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Nkomo says no harm will come to Tsvangirai

Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front chairman John Nkomo assured United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald in the run up to the 2000 parliamentary elections that no harm was going to come to Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai but at the same time he warned the opposition leader to be careful.

McDonald had asked the Zimbabwean government to protect peaceful protesters and to ensure that no harm comes to Tsvangirai. He was speaking in the wake of increased violations particularly on white-owned commercial farms.

He told Nkomo that Washington was disturbed about commercial farm invasions and government’s hand in facilitating the occupations by war veterans and party supporters.

According to the ambassador Nkomo asked rhetorically: “What was the point of our fighting a war of liberation if we cannot control our land?”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE1969, AMBASSADOR URGES GOVERNMENT RESTRAINT IN

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE1969

2000-04-11 15:27

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.

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2729

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01969 01 OF 02 111521Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-01   FBIE-00 VC-01   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   LAB-01   L-00     AC-01   NSAE-00

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

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   IRM-00   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /012W

——————4A55BB 111521Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5719

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001969

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S – CHARLES GURNEY

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/09

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINS PHUM KDEM ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR URGES GOVERNMENT RESTRAINT IN

DEALING WITH OPPOSITION

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD REASONS 1.5 B/D.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01969 01 OF 02 111521Z

 

REF: HARARE 1778

 

1. (C) AMBASSADOR MCDONALD HAD A CORDIAL, BUT SPIRITED,

1 1/2-HOUR CONVERSATION WITH MINISTER OF LOCAL

GOVERNMENT AND NATIONAL HOUSING AND ZANU-PF PARTY

CHAIRMAN, JOHN NKOMO, ON APRIL 7 DURING A FLIGHT BACK

FROM SOUTH AFRICA. THE AMBASSADOR EXPRESSED THE USG’S

SERIOUS CONCERN OVER THE VIOLENCE THAT OCCURRED ON APRIL

1 IN HARARE WHEN ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS ATTACKED A “PEACE

MARCH” ORGANIZED BY THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY

(NCA) (REFTEL). THE AMBASSADOR STRESSED THAT THE USG

ALONG WITH THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL

COMMUNITY FIND THE GOVERNMENT’S INACTION IN THE FACE OF,

AND, INDEED, SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT OF ATTACKS ON

PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATORS ABHORRENT. HE NOTED THAT RIGHT

THINKING MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY URGED

THE ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT TO TAKE RESPONSIBLE STEPS TO

CURB SUCH VIOLENCE IN THE FUTURE. MINSTER NKOMO

DEFENDED THE POLICE FAILURE TO PROTECT THE NCA

PROTESTORS, ARGUING THAT THE ORGANIZATION HAD BEEN

WARNED OF THE COMPETING DEMONSTRATION BY THE WAR

VETERANS ON APRIL 1, BUT INSISTED ON HOLDING ITS MARCH

ANYWAY. MOREOVER, NKOMO ACCUSED THE NCA OF PROVOKING

THE WAR VETS THROUGH “LOUD TALK AND SONGS” WHICH

CRITICIZED THE VETERANS’ OCCUPATION OF WHITE-OWNED

COMMERCIAL FARMS.

 

2. (C) THE AMBASSADOR STATED UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT THE

GOVERNMENT’S ABDICATING ITS RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT

PEACEFUL PROTESTORS WAS UNACCEPTABLE. AMBASSADOR

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01969 01 OF 02 111521Z

MCDONALD STRESSED THAT WE ARE LOOKING TO THE GOVERNMENT

OF ZIMBABWE TO RESPECT THE OPPOSITION’S RIGHT TO FREEDOM

OF SPEECH AND ASSEMBLY, AND SPECIFICALLY URGED THE

GOVERNMENT TO TAKE STEPS TO ENSURE THAT NO HARM COMES TO

MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) PRESIDENT, MORGAN

TSVANGIRAI. NKOMO RESPONDED THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAD NO

 

SIPDIS

INTENTION OF HARMING TSVANGIRAI, BUT WARNED, WITHOUT

ELABORATING, THAT THE MDC PRESIDENT NEEDED TO “BE

CAREFUL.”

 

3. (C) THE AMBASSADOR THEN TOLD MINISTER NKOMO THAT

WASHINGTON WAS ALSO DISTURBED ABOUT THE COMMERCIAL FARM

INVASIONS AND THE GOVERNMENT’S HAND IN FACILITATING THE

OCCUPATIONS BY THE WAR VETERANS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS.

NKOMO DID NOT DENY THAT THE GOVERNMENT, THROUGH ZANU-PF

OFFICIALS, WAS SUPPORTING THE OCCUPATIONS. “WHAT WAS

THE POINT OF OUR FIGHTING A WAR OF LIBERATION IF WE

CANNOT CONTROL OUR LAND,” NKOMO ASKED RHETORICALLY. THE

MINISTER THEN BLAMED THE LACK OF FUNDS WITH WHICH TO

PURCHASE FARMS AND THE WHITE COMMERCIAL FARMERS’ LEGAL

CHALLENGES TO THE GOVERNMENT’S LAND REFORM PROGRAM AS

THE CAUSE OF THE CURRENT OCCUPATIONS. THE AMBASSADOR

RESPONDED THAT THE USG WOULD NOT TOLERATE THE VIOLATION

OF THE RULE OF LAW WITH RESPECT TO THE TAKING OF FARM

LAND WITHOUT COMPENSATION AND SAW THE OCCUPATIONS AS

PART OF THE GOVERNMENT’S POLITICAL AGENDA, TO WHICH

MINISTER NKOMO DID NOT REPLY. AMBASSADOR MCDONALD ALSO

UNDERSCORED USG SUPPORT FOR LAND REFORM AS AGREED TO AT

THE DONOR’S CONFERENCE IN SEPTEMBER 1998.

 

4. (C) THE CONVERSATION THEN TURNED TO GENERAL

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 01969 01 OF 02 111521Z

POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN THE RULING PARTY AND

PRESIDENT MUGABE’S FUTURE PLANS. NKOMO TOLD THE

AMBASSADOR THAT HE WAS FINDING THE POSITION OF ZANU-PF

PARTY CHAIRMAN A VERY DIFFICULT ONE AND THEN CRITICIZED

THE COMMERCIAL FARMERS UNION (CFU) FOR ITS SUPPORT OF

THE MDC. NKOMO ASSERTED THAT THE CFU AS A GROUP HAD NO

RIGHT TO SUPPORT A POLITICAL PARTY, ALTHOUGH HE CONCEDED

ITS INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS COULD DO SO. THE ZANU-PF PARTY

CHAIRMAN THEN STATED THAT IT WAS NO LONGER CLEAR WHETHER

PRESIDENT MUGABE WOULD STEP DOWN AT THE END OF HIS TERM

IN 2002. PRIOR TO THE FEBRUARY DEFEAT OF THE

CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM, THE PLAN WAS FOR MUGABE TO

PAVE THE WAY FOR A SUCCESSOR AND THEN MAKE A GRACEFUL

EXIT BY THE YEAR 2002. WITH THE DEFEAT OF THE DRAFT

CONSTITUTION, AND ITS PROVISIONS FOR A PRIME MINISTER

AND PRESIDENT OF A SENATE, “ALL BETS ARE OFF” AS TO WHAT

MUGABE WILL DO, ACCORDING TO NKOMO. NKOMO STATED: “THE

NEW CONSTITUTION PROVIDED MUGABE WITH COVER TO ANNOUNCE

HIS PLANNED RETIREMENT.” MOREOVER, NO ONE IN THE

GOVERNMENT WILL EVEN RAISE THE ISSUE OF THE PRESIDENT’S

FUTURE PLANS WITH HIM, NKOMO SAID.

 

5. (C) COMMENT: MINISTER NKOMO, LIKE MANY OTHER SENIOR

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, HAS CHOSEN NOT TO SEEK REELECTION

IN THE UPCOMING PARLIAMENTARY RACE. NKOMO SAYS HE WILL

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ2730

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01969 02 OF 02 111521Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DINT-00 DODE-00

SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-01   FBIE-00 VC-01   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   LAB-01   L-00     AC-01   NSAE-00

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

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SSO-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00

R-00    PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00

SAS-00     /012W

——————4A55C8 111521Z /38

O 111527Z APR 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5720

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 001969

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S – CHARLES GURNEY

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/09

TAGS: PGOV PREL PINS PHUM KDEM ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR URGES GOVERNMENT RESTRAINT IN

DEALING WITH OPPOSITION

 

CONCENTRATE ON RULING PARTY MATTERS. MANY OTHERS,

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01969 02 OF 02 111521Z

HOWEVER, SEE THE WRITING ON THE WALL FOR ZANU-PF AND

HAVE JUST RESIGNED. NKOMO, LIKE MANY OTHERS IN THE

RULING PARTY, ARE ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED THAT ZANU-PF IS

FACED WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF LOSING TO THE MDC — A

PARTY THEY SEE CONSISTING OF POLITICAL UPSTARTS WITH

WHITE FINANCIAL BACKING. THESE ZANU-PF OFFICIALS ARE

LASHING OUT AT OPPOSITION, WHITE FARMERS, AND ANY ONE

WHO SUPPORTS THOSE GROUPS IN THE RUN-UP TO THE ELECTION.

IN THIS REGARD, WE NOTE THAT AT AN APRIL 10 MEETING OF

WESTERN DONOR COUNTRY POLITICAL OFFICERS AND DEVELOPMENT

ASSISTANCE OFFICERS IN HARARE, THERE WAS NO INDICATION

THAT ANY OF THE RESIDENT MISSIONS INTENDS TO DELIVER

TOUGH BILATERAL MESSAGES IN SUPPORT OF RESTRAINT AND

NON-VIOLENCE TO THE GOVERNMENT. NEVERTHELESS, THE

AMBASSADOR WILL CONTINUE TO ENGAGE OUR CIVIL SOCIETY

ORGANIZATION, OPPOSITION AND GOVERNMENT INTERLOCUTORS TO

PRESS FOR A PEACEFUL PRE- AND POST-ELECTION CAMPAIGN

SEASON.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(35 VIEWS)

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