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Rare dissent in ZANU-PF

Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front bigwigs were in for a surprise when two Parliamentary committees tabled reports that were highly critical of the government.

Parliament’s Resettlement Committee criticised the government’s fast-track land reform programme as lacking resources needed to be successful and called on the government to implement it in a transparent manner.

The Legal Committee declared illegal regulations put in place to shut down a private radio station the year before. There was even speculation that the legal instrument used had been hastily drafted by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE1209, ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES DEFY

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE1209

2001-04-03 12:04

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.

 

031204Z Apr 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5272

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01209 01 OF 02 031200Z

ACTION AF-00

 

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

DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   DCP-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /008W

——————DABF27 031200Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8567

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001209

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

USAID FOR AAA/AFR VDICKSON-HORTON, AFRISA CPALMA

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/03/11

TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES DEFY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01209 01 OF 02 031200Z

GOVERNMENT ON LAND REFORM AND BROADCASTING REGULATIONS

 

REFTEL: HARARE 932

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR

REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: THE ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENT’S RESETTLEMENT

COMMITTEE TABLED A REPORT IN FEBRUARY THAT CRITICIZED

THE GOVERNMENT’S “FAST-TRACK” LAND RESETTLEMENT EXERCISE

AS LACKING THE RESOURCES NEEDED TO BE SUCCESSFUL. THE

REPORT ALSO CALLED ON THE GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT THE

PROGRAM “IN A TRANSPARENT MANNER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE

LAWS OF THE COUNTRY.” ON MARCH 7, PARLIAMENT’S LEGAL

COMMITTEE DECLARED ILLEGAL BROADCASTING REGULATIONS PUT

IN PLACE LAST YEAR TO SHUT DOWN PRIVATE RADIO BROADCASTS

(REFTEL). PARLIAMENT’S ZANU-PF MPS REJECTED THE LEGAL

COMMITTEE’S FINDINGS SHORTLY THEREAFTER AND ON MARCH 22,

SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA BLOCKED DEBATE

ON THE COMMITTEE’S REPORT, PUTTING THE RESTRICTIVE

REGULATIONS ON THE FAST-TRACK TO BECOMING LAW. THE

DEFIANT ACTIONS OF TWO PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES

DOMINATED BY ZANU-PF INDICATED THAT THE RULING PARTY IS

STILL DIVIDED ON CRUCIAL ISSUES. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (SBU) THE PARLIAMENT’S PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON

RESETTLEMENT TABLED A REPORT IN FEBRUARY THAT CRITICIZED

THE GOVERNMENT FOR FAILING TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE RESOURCES

TO RESETTLED FARMERS. AFTER VISITING FARMS IN THE

MASHONALAND PROVINCES, THE COMMITTEE REPORTED THAT A

SHORTAGE OF STAFF, TRANSPORT, FUEL, AND INFRASTRUCTURE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 01209 01 OF 02 031200Z

IS HAMPERING THE GOVERNMENT’S “FAST-TRACK” RESETTLEMENT

EXERCISE, AND FARM OPERATIONS ON “INFORMALLY SETTLED”

FARMS HAD GROUND TO A HALT, ACCORDING TO A COPY OF THE

REPORT OBTAINED BY THE EMBASSY. THE REPORT ALSO CALLED

UPON THE GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT ITS RESETTLEMENT

PROGRAM IN A “TRANSPARENT MANNER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE

LAWS OF THE COUNTRY,” AND THAT ALL LAND REQUIRED FOR

RESETTLEMENT PURPOSES BE ACQUIRED USING THE “RELEVANT

LEGAL INSTRUMENTS.” THE COMMITTEE NOTED THAT THE POLICE

HAD DONE NOTHING TO RESTORE LAW AND ORDER ON THE

OCCUPIED FARMS, SOMETHING THAT IS “CAUSE FOR CONCERN IF

THE LAND REFORM PROGRAM IS TO BE SUCCESSFULLY

IMPLEMENTED.”

 

3. (U) ON MARCH 7, PARLIAMENT’S LEGAL COMMITTEE

DECLARED ILLEGAL BROADCASTING REGULATIONS PUT IN PLACE

LAST OCTOBER TO SHUT DOWN PRIVATE RADIO BROADCASTS

(REFTEL). USING THE PRESIDENTIAL POWERS (TEMPORARY

MEASURES) ACT, PRESIDENT MUGABE ISSUED A STATUTORY

INSTRUMENT OUTLINING STRINGENT LICENSING REGULATIONS

THAT MADE IT LEGALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR PRIVATE RADIO

STATIONS TO BROADCAST, EVEN THOUGH THE SUPREME COURT HAD

JUST RULED THE GOVERNMENT’S BROADCAST MONOPOLY ILLEGAL.

PURPORTEDLY, INFORMATION MINISTER JONATHAN MOYO, WHO

DOES NOT HAVE A LEGAL BACKGROUND, HASTILY DREW UP THE

REGULATIONS FOR THE PRESIDENT’S ISSUANCE. REGULATIONS

ISSUED UNDER THE TEMPORARY MEASURES ACT EXPIRE IN SIX

MONTHS UNLESS THEY ARE PASSED INTO LAW BY PARLIAMENT.

THE BROADCASTING REGULATIONS WILL EXPIRE BEFORE THE END

OF APRIL. THE THREE-MEMBER LEGAL COMMITTEE–COMPRISED

OF MDC SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE AND TWO

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 01209 01 OF 02 031200Z

DISGRUNTLED ZANU-PF MEMBERS, KUMBIRAI KANGAI AND EDDISON

ZVOBGO–WAS EXPECTED TO RUBBER-STAMP THE REGULATIONS.

INSTEAD, IT FOUND THEM UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

 

4. (U) ZANU-PF PARLIAMENTARIANS, INCLUDING JUSTICE

MINISTER PATRICK CHINAMASA, REJECTED THE COMMITTEE’S

FINDINGS IN AN UNPRECEDENTED MOVE, ACCORDING TO THE 16-

22 MARCH EDITION OF THE “ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT.”

CHINAMASA ACCUSED THE COMMITTEE OF ALLOWING THE MDC TO

WRITE THE REPORT AND DEMANDED AN INVESTIGATION. SPEAKER

OF PARLIAMENT MNANGAGWA STATED THAT HE WOULD LOOK INTO

THE ALLEGATIONS. ON MARCH 22, MNANGAGWA THREW OUT THE

COMMITTEE’S REPORT, STATING THAT HIS INVESTIGATIONS

FOUND THE COMMITTEE TO BE IN VIOLATION OF THE

CONSTITUTION AND PARLIAMENT’S STANDING ORDERS, AND THAT

IT HAD NOT BEEN SUBMITTED ON TIME. THE SPEAKER ORDERED

THE REPORT DISCHARGED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY AGENDA,

EFFECTIVELY QUASHING ANY DEBATE ON THE ISSUE. THE

REGULATIONS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN INTO THE BROADCASTING

BILL, WHICH, ONCE PASSED, WILL MAKE THE STRINGENT

LICENSING REQUIREMENTS INTO LAW.

 

5. (C) COMMENT: THE DEFIANT REPORTS OF TWO ZANU-PF-

DOMINATED PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES INDICATE THAT ZANU-PF

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5273

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 01209 02 OF 02 031200Z

ACTION AF-00

 

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

DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /007W

——————DABF2E 031200Z /38

P 031204Z APR 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8568

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 001209

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

USAID FOR AAA/AFR VDICKSON-HORTON, AFRISA CPALMA

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/03/11

TAGS: PGOV PINR ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES DEFY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 01209 02 OF 02 031200Z

GOVERNMENT ON LAND REFORM AND BROADCASTING REGULATIONS

 

REMAINS DIVIDED ON MANY CRUCIAL ISSUES OF THE DAY.

THEIR FINDINGS, WHICH CLEARLY WENT AGAINST THE RULING

PARTY’S PLANS ON LAND REFORM AND LIMITING PRESS FREEDOM,

DEMONSTRATE THAT NOT ALL ZANU-PF PARLIAMENTARIANS

BELIEVE IN THEIR LEADERS’ FLAWED, POLITICALLY EXPEDIENT

STRATEGIES. EVEN THOUGH THEIR ACTIONS AMOUNTED TO NO

MORE THAN SYMBOLIC RESISTANCE, IT IS SIGNIFICANT THAT

ALTERNATIVE VOICES–ALTHOUGH RARE–CONTINUE TO BE HEARD

IN GOVERNMENT. END COMMENT.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(24 VIEWS)

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