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Farmers’ leader complains violence is not being fully reported

The head of the Commercial Farmers Union Tim Henwood complained to the United States embassy that the media was not picking up on numerous and severe beatings of black farm workers by war veterans.

Another white farmer had also been killed as the violence escalated and a large gathering of farmers was expected at his funeral.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE2199, EARLY WEEKEND UPDATE ON ZIMBABWE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE2199

2000-04-22 08:06

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.

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO5166

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02199 221455Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   COR-01   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-01 ACQ-00   CIAE-00

SRPP-00 DS-00   VC-01   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   L-00

AC-01   NEA-00   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   USIE-00 SA-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /009W

——————4EE3E1 221459Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5814

INFO NSC WASHDC

DEPTTREAS WASHDC

SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

WHITE HOUSE WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 002199

 

SIPDIS

 

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (INFO ADDEES)

 

DEPARTMENT FOR AF A/S SUSAN E. RICE, PDAS POWELL,

DAS SCHNEIDMAN, AF/S DIRECTOR RENDER, DESK

OFFICER GURNEY, SA/INS FOR STEVE KRAFT

DEPT ALSO PASS AID

NSC ALSO FOR GAYLE SMITH

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 4/22/10

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: EARLY WEEKEND UPDATE ON ZIMBABWE

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5

(B), (D)

 

1. (C) AS OF THE MORNING OF APRIL 22–ALMOST

HALFWAY THROUGH THE LONG EASTER HOLIDAY WEEKEND –

THE SITUATION IN HARARE IS FAIRLY QUIET, WITH

SOME SIGNS OF LESSENING TENSIONS. HARARE IS FINE

AND ROADS ARE OPEN THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. MOST

NOTABLY, A PEACE MARCH IN DOWNTOWN HARARE ON

APRIL 21, THE GOOD FRIDAY HOLIDAY, WENT OFF

WITHOUT INCIDENT. THE MARCH WAS BILLED AS A

RELIGION-BASED EVENT; ITS FOCUS WAS A PLEA FOR

PEACE. MARCHERS PROCEEDED UNDISRUPTED THROUGH

THE DOWNTOWN AREA TO THE CENTRALLY LOCATED

CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL, WHICH IS NEAR THE PARLIAMENT

BUILDINGS. IT IS A POSITIVE SIGN THAT POPULAR

OPINION CONTINUES TO BE IN FAVOR OF CALMING THE

SITUATION AND THAT THIS OPINION IS NOT BEING

SUPPRESSED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

 

2. (C) IN THE COUNTRYSIDE AS WELL THERE ARE

SOME SIGNS THAT, AT A MINIMUM, THINGS ARE NOT

GETTING WORSE. WHILE A WORRISOME STATUS QUO

PREVAILS–THE FARMS THAT HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED

CONTINUE TO BE SO, THE FARMERS THAT HAVE FLED

THEIR PROPERTIES ARE NOT RETURNING, FARM WORKERS

ARE SUFFERING BEATINGS AND DISLOCATION, AND

PROPERTY DESTRUCTION CONTINUES–WE HAVE HEARD NO

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02199 221455Z

REPORTS OF SERIOUS VIOLENCE.

 

3. (C) ONE MEDIA REPORT EARLY TODAY INDICATED

THE POLICE HAD HELPFULLY INTERVENED AT A FARM

OCCUPATION SITE. COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION HEAD

TIM HENWOOD (PROTECT) TOLD US IN A TELEPHONE

CONVERSATION THIS MORNING THAT THE POLICE HAD

MADE SOME ATTEMPT, BUT IT WAS ONCE AGAIN A CASE

OF TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE. HE EMPHASIZED THAT

MEDIA REPORTS ARE NOT PICKING UP ON THE NUMEROUS

AND SEVERE BEATINGS OF BLACK FARM WORKERS BY THE

SO-CALLED 'WAR VETERANS' THAT ARE CONTINUING.

HENWOOD ALSO SAID THE FUNERAL FOR MARTIN OLDS,

THE SECOND FARMER TO BE KILLED, IS BEING HELD

TODAY. A LARGE GATHERING OF FARMERS IS EXPECTED

FOR THE EVENT. HENWOOD THOUGHT IT WOULD BE

PEACEFUL.

 

4. (C) IT ALSO IS RELATIVELY GOOD NEWS THAT

MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE LEADER MORGAN

TSVANGIRAI HAS RETURNED TO THE COUNTRY, HAS BEEN

 

SIPDIS

IN CONTACT WITH THE MEDIA, AND HAS NOT BEEN

IMPEDED BY THE GOVERNMENT SO FAR. THE EMBASSY

HAS BEEN IN TOUCH WITH SOME OF OUR MDC CONTACTS

AND HAVE HEARD NOTHING FROM THEM INDICATING

UNUSUAL HARASSMENT. AMBASSADOR MCDONALD HAS

ARRANGED A MEETING WITH SENIOR MDC LEADERSHIP,

INCLUDING TSVANGIRAI, WHICH WILL BE HELD ON APRIL

25. TSVANGIRAI AND OTHER LEADERS HAVE BEEN BUSY

WITH THE FUNERALS OF THE RECENTLY SLAIN MDC

MEMBERS, AMONG OTHER THINGS.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02199 221455Z

 

5. (U) SOME ROADBLOCKS WERE EXPECTED TODAY ON THE

ROADS APPROACHING HARARE, BUT WE HAVE NOT SEEN

ANY INDICATION OF AN UNUSUALLY HEAVY POLICE

PRESENCE DOWNTOWN. INDEED, PEDESTRIAN AND

VEHICLE TRAFFIC APPEARS LIGHTER THAN USUAL FOR A

SATURDAY, WITH MANY PEOPLE MAKING THEIR

TRADITIONAL VISITS TO THEIR HOMES IN THE

COUNTRYSIDE OVER THE FOUR DAY WEEKEND.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

@@@OASYS@@@

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO4968

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02199 220802Z

ACTION AF-00

 

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

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

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

P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 SA-00   PMB-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————4EDA10 220802Z /38

R 220806Z APR 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5814

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 002199

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR AF A/S SUSAN E. RICE, PDAS POWELL,

DAS SCHNEIDMAN, AF/S DIRECTOR RENDER, DESK

OFFICER GURNEY, SA/INS FOR STEVE KRAFT

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 4/22/10

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

 

SUBJECT: EARLY WEEKEND UPDATE ON ZIMBABWE

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5

(B), (D)

 

1. (C) AS OF THE MORNING OF APRIL 22–ALMOST

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02199 220802Z

HALFWAY THROUGH THE LONG EASTER HOLIDAY WEEKEND –

THE SITUATION IN HARARE IS FAIRLY QUIET, WITH

SOME SIGNS OF LESSENING TENSIONS. HARARE IS FINE

AND ROADS ARE OPEN THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. MOST

NOTABLY, A PEACE MARCH IN DOWNTOWN HARARE ON

APRIL 21, THE GOOD FRIDAY HOLIDAY, WENT OFF

WITHOUT INCIDENT. THE MARCH WAS BILLED AS A

RELIGION-BASED EVENT; ITS FOCUS WAS A PLEA FOR

PEACE. MARCHERS PROCEEDED UNDISRUPTED THROUGH

THE DOWNTOWN AREA TO THE CENTRALLY LOCATED

CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL, WHICH IS NEAR THE PARLIAMENT

BUILDINGS. IT IS A POSITIVE SIGN THAT POPULAR

OPINION CONTINUES TO BE IN FAVOR OF CALMING THE

SITUATION AND THAT THIS OPINION IS NOT BEING

SUPPRESSED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

 

2. (C) IN THE COUNTRYSIDE AS WELL THERE ARE

SOME SIGNS THAT, AT A MINIMUM, THINGS ARE NOT

GETTING WORSE. WHILE A WORRISOME STATUS QUO

PREVAILS–THE FARMS THAT HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED

CONTINUE TO BE SO, THE FARMERS THAT HAVE FLED

THEIR PROPERTIES ARE NOT RETURNING, FARM WORKERS

ARE SUFFERING BEATINGS AND DISLOCATION, AND

PROPERTY DESTRUCTION CONTINUES–WE HAVE HEARD NO

REPORTS OF SERIOUS VIOLENCE.

 

3. (C) ONE MEDIA REPORT EARLY TODAY INDICATED

THE POLICE HAD HELPFULLY INTERVENED AT A FARM

OCCUPATION SITE. COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION HEAD

TIM HENWOOD (PROTECT) TOLD US IN A TELEPHONE

CONVERSATION THIS MORNING THAT THE POLICE HAD

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02199 220802Z

MADE SOME ATTEMPT, BUT IT WAS ONCE AGAIN A CASE

OF TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE. HE EMPHASIZED THAT

MEDIA REPORTS ARE NOT PICKING UP ON THE NUMEROUS

AND SEVERE BEATINGS OF BLACK FARM WORKERS BY THE

SO-CALLED 'WAR VETERANS' THAT ARE CONTINUING.

HENWOOD ALSO SAID THE FUNERAL FOR MARTIN OLDS,

THE SECOND FARMER TO BE KILLED, IS BEING HELD

TODAY. A LARGE GATHERING OF FARMERS IS EXPECTED

FOR THE EVENT. HENWOOD THOUGHT IT WOULD BE

PEACEFUL.

 

4. (C) IT ALSO IS RELATIVELY GOOD NEWS THAT

MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE LEADER MORGAN

TSVANGIRAI HAS RETURNED TO THE COUNTRY, HAS BEEN

 

SIPDIS

IN CONTACT WITH THE MEDIA, AND HAS NOT BEEN

IMPEDED BY THE GOVERNMENT SO FAR. THE EMBASSY

HAS BEEN IN TOUCH WITH SOME OF OUR MDC CONTACTS

AND HAVE HEARD NOTHING FROM THEM INDICATING

UNUSUAL HARASSMENT. AMBASSADOR MCDONALD HAS

ARRANGED A MEETING WITH SENIOR MDC LEADERSHIP,

INCLUDING TSVANGIRAI, WHICH WILL BE HELD ON APRIL

25. TSVANGIRAI AND OTHER LEADERS HAVE BEEN BUSY

WITH THE FUNERALS OF THE RECENTLY SLAIN MDC

MEMBERS, AMONG OTHER THINGS.

 

5. (U) SOME ROADBLOCKS WERE EXPECTED TODAY ON THE

ROADS APPROACHING HARARE, BUT WE HAVE NOT SEEN

ANY INDICATION OF AN UNUSUALLY HEAVY POLICE

PRESENCE DOWNTOWN. INDEED, PEDESTRIAN AND

VEHICLE TRAFFIC APPEARS LIGHTER THAN USUAL FOR A

SATURDAY, WITH MANY PEOPLE MAKING THEIR

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 02199 220802Z

TRADITIONAL VISITS TO THEIR HOMES IN THE

COUNTRYSIDE OVER THE FOUR DAY WEEKEND.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(31 VIEWS)

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