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Cablegate: Suspected Zimbabwe War Veterans Attack Former

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

011510Z Mar 01


UNCLASSIFIED PTO4413

PAGE 01 HARARE 00881 011512Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 USNW-00
DINT-00 DODE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00
FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-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
SCT-00 SP-00 IRM-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/010W
------------------CC2219 011512Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8323
INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

UNCLAS HARARE 000881

SIPDIS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR TERRY PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 00881 011512Z
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PINS PINR ZI
SUBJECT: SUSPECTED ZIMBABWE WAR VETERANS ATTACK FORMER
GENERAL'S SON


SENSITVE BY UNCLASSIFIED, PROTECT ACCORDINGLY. NOT FOR
INTERNET POSTING.

1. (SBU) ON MARCH 1, GEORGE WALLS CALLED ON POLOFF TO
RELAY THE EVENTS SURROUNDING THE ATTACK ON HIM BY
SUSPECTED WAR VETERANS THE NIGHT OF FEBRUARY 23. WALLS
IS THE SON OF PETER WALLS, FORMER COMMANDER OF THE
RHODESIAN ARMY UNDER THE IAN SMITH REGIME. THE FEBRUARY
26 EDITION OF "THE DAILY NEWS" REPORTED THE ATTACK ON
THE YOUNGER WALLS IN A HEADLINE STORY.

2. (SBU) WALLS TOLD POLOFF THAT "THE DAILY NEWS" STORY
WAS GENERALLY ACCURATE. AROUND 10:15 PM ON FEBRUARY 23,
WHILE WALLS WAS DRIVING TO HIS SUBURBAN HARARE HOME,
FOUR MEN IN ANOTHER VEHICLE PULLED A GUN ON HIM AND
FORCED HIM TO STOP. THREE OF THE MEN, SHABBILY DRESSED,
ACCORDING TO WALLS, GOT OUT AND DEMANDED TO KNOW THE
LOCATION OF HIS FATHER. (NOTE: IT WAS REPORTED IN
DECEMBER 2000 THAT WALLS' FATHER HAD BEEN SEEN IN
ZIMBABWE AT VICTORIA FALLS. THE JUNIOR WALLS SAID IT
WAS COMPLETELY FALSE, AS HIS FATHER HAD NOT BEEN TO
ZIMBABWE IN 21 YEARS, AND THAT THE AUTHORITIES HAD
MISTAKEN A BRITISH NATIONAL NAMED PETER WELLS FOR HIS
FATHER. END NOTE.) WALLS STATED THAT THE MEN CLAIMED
TO BE "LIBERATION FIGHTERS." HE NEVER CLAIMED THEY WERE
CIO OPERATIVES, AS REPORTED IN "THE DAILY NEWS." WALLS
SAID HE WOULD NOT KNOW WHAT A CIO AGENT LOOKED LIKE.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 00881 011512Z

3. (SBU) WHEN HE DENIED THAT HIS FATHER WAS IN THE
COUNTRY, THE THREE MEN PROCEEDED TO BEAT WALLS. ONE
STRUCK HIM IN THE FACE WITH AN ELECTRICAL CORD, WHICH
PRODUCED A DEEP GASH FROM HIS FOREHEAD TO BELOW HIS
RIGHT EYE, AND PUNCHED HIM IN THE FACE. ANOTHER STABBED
HIM IN HIS RIGHT THIGH, HE STATED. (COMMENT: WALLS
CLEARLY HAD BEEN SERIOUSLY INJURED. HIS FACE WAS
COVERED WITH BANDAGES AND HE WALKED WITH A NOTICEABLE
LIMP. END COMMENT.) THE ATTACKERS WARNED WALLS THAT IF
HE REPORTED THE INCIDENT TO THE POLICE, THEY WOULD
RETURN AND KILL HIM. A PASSER-BY TOOK WALLS TO THE
HOSPITAL, WHERE HE WAS ADMITTED AND TREATED FOR THREE
DAYS. THE GASH TO HIS FACE REQUIRED PLASTIC SURGERY,
WALLS SAID. HIS SISTER WENT TO THE POLICE AND MADE A
STATEMENT. THEY WERE SYMPATHETIC, WALLS REPORTED, BUT
HE DID NOT KNOW IF THEY WERE GOING TO INVESTIGATE THE
INCIDENT. WALLS SAID HE RECEIVED A THREATENING PHONE
CALL THE NIGHT OF FEBRUARY 28.

4. (SBU) POLOFF ASKED WALLS WHAT HE THOUGHT MIGHT HAVE
LED TO THE INCIDENT. HE STATED HE DID NOT REALLY KNOW.
HIS FATHER IS ACTUALLY LIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA, AND HE
BELIEVES THE ZIMBABWEAN AUTHORITIES KNOW THIS. IN FACT,
THE CIO HAD SENT HIS FATHER A LETTER THERE 10 YEARS AGO
STATING THAT THEY HAD RECOMMENDED TO PRESIDENT MUGABE
THAT WALLS BE ALLOWED TO RETURN TO ZIMBABWE. THE
PRESIDENT NEVER FORMALLY GAVE PERMISSION, SO THE OLDER
WALLS STAYED IN SOUTH AFRICA, THE SON REPORTED. HE ALSO
SAID THAT IN APRIL 2000, THREE WELL-DRESSED CIO AGENTS
HAD PAID HIM A VISIT AND POLITELY WARNED HIM AGAINST
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 00881 011512Z
PURSUING POLITICAL ACTIVITIES. SINCE THEN, WALLS HAD
NOT BEEN THREATENED IN ANY WAY UNTIL NOW. HE SPECULATED
THAT UNION WORKERS AT HIS PLANT MAY HAVE HAD SOMETHING
TO DO WITH IT, BECAUSE ONE OF THEM WARNED HIM A WEEK
BEFORE THAT WAR VETERANS WOULD BE COMING AFTER HIM.
WALLS SAID THAT WORKERS AT HIS PLANT SOMETIMES GET
MILITANT WHEN CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS COME UP, BUT THAT
THEY ARE NOT SCHEDULED UNTIL JULY, AND BESIDES, HE IS
ONLY A MIDDLE MANAGER AND WOULD BE THE WRONG PERSON TO
THREATEN. WALLS TOLD POLOFF THAT HE BELIEVED THE ATTACK
HAD BEEN WELL-PLANNED AND ROBBERY WAS DEFINITELY NOT A
MOTIVE.

5. (SBU) COMMENT: THE ASSAULT ON WALLS IS UNUSUAL
BECAUSE IT OCCURRED IN A LOW-DENSITY SUBURB OF HARARE
AGAINST A WHITE PERSON OF SYMBOLIC VALUE, BASED ON WHO
HIS FATHER WAS. THAT HE IS APOLITICAL MADE NO
DIFFERENCE TO HIS ATTACKERS. GIVEN INCREASED WAR
VETERAN ACTIVITY AND A CRACKDOWN ON GOVERNMENT OPPONENTS
IN URBAN AREAS, WE SUSPECT THAT THE ATTACK ON WALLS WAS
CARRIED OUT TO INTIMIDATE AND STRIKE FEAR INTO URBAN
WHITES, A KEY SOURCE OF SUPPORT FOR THE OPPOSITION
MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC). END COMMENT.

IRVING

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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