US embassy cable - 00HARARE4662

FIRST STEP TOWARD RESTORATION OF RULE OF LAW? JURY IS STILL OUT

Identifier: 00HARARE4662
Wikileaks: View 00HARARE4662 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2000-08-22 15:59:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PHUM PGOV EAGR ECON ZI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

221559Z Aug 00


                           CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ4017

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ACTION AF-00    

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      G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00     /012W
                  ------------------7C9425  221600Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6889
INFO NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 004662 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR AF, AF/S, AF/EPS, EB/IFD/ODF, EB/TPP/ODC 
TREASURY FOR ED BARBER, GRACE SONE, AND HOFFMAN BARAK 
STATE PASS USTR/RWHITTAKER 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH 
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
PASS USAID FOR RICHARD MCCALL AND AFR/SA - MWILLIAMS 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  04662  221559Z 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/22/10 
TAGS: PHUM, PGOV, EAGR, ECON, ZI 
SUBJECT: FIRST STEP TOWARD RESTORATION OF RULE OF LAW? 
JURY IS STILL OUT 
 
REF:  A) HARARE 4627  B) HARARE 4389 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR MCDONALD.  REASONS 1.5 (B) AND 
(D). 
 
1.  (C) IN SEPARATE INCIDENTS ON AUGUST 21, POLICE 
EVICTED WAR VETERANS FROM A COMMERCIAL FARM ON THE 
SOUTHERN OUTSKIRTS OF HARARE AND ARRESTED 13 WAR VETERANS 
WHO HAD BARRICADED A ROAD EAST OF THE CAPITAL.  IN THE 
FIRST INCIDENT, POLICE TOLD THE WAR VETERANS TO LEAVE 
BECAUSE THE FARM THEY HAD OCCUPIED SINCE MAY HAD NOT BEEN 
DESIGNATED FOR RESETTLEMENT, THEN PROCEEDED TO SET THEIR 
MAKESHIFT HUTS ABLAZE.  IN THE SECOND CASE, THE ARRESTED 
WAR VETERANS HAD BLOCKADED A ROAD TO PROTEST THE SLOW 
PACE OF RESETTLEMENT IN THE GOROMONZI AREA EAST OF 
HARARE. 
 
2. (C) ALTHOUGH THE GOZ CONTINUES TO PRESS AHEAD WITH ITS 
ACCELERATED LAND ACQUISITION PROGRAM -- RECENTLY 
IDENTIFYING 229 ADDITIONAL FARMS AS READY FOR THE FINAL 
STEP OF COMPULSORY ACQUISITION -- IT APPEARS, FINALLY, AT 
LEAST IN THESE TWO INSTANCES, TO BE CRACKING DOWN ON THE 
FREE REIGN ENJOYED BY THE WAR VETERANS DURING THE PAST 
SIX MONTHS.  IN AN INTERVIEW IN THE GOVERNMENT-INFLUENCED 
"THE HERALD" ON AUGUST 22, HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER JOHN 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  04662  221559Z 
NKOMO INSISTED THAT LAWLESSNESS ON THE FARMS, INCLUDING 
INTERFERENCE WITH NORMAL FARMING ACTIVITIES, AND 
UNAUTHORIZED LAND ALLOCATIONS WOULD NOT BE TOLERATED. 
NKOMO ALSO PUBLICLY CRITICIZED THE AUGUST 19 CALL BY WAR 
VETERANS LEADER CHENJERAI HUNZVI FOR INVASIONS OF 
ADDITIONAL FARMS, FACTORIES, AND COMMERCIAL 
ESTABLISHMENTS.  THIS IS ENCOURAGING IN LIGHT OF THE 
MINISTER'S LESS THAN HELPFUL AND CONTRADICTORY COMMENTS 
TO THE AMBASSADOR DURING THEIR MEETING ON AUGUST 16 (REF 
A). 
 
3.  (C) COMMENT: THESE TWO INCIDENTS OF POLICE 
INTERVENTION ARE AN ENCOURAGING DEPARTURE FROM GOZ NON- 
ACTION TO DATE, IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HAS TURNED A 
BLIND EYE TO THE VETERANS' ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR.  IT IS 
POSSIBLE THAT THE WAR VETERANS HAVE OUTLIVED MUCH OF 
THEIR USEFULNESS FOR THE GOVERNMENT, AND, IN FACT ARE 
DOING SO MUCH DAMAGE TO THE GOZ'S CREDIBILITY THAT THEY 
HAVE BECOME A LIABILITY.  THIS COULD EXPLAIN THE POLICE 
ACTIONS DESCRIBED ABOVE.  WHILE THE GOVERNMENT HAS TAKEN 
THIS IMPORTANT FIRST STEP IN RESTORING SOME SEMBLANCE OF 
ORDER, THE POLICE ACTIONS WERE, SO FAR, AN ISOLATED 
INSTANCE.  THEY OCCURRED IN THE WAKE OF REPORTS OF NEW 
FARM INVASIONS NEAR MASVINGO, IN SOUTH-CENTRAL ZIMBABWE. 
IT WILL BEAR CLOSE WATCHING, THEREFORE, TO SEE WHETHER 
THE VETERANS' UNBRIDLED FREEDOM IS COMING TO AN END, AS 
WELL AS THE GOVERNMENT'S TACIT, OFTEN DIRECT, SUPPORT FOR 
THEIR ACTIVITIES.  CLEARLY, MUCH, MUCH MORE MUST BE DONE 
TO DEMONSTRATE TO ZIMBABWEANS AND THE INTERNATIONAL 
COMMUNITY THAT THE GOZ IS GENUINELY COMMITTED TO 
RESTORING THE RULE OF LAW. 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
PAGE 04        HARARE  04662  221559Z 
 
MCDONALD 
 
                       CONFIDENTIAL 
 
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