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Commission said MDC had been infiltrated by CIO

An independent commission established by the anti-Senate faction of the Movement for Democratic Change to look into the assault of pro-Senate member Trudy Stevenson said the attack had probably been carried out by members of the Central Intelligence Organisation as both factions had been infiltrated by the CIO.

The report, which The Insider could not get hold of, reportedly named two individuals within the MDC hierarchy in Mabvuku that it believed were CIO agents.

The report said the infiltrators used members of the MDC or their own people pretending to be MDC members to perpetrate the attack in an effort to cause instability and further friction between the two opposition groupings.

The anti-Senate faction questioned the independence of the commission and rejected its report for allegedly attacking party leader Morgan Tsvangirai to score political points.

Party secretary general Tendai Biti was, however, disappointed that Tsvangirai was not addressing the party’s deficiencies, especially its failure to deal with violence and its porous security structures.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 06HARARE1216, COMMISSION HIGHLIGHTS CIO INVOLVEMENT IN STEVENSON

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

06HARARE1216

2006-10-03 12:44

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001216

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/03/2016

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: COMMISSION HIGHLIGHTS CIO INVOLVEMENT IN STEVENSON

ATTACK

 

REF: REFTEL: HARARE 1164

 

Classified By: Classified By: Ambassador Christopher W. Dell under Sect

ion 1.4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) The commission of inquiry report on the Trudy

Stevenson attack concludes that the GOZ’s Central

Intelligence Organization (CIO) security apparatus was most

likely responsible for the assault. The report notes that

the MDC’s internal failings and divisions have made both its

pro- and anti-Senate factions susceptible to CIO

infiltration. The report credits Morgan Tsvangirai and the

other anti-Senate leadership for having established the

commission and for their public commitment to non-violence.

However, it faults them for failing to follow through on the

recommendations of previous commissions, especially with

regard to disciplining violent party members. End Summary.

 

—————

CIO Involvement

—————

 

2. (U) As reported earlier (reftel), the independent

commission established by the anti-Senate MDC faction

concluded that the CIO was most likely behind the attack on

pro-Senate MDC MP Stevenson and her colleagues. The

commission,s report is now public and it states that &all

evidence points to the involvement of the Central

Intelligence Organization in the attack on Mrs. Stevenson.8

The report claims both sides of the internally divided

anti-Senate faction in Mabvuku, along with the pro-Senate

faction, had been infiltrated by the CIO. It names two

individuals within the MDC hierarchy in Mabvuku that it

believes are CIO agents.

 

3. (U) The report goes on to claim that the infiltrators in

all three groups were &working together and coordinating

their activities8 prior to the attack. The infiltrators

&used members of the MDC or their own people pretending to

be MDC members to perpetrate the attack in an effort (which

has appeared successful) to cause instability and further

friction between the two opposition groupings.8 The

commission cites the failure of the police to launch a proper

investigation and the deliberate distortion of the details of

the attack by the government press as further evidence of

official involvement.

 

—————————————

MDC Role and Commission Recommendations

—————————————

 

4. (U) The report faults the MDC,s internal divisions for

allowing the infiltration to occur. The report says that the

anti-Senate faction provincial and district organizations are

also divided, compounding the leadership split in the MDC

that occurred last year. The commission concluded that this

factionalism created openings for the CIO and police to

infiltrate the party, create divisions, and influence its

actions. The commission recommended that to prevent

infiltration and manipulation by the government the MDC

retool its security apparatus and handle with caution

contacts with supposedly sympathetic government officials.

The commission, however, noted that similar recommendations

had been made in the past but that the leadership had failed

to act.

 

 

HARARE 00001216 002 OF 003

 

 

5. (U) Moreover, although the commission gives Tsvangirai

and the other anti-Senate faction leaders credit for setting

up the inquiry and for allowing it to operate without

interference, it faults them and their pro-Senate colleagues

for allowing a culture of violence and impunity to emerge in

both factions of the MDC. While finding that MDC leaders had

consistently warned against engaging in political violence,

the commission nonetheless reported that the leadership has

failed to take concrete actions: “Public acknowledgment is

not sufficient…perpetrators must be punished.” The

commission noted that the party’s reluctance to discipline

members found to have used violence in the past weakened the

impact of its admonitions condemning violence.

 

——–

Reaction

——–

 

6. (SBU) As reported earlier, the pro-Senate faction,s

reaction has been disappointing, rejecting the commission,s

independence as well as report in their determined to use the

attack to score political points of Tsvangirai. The

government reaction has been much the same, though with the

added twist of deliberately distorting the report to buttress

their claim that the MDC is a violent party.

 

7. (SBU) For his part, Tsvangirai has also failed to make

proper use of the report. In a briefing to the press and

diplomatic community before the release of the report

(reftel), Tsvangirai noted that the report did not implicate

him personally in the Stevenson attack, but failed to address

the report,s allegation that the MDC has continued to

tolerate a culture of violence and did not discuss CIO

infiltration of his party.

 

8. (C) Anti-Senate MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti on

September 26 told polchief that he was disappointed that

Tsvangirai, in his briefing, did not directly address the

 

SIPDIS

MDC,s deficiencies, specifically its failure to deal with

violence and its porous security structure. Biti said he

hoped the MDC executive committee, at its next meeting, would

direct Tsvangirai to publicly do so. He was also critical of

the MDC MP for Mabvuku, Timothy Mubawu, whom he believed

created the conditions for the attack by seeking to prevent

Stevenson and her party from organizing in his constituency.

Biti theorized that Mubawu,s intent was to harass Stevenson

but that the CIO infiltrators had used the opening he gave

them to physically attack her in order to embarrass the

anti-Senate MDC

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

9. (C) The incompetence of the police, which may have been

deliberate, had largely taken the steam out of the

investigation and prosecution of the attack on Stevenson even

before the report,s release. Moreover, as the report makes

clear, it seems likely that the real perpetrators of the

attack will never be identified. That is unfortunate but

predictable. The government,s interest in the case has all

along been to use it to smear Tsvangirai and to drive a

deeper wedge between the two MDC factions. Although they

have arguably achieved both goals, Tsvangirai,s decision to

create the commission and to let it operate independently has

gone a long way to limit the damage. So too has Stevenson,s

principled stand asserting CIO involvement against the wishes

of her faction,s leadership. In the end, the attack was

likely just one more regrettable incident of political

violence by a government whose president publicly endorses

 

HARARE 00001216 003 OF 003

 

 

police brutality, while cynically accusing others of violence.

DELL

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