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Cablegate: Media Report Army Stance Criticized; Harare

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

141105Z Jan 02


UNCLASSIFIED PTO6962

PAGE 01 HARARE 00136 141243Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 A-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
DS-00 EUR-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 LAB-01
VCE-00 NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 IIP-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /003W
------------------57560D 141244Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0719
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS HARARE 000136

SIPDIS

AF/PD FOR COX, ROBERTSON, SCHLACHTER, AF/S FOR KRAFT, AF/P,
INR/R/MR, NSC FOR FRAZER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT ARMY STANCE CRITICIZED; HARARE


1. EDITORIALS IN JANUARY 11 EDITIONS OF THE INDEPENDENT
DAILY "THE DAILY NEWS" AND THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY
"ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT," HAVE CRITICIZED A STATEMENT ISSUED
BY THE ZIMBABWE DEFENSE FORCES ON JANUARY 9 THAT THEY WOULD
NOT ACCEPT A PRESIDENT WITHOUT A CREDIBLE LIBERATION WAR
RECORD. EXCERPTS FOLLOW:

2. UNDER HEADLINE "ARMY IS ATTEMPTING TO BLACKMAIL
VOTERS," THE "DAILY NEWS" COMMENTS:

". . .MAKE NO MISTAKE, FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY'S BLOOD-
CURDLING DECLARATIONS BY THE ARMY GENERALS, DEMOCRACY
IN THIS COUNTRY IS NO LONGER IN THE INTENSIVE CARE
UNIT. DEMOCRACY IS DEAD. . .WE SHALL POINTEDLY IGNORE
COMMANDER OF THE ZDF, GENERAL VITALIS ZVINAVASHE'S
DECLARATION ABOUT THE COUNTRY'S SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS
BEING PREPARED TO 'ONLY STAND IN SUPPORT OF THOSE
POLITICAL LEADERS THAT WILL PURSUE ZIMBABWEAN VALUES,
TRADITIONS AND BELIEFS FOR WHICH THOUSANDS OF LIVES
WERE LOST IN PURSUIT OF ZIMBABWE'S HARD-WORN
INDEPENDENCE.' WE DISMISS THAT WITH THE CONTEMPT IT
DESERVES. . . ."

3. UNDER HEADLINE "ZVINAVASHE CONDUCTS COUP AGAINST
DEMOCRACY," THE "ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT" COMMENTS:

"IN A DISGRACEFUL BETRAYAL OF HIS CONSTITUTIONAL
RESPONSIBILITIES GENERAL VITALIS ZVINAVASHE DECLARED ON
WEDNESDAY THE ARMED FORCES WILL ONLY SUPPORT LEADERS
WHO FOUGHT IN THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE. IN OTHER WORDS
THEY WILL REFUSE TO SUPPORT THE VERDICT OF THE
ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLE IF IT GOES AGAINST PRESIDENT MUGABE
IN THE MARCH (9 AND 10) POLL. BY STATING THAT THE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 00136 141243Z
ARMED FORCES WILL NOT 'SUPPORT OR SALUTE ANYONE WITH A
DIFFERENT AGENDA THAT THREATENS THE VERY EXISTENCE OF
OUR SOVEREIGNTY, OR COUNTRY AND OUR PEOPLE,' ZVINAVASHE
HAS IN EFFECT CARRIED OUT A COUP AGAINST THE DEMOCRATIC
PROCESS. . .ZVINAVASHE'S COMMENTS CLEARLY MARK ANOTHER
MILESTONE IN THE COUNTRY'S DESCENT INTO TYRANNY. A
MILITARY COMMAND THAT OPENLY TELLS THE PEOPLE OF
ZIMBABWE THAT IT WILL NOT HONOR THEIR DEMOCRATICALLY-
EXPRESSED WISHES IS ONE THAT IMMEDIATELY FORFEITS THEIR
CONFIDENCE. . .THIS LATEST EXAMPLE OF THE PROSTITUTION
OF STATE POWER WILL BE A LITMUS TEST FOR SADC AND
ZIMBABWE'S FRIENDS ABROAD. THEY MUST NOT CONTINUE TO
INDULGE A REGIME THAT HOLDS THE WILL OF ITS PEOPLE IN
SUCH CONTEMPT IN THE NAME OF A REVOLUTION IT LONG AGO
BETRAYED."

SULLIVAN

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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