Chamisa arrested for inciting violence

Movement for Democratic Change youth chairman Nelson Chamisa was arrested and charged with inciting violence at rallies in Harare’s Glen Norah and Kambuzuma suburbs.

Party secretary general Welshman Ncube said Chamisa was afraid that he might be taken to Goromonzi Prison and tortured. He was initially held at Waterfalls Police Station before being moved to Harare Central Prison.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE655, ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT EXTENDS CRACKDOWN ON

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE655

2001-02-06 16:26

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.

 

061626Z Feb 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6762

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00655 01 OF 02 061625Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-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   IO-00

LAB-01   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     /010W

------------------C1AD8F 061626Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8177

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000655

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/06/11

TAGS: PHUM PGOV PINS PINR ZI MDC

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT EXTENDS CRACKDOWN ON

OPPOSITION

 

REF: HARARE 558

 

CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING FOR

REASONS: 1.5 (B) AND (D).

 

SUMMARY

-------

 

1. (C) SINCE FEBRUARY 1, THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE

(GOZ) HAS INTENSIFIED AND EXPANDED THE SCOPE OF ITS

INTIMIDATION CAMPAIGN IN URBAN AREAS. IT HAS SENT ARMY

AND POLICE UNITS INTO TOWNSHIPS NEAR HARARE TO

INDISCRIMINATELY BEAT PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES AND PUBLIC

PLACES. ON FEBRUARY 3, POLICE SQUASHED A SMALL, BUT

PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION AGAINST MEDIA ATTACKS WITH

OVERWHELMING POLICE FORCE. ON FEBRUARY 4 AND 5 IT BEGAN

TARGETING PROMINENT MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITION MDC FOR

BEATINGS AND ARREST. THE GOZ'S LEVEL OF INTIMIDATION IS

NOW HIGHER THAN AT ANY TIME SINCE LAST YEAR'S PRE-

ELECTION PERIOD. IF THE GOZ SUCCESSFULLY CLAMPS DOWN ON

THE OPPOSITION AS A POLITICAL FORCE, OPPOSITION SOURCES

FEAR EXTREMIST MEMBERS OF THE URBAN POPULACE MAY RESORT

TO ISOLATED ACTS OF VIOLENCE TO VENT THEIR ANGER. END

SUMMARY.

 

RENEWAL OF INDISCRIMINATE BEATINGS

----------------------------------

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00655 01 OF 02 061625Z

2. (C) ON THE NIGHT OF FEBRUARY 1, ARMY AND POLICE

UNITS DESCENDED ON CHITUNGWIZA, THE SPRAWLING TOWNSHIP

30 KM SOUTH OF HARARE, TO BEAT RESIDENTS, APPARENTLY AT

RANDOM. "THE DAILY NEWS" REPORTED THAT SOLDIERS STORMED

SEVERAL NIGHTCLUBS AND CLUBBED PARTY-GOERS WITH BATONS,

ACCUSING THEM OF BURNING COPIES OF THE GOVERNMENT-

INFLUENCED "THE HERALD." IN ANOTHER INCIDENT, SOLDIERS

REPORTEDLY RAIDED A RESTAURANT, ORDERED ALL THE PATRONS

TO THE FLOOR, AND BEAT THEM WITH BATONS FOR 15 MINUTES.

AN EMBASSY SOURCE CONFIRMED THAT MILITARY, NOT POLICE,

VEHICLES WERE SEEN ALL OVER CHITUNGWIZA THE NIGHT OF

FEBRUARY 1. SOLDIERS RETURNED TO ONE NIGHTCLUB IN THE

HIGH-DENSITY AREA ON FEBRUARY 4 AND AGAIN BATTERED ITS

PATRONS, ACCORDING TO THE PRESS. THE ATTACKS FOLLOWED A

WEEK OF TENSION AND VIOLENCE INVOLVING VENDORS OF THE

AFOREMENTIONED RIVAL NEWSPAPERS, WHICH WAS PRECIPITATED

BY THE BOMBING OF "THE DAILY NEWS" PRINTING PLANT ON

JANUARY 28 (REFTEL).

 

PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATIONS BROKEN UP

---------------------------------

 

3. (U) ON FEBRUARY 2, POLICE USED BATONS AND TEAR GAS

TO BREAK UP A DOWNTOWN HARARE DEMONSTRATION BY ABOUT 100

MDC YOUTHS, WHO WERE PROTESTING THE BREAKDOWN OF LAW AND

ORDER IN THE COUNTRY. POLICE CHASED AND BEAT UP THE

DEMONSTRATORS UNTIL THEY DISPERSED, ACCORDING TO PRESS

REPORTS.

 

4. (SBU) THE ZIMBABWE UNION OF JOURNALISTS (ZUJ) MET ON

THE EVENING OF FEBRUARY 2 TO ORGANIZE A DEMONSTRATION IN

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00655 01 OF 02 061625Z

DOWNTOWN HARARE THE NEXT DAY TO PROTEST THE BOMBING OF

"THE DAILY NEWS" AND OTHER GOVERNMENT ABUSE OF THE

INDEPENDENT MEDIA. ZANU-PF SUPPORTERS VISITED THE

MEETING IN AN ATTEMPT TO INTIMIDATE THE GATHERED

JOURNALISTS, BUT THEY WERE EVENTUALLY EXPELLED,

ACCORDING TO AN EMBASSY SOURCE. EARLY ON FEBRUARY 3,

BEFORE THE 100 OR SO JOURNALISTS COULD BEGIN THEIR

DEMONSTRATION IN FRONT OF THE AMBASSADOR HOTEL, ABOUT

250 RIOT POLICE HAD ALREADY GATHERED AND ORDERED THE

JOURNALISTS TO DISPERSE. THE ZUJ LEADERS CALLED OFF THE

PLANNED DEMONSTRATION, SAYING THEY HAD NO CHANCE AGAINST

THE POLICE AND WOULD "LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY,"

ACCORDING TO PRESS REPORTS.

 

ARMY AND POLICE TARGET MDC LEADERS

----------------------------------

 

4. (C) "THE DAILY NEWS" REPORTED THAT IN THE EARLY

MORNING HOURS OF FEBRUARY 5, MEN IN ARMY UNIFORMS BROKE

INTO THE HOME OF JOB SIKHALA, THE MDC SECRETARY FOR

SECURITY AND MP FOR ST. MARY'S, AND BEAT HIM SEVERELY.

SIKHALA'S SISTER AND MAID WERE REPORTEDLY STRUCK WITH

CHAINS. SIKHALA MANAGED TO ESCAPE BY HIDING IN AN

OUTDOOR TOILET. THE SOLDIERS REPORTEDLY WANTED FROM

SIKHALA INFORMATION ABOUT THE MDC'S PRESIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ6763

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00655 02 OF 02 061625Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-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   IO-00

LAB-01   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     /010W

------------------C1ADA1 061626Z /38

O 061626Z FEB 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8178

INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 000655

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/06/11

TAGS: PHUM PGOV PINS PINR ZI MDC

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00655 02 OF 02 061625Z

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT EXTENDS CRACKDOWN ON

OPPOSITION

 

ELECTION STRATEGY. IN A FEBRUARY 6 MEETING, THE HARARE

DATT ASKED ARMY AND AIR FORCE OFFICERS ABOUT THE

MILITARY'S SUPPOSED INVOLVEMENT IN SIKHALA'S BEATING.

ONE ARMY OFFICER SAID NO SOLDIERS WERE DEPLOYED TO ST.

MARY'S, BUT ADMITTED THAT THE NATIONAL REACTION FORCE,

WHICH COMPRISES SOLDIERS AND POLICEMEN, WAS INVOLVED.

THE OFFICER STRESSED THAT ALL MEMBERS OF THE NRF WEAR

THE SAME UNIFORM, IMPLYING THAT IT WAS POLICEMEN WHO

CONDUCTED THE RAID.

 

5. (C) ON FEBRUARY 5, POLICE ARRESTED THE MDC'S

NATIONAL YOUTH CHAIRMAN, NELSON CHAMISA, AND CHARGED HIM

WITH INCITING VIOLENCE AT RALLIES IN HARARE'S HIGH-

DENSITY SUBURBS OF GLEN NORAH AND KAMBUZUMA THE PREVIOUS

WEEK. CHAMISA WAS BOOKED AT WATERFALLS POLICE STATION,

BUT WAS LATER TRANSFERRED TO A LOCATION THAT THE POLICE

REFUSED TO DISCLOSE, MDC SECRETARY-GENERAL WELSHMAN

NCUBE TOLD US. NCUBE SAID THAT CHAMISA TOLD HIM THAT HE

WAS AFRAID WE WOULD BE TAKEN TO GOROMONZI PRISON AND

TORTURED. CHAMISA WAS LATER LOCATED AT HARARE CENTRAL

PRISON AND IS DUE TO APPEAR IN COURT FEBRUARY 7. WHILE

ADDRESSING SUPPORTERS IN HARARE ON FEBRUARY 4, CHAMISA

HAD CRITICIZED THE MILITARY AND POLICE FOR BEATING UP

INNOCENT PEOPLE IN HARARE'S HIGH-DENSITY SUBURBS THE

PREVIOUS WEEK.

 

6. (C) THE FEBRUARY 6 "THE HERALD" REPORTED THAT POLICE

ARRESTED MDC VICE-PRESIDENT GIBSON SIBANDA ON FEBRUARY 5

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00655 02 OF 02 061625Z

FOR INCITING VIOLENCE AT AN MDC RALLY AT BULAWAYO'S

WHITE CITY STADIUM THE PREVIOUS DAY. SIBANDA, WHO WAS

ACCOMPANIED BY LAWYER AND MDC MP DAVID COLTART, WAS

BRIEFLY QUESTIONED, CHARGED WITH INCITING VIOLENCE, THEN

RELEASED, WELSHMAN NCUBE TOLD US. THE POLICE ARE ALSO

CONSIDERING PRESSING CHARGES AGAINST NCUBE HIMSELF, WHO

ALSO SPOKE AT THE RALLY. NCUBE STATED THAT SIBANDA'S

REMARKS WERE MISQUOTED BY "THE HERALD" AND TWISTED

AROUND BY THE POLICE. SIBANDA HAD REALLY STATED THAT

"WE MUST DEFEND OURSELVES, THAT IT IS RIGHT TO ACT IN

SELF-DEFENCE," AND THAT "IT'S NOT UNLAWFUL TO HIT (WAR

VETERANS LEADER) CHENJERAI HUNZVI IF HE HITS YOU FIRST,"

ACCORDING TO NCUBE.

 

COMMENT

-------

 

7. (C) THE LEVEL OF GOZ-SPONSORED INTIMIDATION IS NOW

HIGHER THAN AT ANY TIME SINCE LAST YEAR'S PRE-ELECTION

PERIOD. THE SCOPE AND INTENSITY OF THE INTIMIDATION

CAMPAIGN, AND THE INCREASING INVOLVEMENT OF MILITARY

UNITS, IS A FLASHING SIGN OF THE GOZ'S GROWING

DESPERATION--AND DETERMINATION--TO DEFEAT THE MDC. WE

ARE HEARING RUMORS THAT MUGABE MAY RESIGN AS EARLY AS

APRIL THIS YEAR AND CALL A SNAP ELECTION THAT WOULD

CATCH THE MDC OFF-GUARD. SUCH A MOVE IS PLAUSIBLE,

CONSIDERING THE INTENSITY OF THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE

MDC'S STRONGHOLDS AND THE MDC ITSELF. A CAMPAIGN OF

URBAN VIOLENCE WAS THE FINAL STAGE IN THE GOZ'S WAVE OF

INTIMIDATION IN THE RUN-UP TO LAST YEAR'S PARLIAMENTARY

ELECTIONS. IT IS DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE THE GOZ

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00655 02 OF 02 061625Z

MAINTAINING THIS LEVEL OF VIOLENCE IN THE URBAN AREAS

WITHOUT RISKING A GREATER BACKLASH FROM URBAN RESIDENTS,

WHO WILL BE KEY TO ANY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. HOWEVER,

IF THE GOZ SUCCESSFULLY CLAMPS DOWN ON THE OPPOSITION

AND DESTROYS IT AS A POLITICAL FORCE, WHICH APPEARS TO

BE ITS INTENTION, OUR CONTACTS IN THE OPPOSITION FEAR

THAT EXTREMIST MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITION OR URBAN

POPULACE MAY RESORT TO ISOLATED, RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE

TO VOICE THEIR ANGER. WE CANNOT RULE OUT THE KILLING OF

POLICE OR ARMY OFFICERS, OR EVEN ATTEMPTS ON THE LIVES

OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, IN THE NEAR- TO MEDIUM-TERM.

WE DO NOT, HOWEVER, ANTICIPATE THAT FOREIGNERS WILL BE

THE TARGETS OF THESE ACTS. END COMMENT.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

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