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Jonathan Moyo said the British government had gone bananas

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo accused the British government of “going bananas” when they refused Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front politburo member Joshua Malinga entry into the UK because of the European Union travel ban on senior ZANU-PF officials.

Moyo said the British government was harassing disabled people who required assistance and warned that perhaps it was time for Zimbabwe to draw up a list of foreign visitors who should be denied entry into Zimbabwe.

Malinga is disabled.

The government threatened to confiscate passports of Movement for Democratic Change leaders because they were lobbying for international sanctions on Zimbabwe.

 

Full cable:

 

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE1806, MUGABE TURNS UP HEAT ON OPPOSITION

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE1806

2002-08-06 13:53

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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001806

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/06/2012

TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: MUGABE TURNS UP HEAT ON OPPOSITION

 

Classified By: Political section chief Matt Harrington. Reasons: 1.5 (

B) and (D).

 

Summary

——–

 

1. (C) The Zimbabwean government has stepped up its

harassment of the MDC leadership, arresting the national

treasurer in the hospital as he recuperated from major eye

surgery, and raiding Morgan Tsvangirai's home in an alleged

search for arms of war and subversive materials. In

addition, the Home Affairs Minister has threatened to

confiscate the passports of opposition party members and

other Zimbabweans he accused of lobbying for the

international imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe. It is

clear from these recent developments that the country's

continuing political crisis and consequent economic implosion

are driving ZANU-PF further into a corner, leading the ruling

party to intensify its internal repression and to lash out at

perceived enemies. End Summary.

 

Dulini-Ncube Arrested

———————–

 

2. (c) On August 3, MDC national treasurer and Member of

Parliament Fletcher Dulini- Ncube was arrested in connection

with the 2001 murder of war veteran Cain Nkala, the latest

chapter of an unfortunate saga. High Court Judge Justice

George Chiweshe ruled on August 1 that the State had

presented sufficient evidence against Dulini-Ncube to warrant

his indictment, and effectively reversed an earlier High

Court decision to grant bail. Plainclothes police officers

wasted little time in arresting Dulini-Ncube at a Bulawayo

hospital where he was recovering from major surgery — the

removal of one of his eyes. The MDC treasurer was kept in a

police cell for six hours before his lawyer was able to

convince the authorities that he required urgent medical

attention. Dulini-Ncube was then allowed to return to the

hospital, where he remains, but police have posted 24- hour

guards in his hospital room. Dulini-Ncube is set to appear in

the Bulawayo Magistrate,s Court on August 6 to be formally

indicted.

 

3. (C) Dulini-Ncube, who is a diabetic in very poor health,

spent several weeks in detention in November 2001, shortly

after the murder. He was denied access to adequate medical

care and his strict diet, which damaged his eyesight. After

significant pressure was brought to bear, including by AF

Assistant Secretary Secretary Kansteiner in a December 2001

meeting with Speaker of Parliament and ZANU-PF Secretary for

Administration Emmerson Mnangagwa, Dulini-Ncube was released

on bail. Since that time, he has dutifully complied with his

bail conditions, including reporting twice a week to the

police station, so Judge Chiweshe's August 1 ruling was

suprising. Josphat Tsuma, Dulini-Ncube's lawyer, told poloff

on August 5 that the police had insisted it was necessary to

keep Dulini-Ncube in custody this time, despite the fact that

he was in a great deal of pain and needed constant medical

monitoring, so that he could be escorted to court for the

formal indictment. The trial has been set for November 11,

and some senior MDC officials have confided to us that they

doubt whether Dulini-Ncube can survive another three months

in prison.

 

4. (C) Comment: Considering that Dulini-Ncube has complied

with his bail conditions for more than nine months and could

in no way be considered a flight risk, the police action

appears heavy handed and purely intimidatory. It is widely

believed that the Nkala murder was committed by rival ZANU-PF

supporters and war veterans, and that the government has

sought to frame the MDC. As far as we are aware, the only

evidence against Dulini-Ncube and the two other defendants

(who are MDC activists) is a confession by the two supposed

murderers, who later recanted, saying their confessions had

been extracted under police torture. Nkala's widow witnessed

his abduction but has not been permitted to recount in public

her version of events nor to identify those responsible. It

is clear that ZANU-PF is not interested in bringing to

justice the real perpetrators, but rather in using the murder

as a convenient opportunity to increase its pressure on a key

MDC leader (one of only a handful who know the details of the

party's funding sources), seriously damaging his health and

draining the financially-strapped party of yet more legal

fees.

 

Tsvangirai's house searched

 

SIPDIS

—————————

 

5. (C) On Sunday, August 4 — the day after Dulini-Ncube's

detention — heavily-armed police, some in riot gear,

searched the home of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. They

first produced a warrant authorizing a search for arms of

war, subversive materials, and illegal immigrants. Not

surprisingly, they found none of the above, but took away

several documents Tsvangirai described as "news items," and

confiscated the pickup truck used by his special advisor,

Gandi Mudzingwa. Tsvangirai criticized the search as

"desperation of the worst kind," and asked "who in his right

senses would keep arms of war, subversive materials or

so-called illegal immigrants in his home?" Mudzingwa

surmised to us that the search might presage an

intensification of harassment against the MDC leadership, and

said the party needed to brace itself.

 

Passports to be Seized

———————-

 

6. (C) When the Politburo's wheelchair-bound deputy

secretary for the handicapped, Joshua Malinga, was barred

 

SIPDIS

entry to the United Kingdom in late July because of the EU

travel ban, ZANU-PF's propaganda machinery kicked into high

gear. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo accused the British

government of "going bananas" and harassing disabled people

who required assistance, and he warned that perhaps it was

time for the GOZ to draw up its own list of foreign visitors

to be denied entry to Zimbabwe (a position that Foreign

Minister Mudenge and other officials have since repudiated).

In more worrisome remarks apparently aimed at the MDC,

Minister for Home Affairs John Nkomo said the GOZ was

contemplating revoking the passports of those Zimbabweans who

had allegedly campaigned abroad for the imposition of

sanctions against Zimbabwe. Having a Zimbabwean passport is

not a right but a privilege, Nkomo insisted. Mudzingwa told

us that his party's leadership had interpreted Nkomo's

comments as a sign that the passports of key leaders would be

confiscated imminently. He noted that the passports of

Tsvangirai, Secretary-General Welshman Ncube, and shadow

 

SIPDIS

agriculture minister Renson Gasela had already been seized

pending their trial on (contrived) treason charges in

November. The likely next targets are Vice-President Gibson

Sibanda and Deputy Secretary-General Gift Chimanikire.

 

 

Comment

——-

 

7. (C) The Mugabe government's gut reaction to Zimbabwe's

continuing political crisis and its disastrous economic

effects is not to seek a reconciliation that mitigates the

damage to their country, but to lash out at those they hold

responsible for their predicament. Mugabe and his inner

circle continue to consider the MDC a major threat to

ZANU-PF's 22-year hold on power, and are gradually tightening

the noose around the necks of the MDC's leaders. Suspension

of travel documents is likely only the latest move in the

GOZ's efforts to emasculate the party that has dared to

challenge Mugabe's perceived right to rule Zimbabwe as long

as he chooses.

 

 

 

 

 

WHITEHEAD

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