in Stories

Perrence Shiri denied that MDC asked him to help in coup against Mugabe

Air Force commander Perrence Shiri denied that the Movement for Democratic Change had asked him to help engineer a coup against President Robert Mugabe.

Giving evidence in the treason trial of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Shiri said the MDC had requested his assistance in the event of it winning the March 2002 presidential poll, and had offered him financial payment for such assistance.

The amount he was offered was not disclosed.

This testimony contradicted earlier statements by witness Ari Ben Menashe that the MDC had asked him to help engineer a coup against President Mugabe.

  

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE1322, DEFENSE FILES FOR DISCHARGE – TSVANGIRAI TREASON

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1322

2003-06-27 10:45

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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001322

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER

BANGKOK FOR WIN DAYTON

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2013

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR ZI

SUBJECT: DEFENSE FILES FOR DISCHARGE – TSVANGIRAI TREASON

TRIAL WEEK FOURTEEN

 

REF: A. HARARE 1256

B. HARARE 1149

C. HARARE 946

D. HARARE 568

E. HARARE 484

F. HARARE 360

G. HARARE 313

H. HARARE 250

 

Classified By: Political Officer Audu Besmer for reasons 1.5 b/d

 

Summary:

——–

 

1. (C) The State closed its case and the Defense filed for

discharge in the fourteenth week of Morgan Tsvangirai’s

(first) treason trial. State witness Perence Shiri, Zimbabwe

Air Force Commander, told the court that the MDC had

requested his assistance in the event of the MDC winning the

March 2002 presidential poll–but had not asked him to help

overthrow Mugabe. Three State witnesses, who served as

transcribers, testified that the audio portion of the

videotape was inaudible and that the tape supplied to at

least one of them was not the original. On legal grounds the

defense’s application for discharge appears solid; however,

the judge could easily decide to continue this case, under

pressure from the GOZ, as part of the GOZ’s campaign to

discredit opposition President Morgan Tsvangirai. End

Summary.

 

Defense Files for Discharge

—————————

 

2. (C) The State closed its case and the Defense filed for

discharge in the fourteenth week of Morgan Tsvangirai’s

(first) treason trial. According to defense attorney

Innocent Chagonda, the defense argued in court on June 26

that the State had not argued a case worthy to answer to.

Judge Paddington Garwe adjourned the trial until July 7 to

enable both sides to prepare their arguments pertaining to

this motion.

 

Air Force Commander Denies Coup Plot

————————————

 

3. (U) On June 23 State witness Perence Shiri, Zimbabwe Air

Force Commander, told the court that the MDC had requested

his assistance in the event of the MDC winning the March 2002

presidential poll, and had offered him financial payment for

such assistance. This testimony contradicted earlier

statements by witness Ari Ben Menashe that the MDC had asked

Shiri to help engineer a coup against President Mugabe.

 

Transcribers: Tape Inaudible

—————————-

 

4. (U) On June 24 and 25 the court heard testimony by three

State witnesses who transcribed the video and audio tapes:

government transcriber, Constantine Musango; state-run

Zimbabwe Broadcasting Company (ZBC) television and

broadcasting manager, Edward Chinhoyi; and Tineyi Nyawasha,

Director of a Harare electronics equipment hiring company.

Of the videotape, Musango said he told police that parts of

the tape were inaudible, that it was not clear who was saying

what because of the accents and background noise. He said

police told him to transcribe what he could hear. Musango

also said the tape supplied to him was a normal VHS tape,

i.e. not the original mini-cassette.

 

5. (C) Nyawasha also said that parts of the videotape were

inaudible, and Chinhoyi testified that there was no evidence

that the videotape had been tampered with. The defense

argued that there are a myriad of editing techniques that

could have been employed to make some parts inaudible, some

parts more audible, and to cut and paste sections of speech

to attribute them to alternate speakers.

 

Comment:

——–

 

6. (C) Yet again this week, the testimonies of State

witnesses tended to support the defense’s case more than the

prosecution’s–that there was no plot to assassinate Mugabe

and engineer a coup, and the videotape was inaudible and not

original. On legal grounds the defense’s application for

discharge appears solid; however, the judge could easily

decide to continue this case, under pressure from the GOZ, as

part of the GOZ’s campaign to discredit opposition President

Morgan Tsvangirai. End Comment.

SULLIVAN

(11 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment