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Cablegate: Zimbabwe Reaction to House Passage of Zimbabwe

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

070937Z Dec 01


UNCLASSIFIED PTQ4539

PAGE 01 HARARE 03651 071031Z
ACTION INR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 A-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 USNW-00
DODE-00 DS-00 EUR-00 UTED-00 VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00
LAB-01 VCE-00 NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 IIP-00 DSCC-00
DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /004W
------------------48471C 071031Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0488
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS HARARE 003651

SIPDIS

AF/PD FOR COX, ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR KRAFT, AF/RA FOR
SWANN, INR/R/MR, NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE REACTION TO HOUSE PASSAGE OF ZIMBABWE
DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY ACT.


1. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES' DECEMBER 4 PASSAGE
OF THE ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY ACT
(ZDERA) WAS FRONT-PAGE NEWS IN ZIMBABWE ON DECEMBER 6.

2. GOVERNMENT-OWNED DAILY "THE HERALD" GAVE THE STORY
ABOVE-THE-FOLD PLAY UNDER THE HEADLINE "ANTI-ZIM BILL
PASSED." THE REPORT BLAMES THE OPPOSITION MDC PARTY,
COMMERCIAL FARMERS, "SOME LOCAL INDUSTRIALISTS," THE
BRITISH, AND "RIGHTWINGERS" FOR THE BILL'S PASSAGE.
FORMER US AMBASSADOR TO THE UN ANDREW YOUNG IS QUOTED
IN THE STORY A SAYING THAT THE BILL IS "IRONIC IN THAT
AT ITS FOUNDING AMERICA NEVER RECOGNIZED THE LAND
PROGRAM GIVEN TO IT BY KING GEORGE III. INSTEAD,
AMERICA WROTE AND ASSERTED HER OWN LAND POLICY."

3. THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY "THE FINANCIAL GAZETTE"
GAVE THE ISSUE TWO FRONT-PAGE PLACEMENTS" A STRAIGHT
NEWS STORY UNDER THE TITLE "US CONGRESS PASSES ZIMBABWE
SANCTIONS" AND A RELATIVELY RARE PAGE-ONE EDITORIAL
UNDER THE TITLE "NOOSE TIGHTENS ON PRESIDENT. THE NEWS
STORY PROVIDED A STRAIGHT ACCOUNT OF THE BILL, LEAVENED
WITH QUOTES FROM CONGRESSMEN ROYCE AND LANTOS.

4. IN ITS FRONT-PAGE EDITORIAL THE "FINANCIAL
GAZETTE" COMMENTED: "THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE
INTERNATIONAL TIDE IS RISING AND NOW THREATENS TO SWEEP
AWAY PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE AND HIS REPRESSIVE REGIME.
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT THIS WEEK PASSED THE ZDERA THAT
WILL UNLEASH SMART SANCTIONS AGAINST MUGABE AND THE
POWERFUL CLIQUE OF SENIOR ZANU PF OFFICIALS AROUND HIM.
. . BUT GIVEN THE STUBBORN NATURE OF ZIMBABWEAN
LEADERS, THERE REALLY IS NO HOPE THAT MUGABE AND HIS
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 03651 071031Z
BAND OF MERRY MEN WILL RESPECT THE WISHES OF THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO ALLOW A FREE AND FAIR POLL
AND RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW. WHAT IS MOST LIKELY IS
THAT THE ZIMBABWEAN LEADER WILL DEFY ALL EFFORTS TO
RESOLVE CONCERNS ABOUT HIS MISRULE AND, LIKE OSAMA BIN
LADEN, BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR MUGABE AND ZANU PF BECAUSE THE
INTERNATIONAL TIDE AGAINST THEIR REPRESSIVE RULE IS
RISING AND RISING VERY FAST. AND THE NOOSE IS
TIGHTENING."

5. THE PRIVATELY OWNED DAILY "THE DAILY NEWS"
PUBLISHED THE STORY ON PAGE TWO UNDER THE TITLE
"ZIMBABWE DEMOCRACY BILL REACHES WATERSHED." THAT
REPORT WAS FACTUAL, OFFERING A SUMMARY OF THE BILL, AND
QUOTES FROM CONGRESSMAN ED ROYCE. THE ARTICLE ALSO
OFFERED REACTIONS TO THE BILL FROM ZANU-PF SPOKESMAN
NATHAN SHAMUYARIRA AND MDC SPOKESMAN LEARNMORE JONGWE.

6. ZIMBABWE BROADCASTING CORPORATION RADIO AND TV
ALSO GAVE ZDERA PROMINENT COVERAGE. REPORTS WERE
GENERALLY FACTUAL, BUT SOUGHT TO BLAME THE OPPOSITION
AND OTHER PERCEIVED ENEMIES OF THE RULING PARTY FOR
PROMOTING THE BILL. INFORMATION MINISTER JONATHAN MOYO
DOWNPLAYED THE BILL, DESCRIBING IT AS A "TEMPEST IN A
TEAPOT" DURING A ZBC TV INTERVIEW.

SULLIVAN

UNCLASSIFIED

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