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MDC official said no amnesty for Chihuri

The Movement for Democratic Change planned to offer amnesty to 10 of Zimbabwe’s top military leaders but this was not going to include police chief Augustine Chihuri because he was “hopeless”. Read More

This was disclosed to United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald by businessman Clive Puzey who led an MDC delegation that met McDonald on 10 April 2000.

Puzey said the MDC planned to carry out the negotiations through former army commander Solomon Mujuru who was then in hospital in South Africa where he was being treated for complications arising from HIV/AIDS.

Puzey said he was going to ask South African vice-President Jacob Zuma to approach Mujuru on his behalf because Zuma owed him a favour.

Some of the top military officers that the MDC wanted to include in their amnesty package were Defence Forces Chief Vitalis Zvinavashe, Air Force chief Perrence Shiri, Army boss Constantine Chiwenga, General Mashingaidze and Air Marshal Josiah Tungamirai.

Puzey described Chihuri as “hopeless,” and saw no need to offer him amnesty.

Although the MDC did not believe in granting pre-emptive amnesties, it thought it prudent to extend this olive branch to the “people with the guns” in order to mitigate, if not completely eliminate, the wave of politically-inspired violence.

Puzey told McDonald that the MDC, which was less than six months old at the time, expected to win 90 seats in parliament.

It was not clear whether the amnesty plan was an idea of the MDC or whether it had been suggested to the MDC by the United States embassy.

Full cable:

Viewing cable 00HARARE1970, MDC TO OFFER AMNESTY TO KEY MILITARY FIGURES

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE1970

2000-04-11 16:46

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.

111646Z Apr 00

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO2012

PAGE 01       HARARE 01970 121839Z

ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00   AID-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EB-00   EUR-01

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

NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SS-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 T-00

USIE-00 PMB-00   PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00     /010W

——————4AF219 121839Z /49

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5721

INFO AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY LONDON

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001970

SIPDIS

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/10

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ZI MDC

SUBJECT: MDC TO OFFER AMNESTY TO KEY MILITARY FIGURES

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5

B/D.

1. (C) A SMALL DEPUTATION OF MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC

CHANGE (MDC) MEMBERS LED BY HARARE BUSINESSMAN CLIVE

PUZEY CALLED ON AMBASSADOR MCDONALD APRIL 10 TO INFORM

HIM OF A PLAN TO OFFER AN AMNESTY DEAL TO APPROXIMATELY

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02       HARARE 01970 121839Z

TEN OF ZIMBABWE’S TOP MILITARY LEADERS. THE MDC HAD

IDENTIFIED FORMER ZIMBABWE ARMY CHIEF SOLOMON MUJURU AS

THE INDIVIDUAL WITH WHOM TO NEGOTIATE, AS THEY SAW HIM

AS BEST PLACED TO SELL THE DEAL. PUZEY SAID THAT MUJURU

WAS CURRENTLY HOSPITALIZED IN SOUTH AFRICA, WHERE HE IS

BEING TREATED FOR COMPLICATIONS ARISING FROM HIV/AIDS.

THE ZIMBABWEAN BUSINESSMAN SAID THAT SOUTH AFRICAN VICE

PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA OWED HIM A FAVOR AND HE WOULD CALL

IT IN, ASKING THE FORMER UMKHONTO WE SIZWE OFFICER TO

APPROACH MUJURU AS A MILITARY MAN AND LAY OUT THE DEAL.

2. (C) THE MDC REASONS THAT ALL THE VIOLENCE AND

UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDING THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION

CAMPAIGN IS DUE TO THE FACT THAT CERTAIN TOP MILITARY

LEADERS FEEL INSECURE ABOUT THEIR FATES SHOULD THE MDC

WIN A MAJORITY OF THE VOTES. THESE INDIVIDUALS INCLUDE

CHIEF OF THE DEFENSE FORCES VITALIS ZVINAVASHE, AIR

FORCE CHIEF PERENCE SHIRI, ARMY CHIEF CONSTANTINE

CHIWENGA, GENERAL MASHINGAIDZE AND AIR MARSHAL JOSIAH

TUNGAMIRAYI. PUZEY DESCRIBED POLICE COMMISSIONER

AUGUSTINE CHIHURI AS “HOPELESS,” AND SAW NO NEED TO

OFFER HIM AMNESTY. ALTHOUGH THE MDC DID NOT BELIEVE IN

GRANTING PRE-EMPTIVE AMNESTIES, IT THOUGHT IT PRUDENT TO

EXTEND THIS OLIVE BRANCH TO THE “PEOPLE WITH THE GUNS”

IN ORDER TO MITIGATE, IF NOT COMPLETELY ELIMINATE, THE

CURRENT WAVE OF POLITICALLY-INSPIRED VIOLENCE.

3. (C) PUZEY TOLD AMBASSADOR MCDONALD THAT THE MDC

EXPECTED TO WIN 90 SEATS IN PARLIAMENT AND NEEDED

IMPARTIAL MONITORS TO BEGIN TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD.

HE NOTED THAT INTIMIDATION WAS VERY POWERFUL AND THAT

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03       HARARE 01970 121839Z

THE ELECTION ALMOST CERTAINLY WOULD BE RIGGED. WHILE 99

PERCENT OF THE MDC’S MEMBERSHIP ACCEPTED THE PRINCIPLE

OF LAW AND ORDER, THE PARTY LEADERSHIP WAS HAVING

DIFFICULTY KEEPING THE LID ON THE FORMER’S ANGER. THE

MDC ALSO WORRIED ABOUT THE PERSONAL SECURITY OF ITS

LEADER, MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, AND MONITORED NERVOUSLY THE

MOVEMENTS OF ANTHONY WHITE, A FORMER SELOUS SCOUT TURNED

HIT MAN TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, CURRENTLY RESIDING IN

BEIRA, MOZAMBIQUE. THE PARTY THOUGHT THAT IT WAS BEST

FOR TSVANGIRAI TO LEAVE ZIMBABWE FOR A TIME, AND WOULD

BE SENDING HIM TO ENGLAND AND THE UNITED STATES ON A

PUBLIC RELATIONS AND FUND RAISING TRIP. PUZEY TOLD THE

AMBASSADOR THAT TSVANGIRAI WOULD TAKE THE MESSAGE TO ALL

WITH WHOM HE MET THAT THE MDC WAS COMMITTED TO TAKING

THE MORAL HIGH ROAD AND PLAYING THE GAME AS CLEANLY AS

POSSIBLE.

4. (C) COMMENT: WHILE AN EXCITABLE CHARACTER, PUZEY HAS

REPORTED RELIABLY ON MDC PLANS AND THINKING. WE THINK

THAT THE AMNESTY OFFER IS ON THE MONEY, AND IS A

SUGGESTION THAT WE OURSELVES MIGHT HAVE MADE TO THE MDC.

WE HOPE THE OFFER IS ACCEPTABLE TO THE INTERMEDIARY, AND

THAT HE IN TURN IS A SUCCESSFUL SALESMAN. PUZEY’S

PREDICTION OF A MDC SUPER MAJORITY IN PARLIAMENT STRIKES

US AS EXCESSIVELY SANGUINE, BUT THESE ARE UNPRECEDENTED

TIMES AND WE HESITATE TO RULE OUT SUCH A POSSIBILITY.

END COMMENT.

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04       HARARE 01970 121839Z

CONFIDENTIAL

>

(26 VIEWS)

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