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Cablegate: Media Report: Official Media Spin Sadc Summit

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

091246Z Aug 00


UNCLASSIFIED PTO2647

PAGE 01 HARARE 04445 091251Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 AMAD-00 A-00 EUR-00 UTED-00 TEDE-00 INR-00
IO-00 LAB-01 AC-01 OIC-02 ACE-00 SSO-00 SS-00
IAP-00 USIE-00 IIP-00 DRL-02 SAS-00 /006W
------------------77E56E 091251Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6804
INFO AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS HARARE 004445

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF, AF/S, AF/PD, INR/R/MR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ZI OIIP
SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT: OFFICIAL MEDIA SPIN SADC SUMMIT
DECLARATION ON ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY ACT


1. GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE-CONTROLLED MEDIA, THE HERALD
NEWSPAPER AND THE ZIMBABWE BROADCASTING CORPORATION
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 04445 091251Z
(ZBC), ARE SPINNING THE RESULTS OF THE JUST-ENDED
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY (SADC) SUMMIT IN
WINDHOEK. THE ANGLE TAKEN BY BOTH MEDIA OUTLETS GIVES
PROMINENCE TO SADC CONDEMNATION OF THE ZIMBABWE
DEMOCRACY ACT (ZDA). GOVERNMENT MEDIA ALSO REPORT THAT
SADC LEADERS GAVE UNEQUIVOCAL SUPPORT TO ZIMBABWE'S
LAND REFORM PROGRAM.
2. ZBC TELEVISION AND RADIO LED THEIR AUGUST 8 PRIME-TIME
NEWSCASTS WITH STATEMENTS BY NEWS READERS THAT THE
SUMMIT "CONDEMNED" THE ZDA, PASSED BY THE SENATE IN
JUNE AND CURRENTLY AWAITING HOUSE ACTION. A VIDEO
REPORT BY THE ZBC REPORTER IN WINDHOEK MADE CLEAR,
HOWEVER, THAT SADC'S CONCERN OVER THE ZDA WAS NOT AT
THE TOP OF THE SUMMIT AGENDA. OF THE ROUGHLY 3-MINUTE
VIDEO OF SADC SPOKESMAN RAMSAMY READING THE SUMMIT
DECLARATION, ONLY ABOUT 10 SECONDS WAS RELATED TO THE
ZDA. THE VIDEO WAS EDITED TO GIVE RAMSAMY'S STATEMENT
ON ZDA GREATER PROMINENCE.
3. THE AUGUST 9 EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED "HERALD"
DAILY NEWSPAPER GAVE PROMINENT PAGE-ONE COVERAGE TO THE
SADC SUMMIT STATEMENTS ON LAND REFORM AND THE ZDA.
HEADLINED "SADC LEADERS BACK LAND PROGRAMME," THE SUB-
HEAD READ "BRITAIN CALLED UPON TO HONOUR OBLIGATIONS --
SUMMIT CONDEMNS US CONGRESS BILL." THE ARTICLE GAVE THE
APPEARANCE THAT THE SADC SUMMIT CONCERNED ITSELF ONLY
WITH THESE TWO ISSUES. NO OTHER SADC BUSINESS WAS
MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE. THE ARTICLE EXCERPTED THE
SECTIONS OF THE SUMMIT DECLARATION DEALING WITH LAND
REFORM AND THE ZDA, AND DREW ON STATEMENTS FROM UNNAMED
"SADC LEADERS."
4. ZIMBABWEANS WHO RELY ONLY ON GOVERNMENT MEDIA FOR THEIR
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 04445 091251Z
NEWS (A DWINDLING NUMBER OF PEOPLE) WOULD COME TO THE
CONCLUSION THAT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE SADC SUMMIT
WAS TO SLAM THE UK FOR ITS FAILURE TO SUPPORT
ZIMBABWE'S VERSION OF LAND REFORM AND BERATE THE US FOR
CONSIDERING CONDITIONAL ASSISTANCE TO ZIMBABWE.

IRVING

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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