Journalist arrested in demo


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So-called journalist Andrisson Manyere was arrested together with two other people during a demonstration by members of the Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise.

The demonstrators had marched to the Ministry of Education to hand over their report entitled: Looking Back to Look Forward, which had as list of recommendations and demands that parents wanted addressed by Education Minister David Coltart.

Though reportedly accredited no one had ever heard of the media organisation that Manyere worked or freelanced for.

Manyere was among the Movement for Democratic Change activists abducted and tortured by security agents in 2008.

Manyere allegedly had USD$4 500 on him when he was abducted.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 10HARARE46, ZIM NOTES 01-25-2010

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

10HARARE46

2010-01-26 06:26

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO7672

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0046/01 0260626

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 260626Z JAN 10

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5336

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3275

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3386

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1809

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2643

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 3013

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 0074

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0076

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2545

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000046

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR L.DOBBINS AND J. HARMON

COMMERCE FOR ROBERT TELCHIN

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O.12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ECON ZI

SUBJECT: ZIM NOTES 01-25-2010

 

———–

1. SUMMARY

———–

 

Official Constitutional Outreach Suspended…

… While ZANU-PF Launches Its Own Menacing Campaign…

WOZA Protest Disrupted, Three Arrested…

Journalist Flees After Death Threats from Cop…

Wheels of Justice Too Slow for Bennett…

 

Religious Group Faces Arrest Over Measles Immunization…

Abductees Rearrested, Released…

Dry Spell Threatens 2010 Harvest…

Millers Push for GMO Grain Imports…

Government Revenue Falters…

Companies Urged to Improve Competitiveness…

 

———————————

On the Political and Social Front

———————————-

 

2. The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on the constitution

suspended the outreach phase of the constitutional review process

citing disagreements over lack of funding and rapporteurs who should

collect and collate public views. This month the teams were expected

to begin their outreach efforts. The PSC is waiting for

UNDP-promised funding for public outreach that will include per

diems, fuel, and stipends for MPs as they canvass the country. The

PSC pledged to resolve the emerging disagreements over rapporteurs.

This appears to be a bump in the road; those involved believe the

process will soon resume.

 

3. We’ve received several reports this week of soldiers, war

veterans, and ZANU-PF officials calling rallies in villages in

Manicaland and in the Mashonaland provinces where villagers and farm

owners are told that they must vote for the Kariba draft or face

renewed violence or loss of property; headmen have been told to get

their constituents to vote for Kariba “or else.” One MDC councilor

told the press,” We’re telling our supporters not to attend any of

these meetings. They shouldn’t be afraid because if it means dying

we all die together.”

 

4. Members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) marched to the

Ministry of Education in Harare on Monday to hand over their report

on the education system in Zimbabwe entitled Looking Back to Look

Forward. The report covers recommendations and a list of demands

that parents want addressed by the Minister of Education, Senator

David Coltart. Police interrupted the peaceful demonstration,

arresting three people, a woman and two men. One of the men,

Andrisson Manyere, is an accredited journalist who was previously

abducted and tortured by security agents in 2008; he was released

later that day without charge. One woman was held in jail for two

nights while police refused to assign an officer to her case.

 

5. Journalist Stanley Kwenda fled to South Africa this week after

he was reportedly threatened with death by senior police officer

Chief Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge. Kwenda published a story

last week describing the suicide of Makedenge’s wife who reportedly

killed herself after suffering years of abuse and threats by her

violent husband. Makedenge is feared among activists in Zimbabwe as

he was involved in the 2008 abductions and torture of over a dozen

Qhe was involved in the 2008 abductions and torture of over a dozen

MDC and human rights activists.

 

6. On January 21 the Roy Bennett trial was again postponed to

January 25 owing to indisposition of one of the two assessors who

presides over the trial with Judge Chinembiri Bhunu. Judge Bhunu was

expected to rule on whether the prosecution’s key witness, Michael

Peter Hitschmann, should be impeached and therefore liable to be

cross examined by the prosecution. Bennett’s lawyer, Beatrice

Mtetwa, told us that the pace of the trial was too slow and remarked

 

HARARE 00000046 002 OF 003

 

 

that the adjournments were invariably longer than the court

sittings.

 

7. Members of loosely-affiliated religious groups known as

apostolic sects face arrests over their refusal on religious grounds

to immunize their children against measles. On January 22, The

Herald reported that in the last three months 51 children have died

of measles because their apostolic parents refused to immunize them.

Now the government has threatened to arrest those apostolics who

refuse to immunize their children. Last year many apostolics

succumbed to cholera after refusing to seek medical treatment.

 

8. Two MDC Councilors in Banket were arrested on Monday and

released without charge the same day. Concilia Chinanzavana and

Fanny Tembo were reportedly accused of kidnapping a ZANU-PF

councilor during the 2008 elections. Both were kidnapped in late

October 2008 and held by security agents and tortured for two months

before appearing in Harare police custody in December 2008 and

January 2009. MDC and human rights activists believe the arrests are

meant to continue to intimidate them and MDC supporters in the

area.

 

 

———————————–

On the Economic and Business Front

———————————-

 

9. A month-long dry spell in most parts of the country is

threatening agricultural production this year. The Zimbabwe Farmer’s

Union, which represents most small-scale farmers, says that its

members have lost around 60 percent of their crops. As a result,

Zimbabwe is facing potential massive food shortages this year with

food crops already wilting in many parts of the country. Tobacco

farmers have also been forced to reap their crop before maturity,

thereby accepting poor yields rather than waiting and writing the

crop off completely. More detailed crop assessments will be

available in a few weeks. For now, experts tell us the 2010 maize

harvest will be no better than 2009 and potentially somewhat lower.

 

 

10. The Grain Millers’ Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has advised

government to lift an import ban on genetically modified grain in

view of the looming drought-induced shortage. The chairman of GMAZ,

who criticized a skewed government policy on GMOs that allows

imported maize meal in the country but bars grain, wants the policy

harmonized.

 

11. According to a report in the Financial Gazette, government

revenue in December was US$20 million below target, casting doubt on

the GOZ’s US$1.4 billion revenue projection for 2010, especially in

view of tax cuts in the 2010 Budget. The government proposes to

reduce corporate tax from 30 percent to 25 percent, cut individual

tax from 40 percent to 35 percent, and increase the list of imported

products on zero-rated duty. These tax concessions will certainly

result in a fall in revenue unless there is substantial economic

growth.

 

12. At a workshop organized to consider export opportunities under

the Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union and

Qthe Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union and

COMESA trade protocols, the vice president of the Confederation of

Zimbabwe Industries urged firms to improve competitiveness ahead of

the 2013 deadline when 45 percent of goods from the EU will enter

Zimbabwe duty-free. While acknowledging that local industry operated

under very harsh conditions in the past that made it difficult to be

efficient, he urged companies to increase efficiencies by cutting

costs and improving product quality.

 

—————–

Quote of the Week

—————–

 

HARARE 00000046 003 OF 003

 

 

 

13. “ZANU-PF wants to take the country back to 2008. Their reason

is that they are clear in their minds that any process that may lead

to elections is against them because they cannot win any election in

the foreseeable future. They will scuttle the constitution, delay or

totally derail the talks, block the land audit while physically

bringing back violence out in the countryside.” — Unnamed Senior

MDC Official, speaking to The Zimbabwe Independent, January 22,

2010.

 

RAY

 

(7 VIEWS)

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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