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Senior police try to keep their juniors in check

Support for the Movement for Democratic Change was growing in the Zimbabwe Republic Police forcing senior police officers to pile pressure on their juniors to crack down on the MDC.

This was the opinion of Harare businessman Clive Puzey who was also described as an MDC advisor and close United States embassy contact.

Puzey had gone to the embassy to report on the raid by police of the MDC headquarters and further violence on the farms.

When asked by embassy officials why the ZRP was suddenly stepping up its harassment of the MDC, Puzey offered a multitude of reasons.

He cited the MDC’s call for the impeachment of President Robert Mugabe, its calls for civil disobedience and work stay-aways and the growing clamour for change within Parliament.

Puzey also said support for the MDC was growing in the ZRP, and that senior government officials had demanded that high-ranking police officials take more action in favour of the war veterans.

He said the senior officials had threatened the children of junior police officers if they did not take action.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE5187, RAID ON MDC HEADQUARTERS; ZIMBABWE POLICE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE5187

2000-09-14 14:44

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.

 

141444Z Sep 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ8235

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 05187 01 OF 02 141445Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DODE-00

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

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   JUSE-00 L-00     VCE-00   AC-01

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

SAS-00     /009W

——————854C02 141445Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7106

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 005187

 

SIPDIS

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/14/10

TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI MDC

SUBJECT: RAID ON MDC HEADQUARTERS; ZIMBABWE POLICE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 05187 01 OF 02 141445Z

RATCHETS UP HARASSMENT OF OPPOSITION

 

REFTEL: HARARE 5075

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMB. TOM MCDONALD. REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND

(D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: AN OPPOSITION ADVISOR AND RELIABLE

EMBASSY CONTACT REPORTED TO THE AMBASSADOR SEPTEMBER 14

AN UPSURGE IN POLICE HARASSMENT OF THE OPPOSITION. AT

THE TOP OF THE LIST WAS A RAID ON THE MOVEMENT FOR

DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) HEADQUARTERS TODAY AND AN

ATTEMPT TO ARREST TWO SENIOR MDC OFFICIALS. POLICE ARE

ALSO REPORTED TO BE HARASSING OWNERS AND FARM WORKERS ON

FARMS IN THE HARARE AREA. THE POLICE ACTIONS MAY BE

PARTLY A GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO MDC CALLS FOR CIVIL

DISOBEDIENCE AND PARTLY AN ATTEMPT TO ASSERT MORE

CONTROL OVER A POLICE FORCE INCREASINGLY SYMPATHETIC TO

THE OPPOSITION. END SUMMARY.

 

2. MDC ADVISOR AND CONFIDANT CLIVE PUZEY CALLED ON THE

AMBASSADOR SEPTEMBER 14 ON SHORT NOTICE TO REPORT AN

UPSURGE IN POLICE HARASSMENT OF THE OPPOSITION. HE

STATED THAT THE ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE (ZRP) ENTERED

MDC HEADQUARTERS ON THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 14 WITH A

WARRANT TO SEARCH FOR HIDDEN ARMS CACHES. (UNKNOWN

ASSAILANTS SLIGHTLY DAMAGED THE HEADQUARTERS ENTRANCE

WITH A TYPE OF GRENADE LATE ON THE EVENING OF SEPTEMBER

11. SEE REFTEL.) HAVING FOUND NO WEAPONS, THE ZRP

ATTEMPTED TO ARREST, WITHOUT A WARRANT, TWO MDC

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 05187 01 OF 02 141445Z

OFFICIALS, ONE OF THEM BEING GANDI MUDZINGWA, MDC

PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI’S POLITICAL ASSISTANT AND

RIGHT-HAND MAN. PUZEY DID NOT KNOW THE IDENTITY OF THE

OTHER OFFICIAL BEING SOUGHT. (MORGAN TSVANGIRAI IS

CURRENTLY IN MANICALAND ON AN “OPINION CANVASSING” TRIP,

ACCORDING TO PUZEY). HAVING NOT FOUND EITHER OFFICIAL,

THE ZRP HAS SEALED OFF MDC HEADQUARTERS IN THE BELIEF

THAT THE TWO OFFICIALS ARE IN HIDING SOMEWHERE IN THE

BUILDING. PUZEY REPORTED THAT THE PRESS, MDC LAWYERS,

MDC MPS, AND OTHER SUPPORTERS HAVE BEEN CALLED TO THE

SCENE IN AN ATTEMPT TO PRESSURE THE ZRP TO LEAVE.

 

3. (C) PUZEY ALSO SAID THAT THE ZRP IS STEPPING UP ITS

HARASSMENT OF COMMERCIAL FARMERS AND OTHER PERCEIVED MDC

SUPPORTERS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. HE CITED ONE FARMER NEAR

HARARE AS BEING SOUGHT BY THE ZRP FOR INCITING HIS

WORKERS TO ATTACK WAR VETERANS. THE FARMER CALLED IN

HIS LAWYER TO TRY TO KEEP THE POLICE AT BAY, BUT IT IS

UNKNOWN IF HE WAS DETAINED. THE “DAILY NEWS” REPORTED A

SIMILAR STORY SEPTEMBER 14 IN WHICH SEVERAL WAR VETERANS

WERE HOSPITALIZED AFTER “HEAVY FIGHTING” WITH FARM

WORKERS ON A HARARE-AREA FARM. THE FIGHTING WAS

REPORTEDLY SPARKED BY FARM WORKERS REACTING TO

HARASSMENT BY THE WAR VETERANS. THE NEWS STORY

INDICATED THAT POLICE OFFICERS LATER RETURNED TO THE

FARM AND ACTED “OPENLY HOSTILE” TO THE WORKERS, BEGAN

PUSHING AND SHOVING THEM, AND ACCUSED THEM OF BEING

ANTOGONISTIC TO THE WAR VETERANS’ CAUSE. THE WAR

VETERANS, IN THE PRESENCE OF THE POLICE, THREATENED TO

KILL THE FARM’S OWNER, ARTHUR HARLEY, FOR INCITING HIS

WORKERS. HARLEY REPORTEDLY THEN WENT INTO HIDING.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 05187 01 OF 02 141445Z

 

4. (C) WHEN ASKED WHY THE ZRP WAS SUDDENLY STEPPING UP

ITS HARASSMENT OF THE MDC, PUZEY OFFERED A MULTITUDE OF

POSSIBLE REASONS. HE CITED THE MDC’S CALLS FOR

IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT MUGABE, ITS CALLS LAST WEEK FOR

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AND WORK STAY-AWAYS, AND THE GROWING

CLAMOR FOR CHANGE COMING FROM THE MDC BENCH IN

PARLIAMENT. HE ALSO STATED THAT SUPPORT FOR THE MDC IS

GROWING IN THE ZRP, AND THAT SENIOR GOZ OFFICIALS HAVE

DEMANDED THAT HIGH-RANKING POLICE OFFICIALS TAKE MORE

ACTION IN FAVOR OF THE WAR VETERANS. THESE SENIOR

OFFICIALS HAD THREATENED THE CHILDREN OF THESE POLICE

OFFICERS IF THEY DID NOT TAKE ACTION, ACCORDING TO

PUZEY. PUZEY ALSO MENTIONED THAT TRIBAL ELDERS ACROSS

ZIMBABWE ARE FED UP WITH MUGABE AND WILL BE COMING TO

HARARE SOON TO DEMAND CHANGES IN THE GOVERNMENT.

 

5. (C) COMMENT: PUZEY, A WELL-KNOWN LOCAL BUSINESSMAN

AND RELIABLE EMBASSY CONTACT, APPEARED VERY DISTRAUGHT

AT THE POLICE ACTION, THE FIRST OVERT GOVERNMENT ACTION

AGAINST THE MDC SINCE IT CAPTURED 57 SEATS IN JUNE’S

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION. IT IS TOO EARLY TO TELL HOW FAR

THIS WILL GO AND WHETHER THIS IS PART OF A WIDER

NATIONWIDE CRACKDOWN ON OPPOSITION ACTIVITIES AND

SUPPORTERS. THE PURPORTED THREATS AGAINST THE POLICE

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ8236

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 05187 02 OF 02 141445Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 DODE-00

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

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   JUSE-00 L-00     VCE-00   AC-01

NSAE-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

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

/009W

——————854C04 141446Z /38

O 141444Z SEP 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7107

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 005187

 

SIPDIS

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/14/10

TAGS: PGOV PHUM ZI MDC

SUBJECT: RAID ON MDC HEADQUARTERS; ZIMBABWE POLICE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 05187 02 OF 02 141445Z

RATCHETS UP HARASSMENT OF OPPOSITION

 

OFFICERS ARE CREDIBLE AND COULD PARTLY INDICATE AN

ATTEMPT BY THE GOZ TO EXERT POLITICAL CONTROL OVER A

POLICE FORCE THAT INCREASINGLY SYMPATHIZES WITH THE

OPPOSITION.

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

(7 VIEWS)

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