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Sikhanyiso Nlodvu’s college burnt by MDC supporters

A college belonging to acting Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front commissar Sikhanyiso Ndlovu was burnt by Movement for Democratic Change supporters in retaliation to the burning of their offices by war veterans.

The war veterans were escorted by riot police. Ndlovu told United States embassy officials that he had urged the crowd to march with a police escort to ensure that criminal elements could not join and engage in activities which would discredit them.

Asked why the police did not intervene to prevent the mob from beating people or destroying property, Ndlovu claimed that they were outnumbered.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 01HARARE3463, UNEASY CALM RETURNS TO BULAWAYO AS CRACKDOWN ON MDC

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE3463

2001-11-19 14:33

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.

 

191433Z Nov 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7589

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03463 01 OF 03 191923Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   AID-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 EB-00

EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SS-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

T-00     USIE-00 PMB-00   PRM-00   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00

/007W

——————40709E 191923Z /48

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0317

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY OSLO

AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

AMEMBASSY OTTAWA

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 003463

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

BRUSSELS ALSO FOR USEU

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 11/19/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: UNEASY CALM RETURNS TO BULAWAYO AS CRACKDOWN ON MDC

INTENSIFIES

 

REF: HARARE 3400

 

CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL SECTION CHIEF MATT HARRINGTON. REASONS:

1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) IN A SEVERAL-HOUR RAMPAGE THROUGH BULAWAYO ON NOVEMBER 16,

WAR VETERANS AND ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS BURNED TO THE GROUND THE

OPPOSITION MDC’S OFFICE, RANSACKED THE OFFICE OF THE CITY’S MAYOR,

BEAT THOSE SELLING AND READING INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS, AND SMASHED

CAR WINDSHIELDS. THEY WERE ESCORTED BY RIOT POLICE WHO DID NOT

INTERVENE. IN RETALIATION, MDC SUPPORTERS BURNED DOWN A PRIVATE

COLLEGE OWNED BY A SENIOR ZANU-PF OFFICIAL AND A TRUCK BELONGING

TO A GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER, AND CLASHES BETWEEN THE TWO GROUPS

CONTINUED INTO THE NIGHT IN THE HIGH-DENSITY SUBURBS. AN UNEASY

CALM HAS RETURNED TO ZIMBABWE’S SECOND-LARGEST CITY, BUT FEW

OBSERVERS BELIEVE THE VIOLENCE IS OVER. REMARKS BY PRESIDENT

MUGABE ON NOVEMBER 19 WILL NOT HELP MATTERS, AS THE PRESIDENT

BLAMED THE RECENT MURDER OF A PROMINENT WAR VETERAN ON THE MDC,

ACCUSED THE OPPOSITION PARTY OF OPERATING TERRORIST TRAINING CAMPS

AND TORTURING ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS, AND INSISTING THAT THE MDC’S

“DAYS ARE NUMBERED.” THE MDC’S NATIONAL COORDINATOR BELIEVES THE

GOZ IS TRYING TO FRAME THE MDC AS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION WHICH

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03463 01 OF 03 191923Z

RECEIVES FOREIGN FUNDING IN VIOLATION OF ZIMBABWEAN LAW, THUS

PROVIDING A LEGAL BASIS FOR OUTLAWING THE PARTY AND PROHIBITING IT

FROM CONTESTING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. FOR OUR PART, WE

SURMISE THAT INTIMIDATION GUARANTEEING A ZANU-PF “VICTORY” AT THE

POLLS MAY BE MUGABE’S BOTTOM LINE. END SUMMARY.

 

WAR VETERANS RAMPAGE THROUGH BULAWAYO

——————————————— ———-

 

2. (C) SEVERAL HUNDRED WAR VETERANS AND ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS

RAMPAGED THROUGH THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT OF BULAWAYO ON

NOVEMBER 16 AFTER MEETING WITH SENIOR RULING PARTY OFFICIALS ABOUT

THE MURDER OF WAR VETERAN LEADER CAIN NKALA (REFTEL). ESCORTED BY

RIOT POLICE WHO APPARENTLY DID NOTHING TO RESTRAIN THEM, THE MOB

RANDOMLY ATTACKED WITH STICKS VENDORS AND READERS OF INDEPENDENT

NEWSPAPERS AND BROKE CAR WINDSHIELDS, FORCING A NUMBER OF

FRIGHTENED BUSINESS OWNERS TO SHUT DOWN. ACCORDING TO PRESS

REPORTS, ONE WHITE ELDERLY MAN WAS BEATEN BY THE MOB, AND THERE

WERE REPORTS THAT A GERMAN AID WORKER WHO HAPPENED TO BE IN THE

VICINITY WAS ALSO ACCOSTED. THE CROWD PROCEEDED TO CITY HALL,

WHERE SEVERAL MARCHERS RANSACKED THE OFFICE OF MAYOR JAPHET

NDABENI-NCUBE, ELECTED IN SEPTEMBER ON THE TICKET OF THE

OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC). NDABENI-NCUBE

TOLD US THAT HE ESCAPED JUST BEFORE EIGHT MEN COMPLETELY RANSACKED

HIS OFFICE — HE LATER FOUND IMPORTANT PAPERS OUTSIDE IN A FLOWER

GARDEN — AND STOLE HIS BRIEFCASE. HE REPORTED THE INCIDENT TO

POLICE IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARD, BUT THEY HAD YET TO APPEAR BY

NOVEMBER 19, THREE DAYS LATER. THE MOB CAPPED OFF ITS DESTRUCTIVE

AFTERNOON BY THROWING PETROL BOMBS AT THE OFFICE BUILDING OF THE

OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC), REDUCING IT TO A

SMOLDERING SHELL, AS POLICE STOOD BY.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03463 01 OF 03 191923Z

 

RETALIATION

———–

 

3. (C) THE BURNING OF THE MDC OFFICES SPARKED RETALIATION FROM

ANGRY MDC YOUTHS, WHO BURNED DOWN A PRIVATE COLLEGE OWNED BY

SIKHANYISO NDLOVU, ZANU-PF’S ACTING POLITICAL COMMISSAR AND SET

ALIGHT A TRUCK BELONGING TO THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED NEWSPAPER

“THE CHRONICLE.” A CROWD OF SEVERAL THOUSAND BULAWAYO RESIDENTS

THEN GATHERED IN FRONT OF ZANU-PF OFFICES, INTENT ON DOING DAMAGE,

BUT DISPERSED AFTER A TENSE STANDOFF WITH RIOT POLICE.   SHARI

EPPEL, DIRECTOR OF THE BULAWAYO OFFICE OF THE RESPECTED HUMAN

RIGHTS ORGANIZATION AMANI TRUST, SAID SKIRMISHES BETWEEN ZANU-PF

AND MDC SUPPORTERS CONTINUED INTO THE NIGHT IN SOME OF THE CITY’S

HIGH-DENSITY SUBURBS, BUT THAT THE SITUATION HAD CALMED DOWN BY

THE NEXT MORNING. SHE SAID MOST OF THE WAR VETERANS AND RULING

PARTY THUGS WHO HAD STARTED THE TROUBLE ARRIVED ON TRAINS THE

NIGHT BEFORE, WHILE A PROMINENT INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST TOLD US THE

TROUBLEMAKERS WERE “NOT FROM HERE.”

 

4. (C) THE WAR VETERANS AND ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS WENT ON THEIR

RAMPAGE AFTER RULING PARTY POLITBURO MEMBER — AND FORMER MINISTER

OF HOME AFFAIRS — DUMISO DABENGWA REPORTEDLY WHIPPED THEM INTO AN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7590

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03463 02 OF 03 191923Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   AID-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 EB-00

EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00   PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SS-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

T-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   PRM-00   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00

/007W

——————4070AE 191924Z /48

O 191433Z NOV 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0318

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY OSLO

AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

AMEMBASSY OTTAWA

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 003463

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

BRUSSELS ALSO FOR USEU

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03463 02 OF 03 191923Z

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 11/19/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: UNEASY CALM RETURNS TO BULAWAYO AS CRACKDOWN ON MDC

INTENSIFIES

 

EMOTIONAL STATE. ACCORDING TO THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED DAILY

“THE HERALD,” DABENGWA DESCRIBED NKALA’S MURDER AS TERRORISM, AND

CALLED ON THOSE PRESENT TO “CRUSH THIS TERRORISM…IN ITS INFANCY.

NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO THIS COUNTRY WHILE WE ARE ALIVE,

THOSE WHO THINK THEY CAN RULE IT WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF WHITES

SHOULD FORGET IT.” ZANU-PF’S ACTING POLITICAL COMMISSAR

SIKHANYISO NDLOVU TOLD US HE HAD URGED THE CROWD TO MARCH WITH A

POLICE ESCORT TO ENSURE THAT CRIMINAL ELEMENTS COULD NOT JOIN AND

ENGAGE IN ACTIVITIES WHICH WOULD DISCREDIT THEM. ASKED WHY THE

POLICE DID NOT INTERVENE TO PREVENT THE MOB FROM BEATING PEOPLE OR

DESTROYING PROPERTY, NDLOVU CLAIMED THAT THEY WERE OUTNUMBERED.

 

UNEASY CALM IN BULAWAYO

———————–

 

5. (C) SHARI EPPEL SAID THAT AN UNEASY CALM RETURNED TO BULAWAYO

OVER THE WEEKEND. SHE WAS GLAD NKALA HAD BEEN DECLARED A NATIONAL

HERO BY THE RULING PARTY POLITBURO. THAT DEVELOPMENT ENSURED THAT

THE “CIRCUS” MOVED TO HARARE FOR THE NOVEMBER 18 BURIAL OF NKALA

AT HEROES’ ACRE AND ALLOWED TENSIONS IN ZIMBABWE’S SECOND-LARGEST

CITY TO COOL. EPPEL DESCRIBED BULAWAYO RESIDENTS AS ANXIOUS AND

IN A “WAIT AND SEE” MODE.

 

MUGABE PULLS NO PUNCHES

———————–

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03463 02 OF 03 191923Z

 

6. (C) AT NKALA’S BURIAL, PRESIDENT MUGABE WAS NOT IN A

CONCILIATORY MOOD. IN VENOMOUS REMARKS, HE BLAMED THE LATE WAR

VETERAN’S MURDER ON THE MDC, WHICH HE SAID OPERATES TERRORIST

TRAINING CAMPS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE ZIMBABWE AND REGULARLY TORTURES

ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS. HE INSISTED THAT NKALA’S DEATH WAS THE RESULT

OF AN “ORCHESTRATED, MUCH WIDER AND CAREFULLY PLANNED TERRORIST

PLOT BY INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL ENEMY FORCES WITH PLENTY OF FUNDING

FROM…COMMERCIAL FARMERS” AND INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL

ORGANIZATIONS. “THE MDC AND THEIR SUPPORTERS,” HE VOWED, “SHOULD

KNOW THAT THEIR DAYS ARE NUMBERED.” MDC MP DAVID COLTART

EXPRESSED CONCERN TO US THAT THE PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS COULD SPARK

MORE VIOLENCE IN BULAWAYO. MEANWHILE, A REPORTER AND A

PHOTOGRAPHER FROM THE INDEPENDENT “DAILY NEWS” WERE ARRESTED ON

NOVEMBER 18 PRIOR TO THEIR PUBLISHING AN INTERVIEW WITH SOMEONE

WHO CLAIMED TO KNOW THE FULL DETAILS OF NKALA’S ABDUCTION AND

MURDER. GOVERNMENT MEDIA ALLEGED THAT THE “DAILY NEWS”

JOURNALISTS HAD TORTURED AN INDIVIDUAL INTO CONFESSING THAT HE WAS

A CIO AGENT AND THAT THEY HAD MURDERED NKALA. POLICE SEIZED THE

REPORTER’S NOTES OF THE INTERVIEW AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S PICTURE

OF THE INTERVIEWEE, AND THE TWO JOURNALISTS WERE STILL IN

DETENTION ON NOVEMBER 19.

 

BAN THE MDC

———–

 

7. (C) MDC NATIONAL COORDINATOR ISAAC MAPOSA TOLD POLITICAL

SECTION CHIEF ON NOVEMBER 19 THAT 30 MDC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES

HAD BEEN DETAINED SO FAR IN CONNECTION WITH THE NKALA MURDER, THE

MOST SENIOR OF WHOM WAS FLETCHER DULINI-NCUBE, THE PARTY’S

NATIONAL TREASURER. MAPOSA DISMISSED GOZ ACCUSATIONS OF MDC

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03463 02 OF 03 191923Z

INVOLVEMENT IN NKALA’S MURDER, SAYING A RELIABLE WAR VETERAN BASED

IN BULAWAYO HAD TOLD THE OPPOSITION PARTY IN CONFIDENCE THAT HE

HAD BEEN KILLED BY OTHER WAR VETERANS. MAPOSA ACKNOWLEDGED

FEELING FRIGHTENED BY THE WEEK’S TURN OF EVENTS, NOTING THAT ONE

IS NOT DEALING WITH A RATIONAL, REASONABLE GOVERNMENT BUT, RATHER,

ONE WILLING TO TORTURE AND KILL THOSE WHO DO NOT AGREE WITH IT.

MAPOSA BELIEVES THE GOVERNMENT’S STRATEGY IS TO BUILD A CASE

AGAINST THE MDC AS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION BY TORTURING MDC

SUPPORTERS INTO MAKING FALSE CONFESSIONS IN THE NKALA CASE AND BY

IDENTIFYING ANY FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR THE PARTY, WHICH

WOULD PROVIDE A LEGAL BASIS FOR OUTLAWING THE MDC AND PREVENTING

IT FROM CONTESTING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. ASKED WHETHER THE

MDC RECEIVES FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING, MAPOSA SAID YES, BUT ONLY

THREE PEOPLE IN THE PARTY ARE AWARE OF THE DETAILS: HIMSELF,

PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, AND SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN NCUBE.

MAPOSA WAS CLEARLY ANXIOUS THAT HE WOULD BE HAULED IN AND FORCED

TO REVEAL WHAT HE KNOWS ABOUT THIS TOPIC.

 

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) TENSIONS HAD BEEN BUILDING IN BULAWAYO FOR TEN DAYS, AS THE

GOVERNMENT/ZANU-PF ORCHESTRATED A CAMPAIGN BLAMING THE MDC FOR

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7592

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03463 03 OF 03 191924Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   AID-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 WHA-00   SRPP-00 EB-00

EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   PA-00    PM-00

PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   SS-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

T-00     USIE-00 PMB-00   PRM-00   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00

/007W

——————4070B3 191924Z /48

O 191433Z NOV 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0319

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY OSLO

AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM

AMEMBASSY CANBERRA

AMEMBASSY OTTAWA

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY KINGSTON

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 003463

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

BRUSSELS ALSO FOR USEU

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03463 03 OF 03 191924Z

 

E.O. 12958: DECL. 11/19/11

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: UNEASY CALM RETURNS TO BULAWAYO AS CRACKDOWN ON MDC

INTENSIFIES

 

NKALA’S MURDER. ACCORDING TO SHARI EPPEL, MOST LOCAL RESIDENTS

ARE “100% CONVINCED” THAT IT WAS AN INSIDE JOB. NO EVIDENCE —

OTHER THAN A CONFESSION FROM TWO MDC SUPPORTERS WHICH MAY HAVE

BEEN ELICITED UNDER DURESS OR THROUGH BRIBERY — HAS BEEN

PRESENTED IMPLICATING ANYONE IN THE MURDER. THE FAILURE OF POLICE

TO PREVENT THE WAR VETERANS FROM GUTTING THE MDC BUILDING,

RANSACKING THE MAYOR’S OFFICE, AND BEATING PEOPLE AS THEY WENT —

AND THEIR FAILURE EVEN TO INVESTIGATE THE INCIDENT IN THE MAYOR’S

OFFICE THREE DAYS AFTER THE FACT — SUGGESTS GOZ SANCTION OR

COMPLIANCE. IT IS CLEAR THAT IT WILL NOT TAKE MUCH FOR THE

RESIDENTS OF BULAWAYO — WHO HAVE BORNE THE BRUNT OF GOVERNMENT

NEGLECT AND THE RULING PARTY’S VIOLENT TACTICS IN THE PAST — TO

POUR INTO THE STREETS, A FACT WHICH MIGHT HAVE TAKEN ZANU-PF

OFFICIALS BY SURPRISE. THIS MIGHT ACCOUNT FOR THE NOVEMBER 16

APPEALS FOR RESTRAINT BY HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER JOHN NKOMO AND

INFORMATION MINISTER JONATHAN MOYO. BUT MUGABE’S IRRESPONSIBLE

REMARKS AT THE NKALA FUNERAL SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES, AND COULD VERY

WELL FORESHADOW A CRACKDOWN ON THE MDC OF THE KIND DESCRIBED BY

MAPOSA, ALTHOUGH WE DO NOT THINK THAT MUGABE WISHES TO JETTISON

HIS LEGITIMACY BY COMPLETELY BANNING THE MDC FROM CONTESTING AN

ELECTION IN WHICH ALL THE LOGISTICAL AND LEGAL ADVANTAGES ACCRUE

TO ZANU-PF.

 

SULLIVAN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03463 03 OF 03 191924Z

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

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