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Mugabe moots fighting West in international courts

President Robert Mugabe said one day African leaders should take Western countries to international courts for wanting to dictate the way their politics should go and talking about regime change.

Addressing mourners at Heroes Acre, Mugabe said: “The countries of Europe and America want to dictate which way our politics should go and they talk about regime change. They want us to go down on our knees and beg. One day we should think about fighting them in the international courts”.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE888, ZIM NOTES 11-09-2009

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

09HARARE888

2009-11-09 07:32

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5121

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3162

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3274

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1701

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2535

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2904

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3322

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5770

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2454

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 000888

 

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 11-09-2009

 

———–

1. SUMMARY

———–

 

Topics of the week:

 

SADC Summit-MDC to Reengage…

Warthogs Delay Ambassador’s Arrival…

…And May Have Prevented Abduction of Labor Leader…

Nkomo Nominated for VP Slot…

Zim Can Still Export Diamonds, With Greater Oversight…

Another Human Rights Lawyer Arrested…

Prisons Conditions Remain Dire…

RBZ Deputy Governor’s Thugs Shoot Farm Workers…

MDC Official Appears in Jail after Abduction and Torture…

All Quiet on the Banking Front…

Time for Another Indigenization Scare…

Salary and Wagepge^Qk Cabinet. The Organ directed the parties to resolve

outstanding issues, as contained in the Global Political Agreement

and SADC Communiqu of January 27, within 30 days. The Organ also

called for the lifting of all international sanctions. South

Africa, represented by President Jacob Zuma who will travel to

Harare next week, will facilitate the inter-party dialogue between

ZANU-PF, MDC-T, and MDC-M. See Harare 885

 

3. Warthogs Delay Ambassador’s Arrival… This week we are

thrilled to welcome Ambassador Charles A. Ray to Post. He arrived

on November 4 after his November 3 arrival was delayed because of a

bizarre accident hours earlier. On takeoff to Bulawayo on the

afternoon of November 3, an Air Zimbabwe flight struck a group of

about five warthogs and veered off the runway, destroying some of

the runway lights. Passengers on the Air Zim flight were stuck in

the plane for about two hours; security authorities forced

passengers to surrender any photographic evidence of the crash

before they were allowed to leave. All night flights on November 3,

including Ambassador Ray’s South African Airways flight from

Johannesburg, were cancelled. The government did not comment on the

warthogs’ fate.

 

4. …And May Have Prevented Abduction of Labor Leader… The

Secretary General of the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers

Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), Gertrude Hambira, was also scheduled to

arrive in Harare on the cancelled November 3 flight. That night, a

team of armed men in masks broke into her home, put a gun to her

husband’s head, and demanded to know where she was. They

force-marched him through the house to look for her. When they

discovered she was not there, they ransacked the home, stole photo

albums and US$100 and left. Hambira is now in hiding and other

civil society leaders fear this may mean a new round of abductions

similar to Jestina Mukoko’s abduction and torture in December 2008.

 

5. Nkomo Nominated for VP Slot… The Herald is reporting that

Q5. Nkomo Nominated for VP Slot… The Herald is reporting that

former PF-ZAPU members who sit in ZANU-PF’s Central Committee met on

Thursday and nominated National Chairman John Nkomo to fill the post

of Vice President, left vacant following the death of Vice President

Joseph Msika in August. According to the 1987 Unity Accord, the

position must be filled by someone who belonged to PF-ZAPU before

the merger with ZANU-PF. Last week ZANU-PF’s Politburo directed

former PF-ZAPU members in the Central Committee to nominate a

candidate to fill the vacant post.

 

HARARE 00000888 002 OF 003

 

 

 

6. Zim Can Still Export Diamonds, With Greater Oversight… This

week at the Kimberley Process plenary session in Namibia, the 37

members present agreed to a partial suspension of Zimbabwe’s

diamonds and a detailed work plan that will allow Zimbabwe to

continue exporting diamonds from Chiadzwa, but only with the

approval of a KP monitor. Local traditional leader, Newman

Chiadzwa, surprised many by appearing in favor of the government

when he read a letter to the plenary declaring that there had not

been any rapes in Chiadzwa; previously he had spoken out against the

government. We heard that he was escorted at the meeting by several

suspected Zimbabwean intelligence officials. Civil society leader

Farai Maguwu spoke out about the ongoing abuses; he was later

berated by the Zimbabwean Ambassador to Namibia who accused him of

“selling out” Zimbabwe. Human rights groups criticized the

decision, saying it gives Zimbabwe a carte blanche for “business as

usual.”

 

7. Another Human Rights Lawyer Arrested…On November 2, Harare

police, acting on instructions from Attorney General Johannes

Tomana, arrested human rights and media lawyer Mordecai Mahlangu,

who represents Peter Hitschmann in the upcoming Roy Bennett trial.

Tomana subpoenaed Hitschmann to testify against MDC-T treasurer Roy

Bennett on November 9, when he appears in court on insurgency,

banditry, and terrorism charges. Hitschmann has said that he will

not testify as he has no evidence to implicate Bennett. Mahlangu

wrote Tomana and challenged the subpoena on the ground that the

evidence attributed to Hitschmann was obtained through torture.

Within hours of writing Tomana, police arrested Mahlangu at his

office and charged him with obstruction of justice. He was detained

overnight. The court granted him bail on November 3 and remanded

him to November 16 for trial.

 

8. Prisons Conditions Remain Dire… Despite some dramatic

improvements in food availability in prisons, conditions remain

dire, particularly for women and juveniles. A Red Cross feeding

program has reduced malnutrition in prisons, but some local NGOs

continue to contend that prison conditions are far from acceptable.

Although the government has allowed greater access to prisons than

in years past, the prison system remains cloaked in secrecy. See

Harare 879

 

9. RBZ Deputy Governor’s Thugs Shoot Farm Workers… On October 29,

“Tichiona,” who works for RBZ Deputy Governor Edward Mashiringwani,

shot and injured farm workers at Friedawil Farm in Mashonaland West.

Reports indicate he hired thugs to evict workers from the contested

farm. When they refused to heed his warning shot, he fired rubber

bullets, injuring more than 10 workers. Two sustained deep cuts to

their heads. Friedawil Farm is owned by Louis Fick, a South African

citizen and Vice President of the Commercial Farmers’ Union.

Mashiringwani, protg of RBZ Governor Gideon Gono, has been waging

QMashiringwani, protg of RBZ Governor Gideon Gono, has been waging

a violent campaign to evict Fick. This week Fick requested urgent

help for his 1,000 pigs that have not been fed or watered in days.

 

10. MDC Official Appears in Jail after Abduction and Torture… On

October 31, MDC Transport Manager Pascal Gwezere was taken to the

Harare Remand Prison and to court, after being abducted on October

27. In the unusual Saturday court session, without the benefit of a

lawyer present, Gwezere was charged with stealing 21 weapons from

Pomona military barracks in Harare. He is due to appear in court

again on November 13. During detention he was badly tortured and

may have suffered a fractured rib. Throughout the week his lawyer

has struggled to get court permission for access to a private

medical doctor, but magistrates have refused, saying he should see a

prison doctor. However, no doctor has yet attended to him.

 

 

 

———————————–

On the Economic and Business Front

 

HARARE 00000888 003 OF 003

 

 

———————————-

 

11. All Quiet on the Banking Front… A week has gone by since the

press reported that the central bank had been spending the reserve

deposits of the commercial banks. But so far, there have been no

bank runs, and the bankers themselves seem not to be bothered by the

news. Either they know something we don’t, or they’ve become

accustomed to life down the rabbit hole.

 

12. Time for Another Indigenization Scare… A ZANU-PF minister has

been promoting a plan to give the GOZ authority to seize majority

ownership of foreign-owned firms. Saviour Kasukuwere, Minister of

Indigenization and Empowerment, recently met with bU[k]isxQQtation rules would

only apply to new companies. As long as the MDC is in the

government, Kasukuwere’s proposed regulations will not be

introduced. But even talk of implementing the Act is enough to make

businesspeople nervous, and the inevitable headlines in the foreign

press will be another reminder to the world that it is too early to

invest in Zimbabwe.

 

13. Salary and Wage Negotiations Deadlocked… According to the

Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ), most companies have

failed to agree on salary and wage increases with their employees.

EMCOZ told us that at a recent meeting held two weeks ago, employee

representatives from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions proposed

a minimum wage equivalent to 60 percent of the USD 500/month poverty

line. EMCOZ says employers are unable to meet such high wage

demands. Instead, they propose to negotiate annual adjustments

rather than the current quarterly adjustments in exchange for

monthly salary increases based on productivity gains.

 

14. Sweet Deal for Sable Chemicals… Having closed their

electrolysis factory a month ago due to high electricity tariffs,

Zimbabwe’s sole fertilizer manufacturer, Sable Chemicals, has

re-opened its plant. According to the general manager, Sable

Chemicals eventually managed to strike a deal with the Zimbabwe

Electricity Supply Authority for a lower tariff of US 3 cents per

kilowatt hour instead of the normal US 7 cents paid by the other

consumers. The development is set to improve the availability of

fertilizers on the market.

 

—————–

Quote of the Week

—————–

 

“The countries of Europe and America want to dictate which way our

politics should go and they talk about regime change. They want us

to go down on our knees and beg. One day we should think about

fighting them in the international courts.”

— President Robert Mugabe, speaking at a funeral at Heroes Acre on

Q– President Robert Mugabe, speaking at a funeral at Heroes Acre on

October 31.

 

RAY

 

(3 VIEWS)

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