Catholic priest asks Chiyangwa to stop violence

A Catholic priest for Banket wrote Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front member Philip Chiyangwa urging him to stop the violence in the run-up to the 2000 Parliamentary elections after he had allegedly asked his audience to kill any member of the opposition.

The priest’s letter was among the diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks last week having found its way to the American embassy through the Movement for Democratic Change.

The priest called for peace and asked Chiyangwa whether he would only represent those who voted for him or the entire constituency if he was elected to parliament.

Full cable:

Viewing cable 00HARARE3095, LETTER FROM A CATHOLIC PRIEST ON ZIMBABWEAN

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE3095

2000-06-08 15:46

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTO9528

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03095 081541Z

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------------------60A6E7 081544Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6250

INFO AMEMBASSY ROME

UNCLAS HARARE 003095

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT. FOR AF PDAS POWELL, DAS SCHNEIDMAN, AF/S DIRECTOR

RENDER, ZIMBABWE DESK OFFICER GURNEY

 

ROME PASS TO VATICAN FOR AMBASSADOR BOGGS FROM AMBASSADOR

MCDONALD

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM VT ZI

SUBJECT: LETTER FROM A CATHOLIC PRIEST ON ZIMBABWEAN

POLITICAL VIOLENCE

 

DEAR LINDY:

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03095 081541Z

THE FOLLOWING IS A LETTER PROVIDED TO US BY A MOVEMENT FOR

DEMOCRATIC CHANGE, (MDC) (THE MAJOR OPPOSITION PARTY),

ACTIVIST THAT WAS SENT FROM A CATHOLIC PARISH PRIEST TO A

ZANU-PF PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE, MR. PHILLIP CHIYANGWA,

URGING HIM TO HELP STOP THE ONGOING POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN

ZIMBABWE AND CRITICIZING HIM FOR HIS PUBLIC STATEMENTS.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE IT WITH VATICAN OFFICIALS, BUT

PROTECT THE PRIEST'S NAME, AS YOU URGE THEM TO BE HELPFUL ON

THIS ISSUE WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE. I LOOK FORWARD

TO OUR CONTINUING DIALOGUE ON THIS MATTER.

 

BEST REGARDS, TOM

 

BEGIN TEXT:

 

DEAR MR. CHIYANGWA,

 

I AM WRITING TO YOU AS THE CATHOLIC PRIEST OF BANKET, A

PLACE IN YOUR FUTURE CONSTITUENCY. I AM WRITING BECAUSE I AM

VERY CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR MEETING WHICH YOU HELD IN

KUWADZANA TOWNSHIP ON FRIDAY 19TH MAY, 2000 IN THE KUWADZANA

HALL. A NUMBER OF OUR PARISHIONERS AND CHRISTIANS FROM OTHER

DENOMINATIONS ARE VERY WORRIED ABOUT YOUR SPEECH AND THE WAY

YOU ADVOCATED VIOLENCE, DESTRUCTION AND HATRED AMONG OUR

PEOPLE. YOU HAD BEEN SAYING THAT IF ANYONE KNOWS OF A MEMBER

OF ANOTHER PARTY (YOU MENTIONED THE MDC) "KILL HIM". YOU

ENCOURAGED THE DESTRUCTION OF PUBLIC PROPERTY (PTC) WHICH IS

THERE FOR THE GOOD OF ALL PEOPLE.

 

THE PEOPLE OF BANKET ARE PEACEFUL PEOPLE IRRESPECTIVE OF

COLOR, CREEO OR POLITICAL ALLEGIANCE, WHO WANT TO WORK

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03095 081541Z

TOGETHER ANO BUILO UP THE COUNTRY. YOUR AIM SEEMS TO BE THE

OPPOSITE. YOUR SPEECH HAS MAOE MANY PEOPLE VERY SAO, BECAUSE

YOU SEEM TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO FIGHT A CIVIL WAR, A WAR OF

MURDER ANO OESTRUCTION.

 

MOST OF YOUR LISTENERS ARE CHRISTIANS. REMEMBER, THEY KNOW

THE COMMANDMENT "THOU SHALT NOT KILL". MOST OF YOUR

LISTENERS RESPECT THE TRADITIONAL VALUES OF THEIR

FOREFATHERS, FOR WHICH MURDER WAS A CRIME. THEY STILL CLING

TO THE IDEA OF HUMAN INTEGRITY (IN SHONA "UNHU"). WE ARE

VERY WORRIED THAT THESE VALUES ARE BEING DESTROYED THESE

DAYS AND ASK YOU TO THINK ABOUT YOUR ATTACK ON HUMAN DIGNITY

ON FRIDAY 19TH MAY, IN THE KUWADZANA HALL.

 

I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: WHEN YOU ARE

ELECTED WILL YOU FEEL RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL PEOPLE IN THE

CONSTITUENCY OR ONLY TO THE MEMBERS OF YOUR PARTY? THIS IS

IMPORTANT FOR ALL WHO VOTE, BECAUSE WE WANT MEMBERS IN

PARLIAMENT WHO INTEGRATE A COMMUNITY AND NOT THOSE WHO

DIVIDE, INTIMIDATE AND EVEN ENCOURAGE LAWLESSNESS.

WE ARE PRAYING DAILY IN OUR CONGREGATION FOR PEACE AND THE

ADVANCEMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND OR MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF ALL

PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY. WE PRAY ALSO FOR YOU, THAT YOU MAY

REALIZE WHAT THE TRUE VALUES ARE. I AM NOT WRITING AS A

POLITICIAN TO YOU BUT AS A PRIEST, WHO HAS THE GOOD OF ALL

PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY AT HEART.

 

YOURS SINCERELY,

 

W. THAMM SJ

PARISH PRIEST, BANKET

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 0

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