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Kasukuwere rumoured to be leader of hit squad

The director of the Counselling Services Unit, Frances Lovemore, said Deputy Youth Minister Saviour Kasukuwere was rumoured to be the principal organiser of a hit squad that abducted and assaulted activists from the Movement for Democratic Change.

Lovemore said Kasukuwere was a Central Intelligence Organization operative before his meteoric rise within the ruling ZANU-PF party that eventually saw him become an MP and deputy minister.

Kasukuwere was the MP who reportedly paid for the burial of Gift Tandare’s body in Mt. Darwin after it was seized from the deceased’s family.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 07HARARE254, POLICE RAID MDC HQ, BRIEFLY DETAIN TSVANGIRAI

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE254

2007-03-28 16:43

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO8010

PP RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0254/01 0871643

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 281643Z MAR 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1303

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1544

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1402

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1548

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0217

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0811

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1174

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1603

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4007

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1373

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2031

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0673

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC//DHO-7//

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1765

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK//DOOC/ECMO/CC/DAO/DOB/DOI//

RUEPGBA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ23-CH/ECJ5M//

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000254

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

USAID FOR M. COPSON AND E. LOKEN

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/28/2017

TAGS: PHUM PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: POLICE RAID MDC HQ, BRIEFLY DETAIN TSVANGIRAI

 

REF: HARARE 00246 AND PREVIOUS

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell under Section 1.5 b/d

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) Scores of riot police cordoned off several blocks

around MDC headquarters in downtown Harare on March 28 and

invaded MDC offices. The police actions came just before MDC

President Morgan Tsvangirai was to hold a press conference to

address the abductions of several MDC leaders in the

preceding 24 hours. Police seized computers and files and

arrested numerous MDC officials and staffers. Tsvangirai was

detained for several hours at MDC headquarters before being

released unharmed. One of the MDC leaders abducted was badly

beaten and is now in hospital. The whereabouts of two others

remain unknown. An MDC MP and his wife were assaulted in

their home, but managed to escape their assailants. End

Summary.

——————————————

Police Raid MDC Offices, Detain Tsvangirai

——————————————

 

2. (SBU) A day after Morgan Tsvangirai delivered a defiant

call for the ouster of President Mugabe at the memorial

service for the opposition activist killed by police on March

11 (reftel), scores of riot police cordoned off several

blocks around the MDC headquarters in downtown Harare.

Police then entered the building and ransacked MDC offices

just before Tsvangirai was to hold a press conference to

address the abductions of several opposition leaders.

 

3. (SBU) According to MDC sources, police knocked down doors,

seized computers and files, and arrested a number of MDC

officials and staffers. Police detained Tsvangirai during

the raid, but released him before taking others to the police

station. According to our sources, police were interrogating

the detainees about information contained in computers and

files. Some of the detainees were released when police

determined they were not associated with the seized

materials. Lawyers have been denied access to the detainees.

 

—————————————–

Lawyers Served Notice to Back off or Else

—————————————–

 

4. (C) According to the MDC,s lawyers, when they attempted

to enter MDC offices to represent their clients, police

threatened to arrest them. One of the lawyers, Zimbabwe

Lawyers for Human Rights lawyer Otto Saki told us that he and

others had been receiving threatening phne calls throughout

the day. Saki said the lawyrs said they still had not been

granted access to those detained as of nightfall in Harare.

He andhis colleagues have petitioned the High Court for n

order to grant them access and/or to release the detainees.

 

——————————————-

Abductions and Assaults Aimed to Intimidate

——————————————-

 

5. (SBU) Tsvangirai,s press conference was to have brought

attention to a recent series of abductions and beatings of

MDC officials. Last Maengahama, a member of the MDC national

 

HARARE 00000254 002 OF 002

 

 

executive, was abducted at gun point from a shopping center

by unknown assailants shortly after the memorial service for

Gift Tandare on March 27 (reftel). At the service, he had

led mourners in a song at the request of Tsvangirai. He was

found that same night badly beaten in a village about 80 KMs

outside of Harare and taken to a nearby hospital. Maengahama

was later transferred to a hospital in Harare.

 

6. (C) Maengahama told us on March 28 that he was

blind-folded and beaten by several people. He said they

repeatedly asked him questions about the opposition’s plans

and the names of its organizers. Maengahama added that at

one point he felt something like a needle prick. He then

began to convulse and his assailants fled.

 

7. (SBU) According to the MDC, unknown assailants also took

Ian Makoni, an advisor to Tsvangirai, and his wife, Theresa,

an MDC provincial official, from their home on the night of

March 27. There whereabouts are unknown. Also on March 27,

Edward Chisvuvure, MDC MP for Budiriro, and his wife, were

assaulted in their home. Their assailants accused them of

being involved in recent petrol bombings. The Chisvuvures

managed to escape.

 

8. (C) Frances Lovemore, director of Counseling Services Unit

(CSU), told us that the abductions and assaults were most

likely carried out by a “hit squad” of ZANU-PF thugs. She

said that Saviour Kasukuwere, Deputy Youth Development

Minister and MP for Mt. Darwin, was rumored to be the

principal organizer of the hit squad. Kasukuwere was a

Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) operative before a

meteoric rise within the ruling ZANU-PF party that eventually

saw him become an MP and deputy minister. Also, Kasukuwere

was the MP who reportedly paid for the burial of Tandare’s

body in Mt. Darwin after it was seized from the deceased’s

family (reftel).

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

9. (C) The raid on MDC headquarters appears to have had a

two-fold purpose: to prevent a press conference exposing the

GOZ-sponsored abductions and to either find evidence of MDC

participation in recent violence, or, more likely, to plant

evidence of such involvement. However, we would argue that

the GOZ has once again shot itself in the foot. After a lull

in press attention, the government,s proclivity for brutal

violence is again in the news ) and on the eve of the SADC

Extraordinary Summit. End Comment.

SCHULTZ

(89 VIEWS)

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