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Cablegate: Eac Meets to Discuss Disturbances by Soldiers,

VZCZCXRO7606
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #1066/01 3381547
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031547Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3771
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001066

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR DS/IP/AF,
DS/IP/ITA
AF/S
S/CT
CA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC AMGT CASC PREL ZI
SUBJECT: EAC MEETS TO DISCUSS DISTURBANCES BY SOLDIERS,
UPCOMING DEMONSTRATIONS, AND MEDICAL SITUATION

REF: HARARE 1060

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) Harare EAC convened on December 2 to discuss recent
incidents involving disgruntled soldiers (reftel) and a
planned December 3 demonstration by the Zimbabwe Council of
Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA). The EAC determined that these developments required
close monitoring but that advising official Americans to
carry radios was the only appropriate change in security
posture at this time. END SUMMARY.

--------------------------------------------
Frustrated Soldiers Attacking Money Changers
--------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) The Harare EAC convened on December 2. Ambassador
McGee chaired the meeting, which was attended by the DCM,
RSO, POL, CONS, MGT, DAO, RAO, CDC, PAO, USAID, IPC, MED, and
GSO. The EAC discussed recent incidents (reftel) in which
frustrated soldiers caused disturbances and attacked money
changers. RSO noted that as of 1630, Tuesday, December 2,
the police were maintaining a show of force in the city,
having deployed two water cannons and an armored personnel
carrier (APC) manned by 40 armed police at Harare Central
Police Station. In addition, armed Military Police squads
were rounding up rogue soldiers within the city. DATT
commented that these measures would likely suppress potential
demonstrations for some time, but RSO and DATT predicted that
these incidents were likely to recur as long as soldiers are
not adequately paid. CONS reviewed their latest Warden
Message on the demonstrations and agreed to send to all
Mission personnel.

3. (SBU) RSO advised that his staff was maintaining a
presence in the city to provide early warning of any
disturbances and recommended that all personnel be instructed
to carry their radios at all times. American citizens were
advised in the Warden Message to avoid any unnecessary travel
within the central business district; this applied equally to
official Americans. The EAC agreed with these measures.

--------------------------
ZCTU AND NCA DEMONSTRATION
--------------------------

4. (SBU) The DCM and RSO outlined the ZCTU protest scheduled
for Wednesday, December 3 and the NCA protest scheduled for
Thursday, December 4. The ZCTU protest was to take place
country wide at all bank outlets to protest limits on
currency. A march was planned in Harare beginning at 0830
local time at Kwame Nakruna and 1st streets ending one block
away at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) headquarters. NCA
protests had been occurring the past several weeks at the
Parliament building where they were most recently dispersed
with tear gas.

5. (SBU) The EAC agreed that the security measures outlined
in paragraph 3 were sufficient to cover these events. CDC
was cautioned that the ZCTU march was scheduled to take place
very close to their location and to remain vigilant.

6. (SBU) NOTE: As of 1130 local December 3, a police
roadblock remained in place at the intersection of Kwame
Nakruna and 1st street. Police were observed by RSO
personnel beating a limited number of presumed protesters.
This police presence appears to have prevented the march from
taking place. END NOTE.

-------------------------
CHOLERA AND MEDICAL CARE
-------------------------

7. (SBU) Consular commented to the EAC that in recent weeks
the cholera outbreak and lack of medical services in Zimbabwe
had worsened. He suggested that a Travel Alert be drafted to
alert American Citizens. The EAC agreed and a draft Travel
Alert is presently in the Embassy clearance process.

-----------
CONCLUSION

HARARE 00001066 002 OF 002


-----------

8. (U) The EAC will continue to monitor these events and
provide updates as conditions warrant.

McGee

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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