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Mwonzora called Mugabe a goblin

The co-chair of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution, Douglas Mwonzora was charged with insulting President Robert Mugabe for allegedly calling him a goblin at a rally in 2008.

If convicted, Mwonzora, who is the spokesman for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s faction of the Movement for Democratic Change, could face up to a year in jail.

Mwonzora co-chaired COPAC with the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front’s Paul Mangwana.

Critics charged that having two politically-linked rapporteurs defeated the purpose of an unbiased and people-driven constitutional reform process.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 10HARARE58, ZIM NOTES 01-29-2010

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

10HARARE58

2010-02-01 07:07

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH

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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5350

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3284

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3395

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1818

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2652

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0001

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 0083

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0085

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2554

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 000058

 

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 01-29-2010

 

———–

1. SUMMARY

———–

 

ZANU-PF Says No More Concessions…

High Court Dismisses SADC Land Ruling…

Four More Farmers Harassed, Evicted, Arrested…

Constitutional Outreach Clears One Hurdle…

Civil Society Launches Constitutional Monitoring Effort…

WOZA Members Beaten, Arrested, Released…

Bennett’s Trial: Whose E-mails Are They?

Court Orders Central Bank to Keep Contested Diamonds in Safe

Custody…

“Revival” of Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company Imminent…

European Union Envoys Want Sanctions Lifted on Some Parastatals…

No End in Sight for Zimbabwe’s Power Blues…

 

———————————

On the Political and Social Front

———————————-

 

2. The State mouthpiece, The Herald, reported this week that

following a ZANU-PF Politburo meeting — the 49-member senior

decision-making body of the party — the party resolved not to make

any additional concessions to the MDC in negotiations until the

“illegal? sanctions have been lifted. The announcement mirrors party

resolutions made in December at the five-year ZANU-PF Congress.

ZANU-PF has long maintained that the MDC has the capacity to

pressure the West to lift sanctions, an argument that was bolstered

by recent statements by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband who

said that the UK would consult with the MDC in determining whether

to lift sanctions.

 

3. High Court Justice Barack Patel on January 26 rejected the 2008

SADC Tribunal ruling that upheld the rights of a group of white

commercial farmers who lost their farms under the controversial land

reform program. Patel stated that supporting the decision would be

contrary to Zimbabwe?s domestic laws and agrarian policies and would

result in political upheaval. He added, “The greater public good

must prevail.” and abiding by the SADC ruling “… would entail the

eviction, upheaval, and eventual relocation of many, if not most, of

the beneficiaries of the land reform program.” SADC has not issued

any statements regarding Patel?s judgment.

 

4. Four white commercial farmers in the Chipinge area of

southeastern Zimbabwe were given 24 hours to vacate their farms by

local magistrate Samuel Zuze. The four farmers — Algernon Taffs,

Dawie Joubert, Mike Odendaal, and Mike Jahme — had been harassed by

local youths hired by the beneficiaries and Jahme and Taffs were

both evicted after Zuze refused to accept an urgent High Court stay

of execution granted on January 27. Joubert and past Commercial

Farmer?s Union President Trevor Gifford were arrested and held

overnight on contempt of court charges while attempting to protest

Zuze?s actions. Zuze himself is trying to acquire one of the farms.

(See offer letter below.)

 

5. Co-chair of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the

Constitution, Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) announced that the political

parties have agreed that two members of each of the 70 outreach

teams will now verify the official reports of their respective

Qteams will now verify the official reports of their respective

consultation meetings. The compromise resolved a dispute over who

should verify the team?s reports. Critics charge that having two

politically-linked rapporteurs defeats the purpose of a supposedly

unbiased and people-driven constitutional reform process.

Separately, Mwonzora has been charged with insulting the President

by allegedly calling Mugabe a “goblin” at a rally in 2008. If

convicted, Mwonzora would face up to one year in jail.

 

6. Three prominent civil society groups — Zimbabwe Lawyers for

Human Rights, Zimbabwe Peace Project, and Zimbabwe Election Support

 

HARARE 00000058 002 OF 003

 

 

Network – on January 27 held a meeting in Harare announcing the

launch of the ZZZICOMP project that will attempt to independently

monitor the upcoming constitutional outreach program. ZZZICOMP will

consist of 420 monitors who will attend all public constitutional

meetings to ascertain if the outreach process is marred by violence,

intimidation, or coercion. The monitors will not be identified and

will report their findings to both the government-led JOMIC

monitoring group and the greater public.

 

7. On January 25, 11 of the 200 women marching with Women of

Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) in Bulawayo were beaten by police who

disrupted the peaceful march. The women were marching to deliver a

report on the collapse of education in Zimbabwe. They were held for

several hours and then released without charge. The women were

treated for soft tissue bruising caused by the police officers?

batons.

 

8. On January 27, Judge Bhunu postponed the trial of Roy Bennett to

February 3 when he will rule on whether to admit e-mails allegedly

downloaded from the laptop of impeached star witness Peter

Hitschmann in 2006. The emails link Hitschmann and Bennett in a plot

to overthrow Mugabe and commit terrorist activities. Bennett?s

lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, opposed their admission, arguing that the

court had already ruled they were inadmissible. She said the e-mails

could easily have been authored by state security agents. Hitschmann

denied any knowledge of the e-mails. Earlier this week, Judge Bhunu

ruled statements made by Hitschmann after his arrest that implicated

Bennett were inadmissible since they were the result of beatings.

 

———————————–

On the Economic and Business Front

———————————-

 

 

9. Zimbabwe?s Supreme Court has ordered the Reserve Bank of

Zimbabwe to keep diamonds from Chiadzwa in safe custody, pending the

resolution of the dispute between African Consolidated Resources

(ACR) and the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC). ZMDC

began mining diamonds in Chiadzwa while ACR was contesting the

cancellation of its license in 2007. Although the court ruled that

the diamonds must be kept by a neutral party, it is not certain the

diamonds will be safe given the RBZ?s record of stealing statutory

reserves and foreign currency deposits of companies and NGOs in its

custody in recent years.

 

10. According to a report in The Herald, ZISCO?s re-birth is

imminent following the forwarding of two short-listed bidders to the

President. Arcelor Mittal and Jindal Steel are reportedly vying for

a stake in ZISCO. During its peak, ZISCO was one of the largest

integrated steel manufacturers in Africa with a potential to produce

between 700,000 and 1 million tons of steel and employing over 4,000

people. But years of poor management and inadequate capital took its

toll on the company, which ended up employing just 1,000 workers and

selling scrap metal accumulated over 40 years to survive.

Qselling scrap metal accumulated over 40 years to survive.

 

11. EU ambassadors accredited to Zimbabwe have recommended the

removal of eight state-owned enterprises, including ZISCO, ZB

Holdings, ZimRe Holdings, and the Industrial Development

Corporation, from the sanctions list in response to a request by PM

Tsvangirai. According to a report in the Financial Gazette, the move

is designed to help Zimbabwe?s recovery.

 

12. The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a subsidiary of the

state-owned Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, has said that the

country?s power problems will continue for some time with only one

out of six generating units at Hwange operating. The ZPC report says

that the available total internal power generation capacity is

enough to satisfy 53 percent of the forecast maximum demand, with

the bulk of supply coming from Kariba. Hwange Power Station which is

operating at just 13.4 percent capacity.

 

HARARE 00000058 003 OF 003

 

 

 

—————–

Quote of the Week

—————–

 

13. The Herald caught our attention this week with an unusual

headline: “10 huts burnt in Buhera political violence.” — Further

reading reveals that the article charges MDC-T supporters of burning

the homes of ZANU-PF office holders and supporters in the area. One

traditional leader, Chief Chitsunge, reported that the attacks came

after “repeated threats by some MDC-T supporters” who had allegedly

ordered that all ZANU-PF meetings be stopped in the area. We have

yet to confirm the veracity of the report and eagerly await the day

when The Herald dedicates the same coverage to victims of ZANU-PF

abuse.

 

RAY

 

(38 VIEWS)

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