

FULFIL ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW AND

EFFECTIVELY PROHIBIT THE COURTS OF LAW IN THE UNITED

STATES FROM EXERCISING JURISDICTION OR SERVING ANY

PROCESS OR COMMENCING OR CONDUCTING ANY AUTHORITY, POWER

OR CLAIM AGAINST HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT R.G. MUGABE

AND THE TWO MINISTERS IN HIS ENTOURAGE.

 

THE U.S. COURTS SHOULD BE MADE TO UNDERSTAND AND RESPECT

THE FACT AND PRINCIPLE THAT H.E. PRESIDENT R.G. MUGABE

WAS COVERED FULLY UNDER DIPLOMATIC AND STATE IMMUNITY, A

CARDINAL PRINCIPLE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW TO WHICH THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS A PARTY.

 

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE PROCEEDS UPON

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7857

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 06219 02 OF 02 031420Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01

NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OMB-01   PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00

P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   SS-00   TRSE-00 T-00     USIE-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /005W

——————9A7914 031421Z /38

O 031419Z NOV 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7550

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 006219

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/03/2010

TAGS: PREL ZI

SUBJECT: SENIOR MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OFFICIAL

REQUESTS DEPARTMENT’S ASSISTANCE IN SUPPRESSING LAWSUIT

AGAINST PRESIDENT MUGABE

 

THE CONVICTION THAT IT SHALL NOT DEFEND ITSELF, AND

THEREFORE HOLDS THE U.S. GOVERNMENT TO BE SOLELY

RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY FURTHER EMBARRASSMENT WHICH H.E.

PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE MAY STILL FACE IN THE REGARD.

 

ACCORDINGLY, THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE CALLS UPON THE

GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO UNDERTAKE

THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS:

 

1. INTERVENE TO ENSURE THAT UNITED STATES COURTS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 06219 02 OF 02 031420Z

FORTHWITH CEASE AND DESIST FROM ANY ACTION AGAINST THE

PRESIDENT AND HEAD OF STATE OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE

AND MINISTERS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE.

 

2. ENSURE THAT INCIDENTS AND PROCESSES WHICH INFRINGE

UPON THE INVIOLABILITY AND IMMUNITY OF THE HEAD OF STATE

OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE FROM PROSECUTION OR UNDUE

HARASSMENT BY UNITED STATES COURTS IN THE TERRITORY OF

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BE PREVENTED IN THE FUTURE.

 

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE SEEKS FIRM

ASSURANCES FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF

AMERICA IN BOTH INSTANCES.

 

THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF

ZIMBABWE AVAILS ITSELF OF THIS OPPORTUNITY TO RENEW TO

THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA THE

ASSURANCES OF ITS HIGHEST CONSIDERATION.

 

HARARE

 

NOVEMBER 2000

 

END TEXT.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(28 VIEWS)

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