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Cablegate: Media Report -- Editorial Reaction to Army

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

141351Z Jan 02


UNCLASSIFIED PTO7407

PAGE 01 HARARE 00139 141501Z
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
------------------57676C 141502Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0723
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS HARARE 000139

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT -- EDITORIAL REACTION TO ARMY
STATEMENT


1. LAST WEEK'S JOINT STATEMENT BY THE HEADS OF
ZIMBABWE'S DEFENSE AND SECURITY FORCES, DECLARING THAT
THEY WILL NOT ACCEPT ANYONE WITHOUT CREDIBLE LIBERATION
CREDENTIALS, RECEIVED CONTRASTING EDITORIAL COMMENTS IN
THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA. WHILE THE INDEPENDENT PRESS
CONDEMNED THE STATEMENT AS "OUTRIGHT TREASON" OR A "DE
FACTO COUP," THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED PRINT AND
ELECTRONIC PRESS PRAISED THE STATEMENT. EXCERPTS
FOLLOW:

2. UNDER HEADLINE "SERVICE CHIEFS' STANCE WELCOME,"
THE JANUARY 13 EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED
WEEKLY "THE SUNDAY MAIL" COMMENTS:

". . .THAT STATEMENT WAS OVERDUE AND WE
CONGRATULATE THE ARMY AND SECURITY CHIEFS ON
HAVING THE FORESIGHT TO SPELL OUT THE VALUES THAT
SHOULD DETERMINE THE PRESIDENT AND FUTURE
LEADERSHIP IN ZIMBABWE. EACH COUNTRY HAS SUCH
VALUES, BELIEFS AND TRADITIONS, WHICH ARE
SACROSANCT. . . THIS IS VERY TRUE OF THE ONLY
SUPERPOWER, THE UNITED STATES. ANY ASPIRANT TO
THE PRESIDENCY OF THE U.S. HAS TO BE PREPARED TO
CHAMPION THE CAUSE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON AND THE
LEADERS OF YORE. HE OR SHE IS NOT ALLOWED TO SEEK
A REVERSAL OF THOSE VALUES AND TRADITIONS BUT
THEIR FURTHERANCE. HIS OR HER CREDENTIALS IN ANY
WARS FOUGHT BY AMERICA DURING HIS LIFETIME ARE
CAREFULLY EXAMINED FOR HE IS EXPECTED TO DEFEND
THAT COUNTRY AGAINST FOREIGN AGGRESSION. . .
THUS, THE GENERALS ARE RIGHT IN SAYING THE
POTENTIAL OCCUPANT OF THE HIGHEST OFFICE IN THE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 00139 141501Z
LAND MUST BELIEVE IN THOSE VALUES. . . ."

3. UNDER HEADLINE "ZVINAVASHE IS NOT GOD," THE
JANUARY 13 EDITION OF THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY "THE
STANDARD" COMMENTS:

"CONTRARY TO WHAT HE MAY THINK OF HIMSELF, OR
WHATEVER HE MAY HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE BY HIS
COMPATRIOTS IN ZANU PF, GENERAL VITALIS
ZVINAVASHE. . .NEEDS TO BE DISABUSED OF THE
THINKING THAT THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY AND
PEOPLE IS A MATTER OF HIS PERSONAL DISCRETION. . .
ZVINAVASHE. . .MADE AN UNPRECEDENTED AND SHOCKING
STATEMENT TO THE NATION THAT THE NATIONAL DEFENSE
AND SECURITY FORCES WOULD NOT ACCEPT A PRESIDENT
WHO DOES NOT SUIT THEIR REQUIREMENTS, SUCH AS
POSSESSING CREDIBLE LIBERATION WAR CREDENTIALS. .
. WE URGE ZIMBABWEANS TO IGNORE WITH THE CONTEMPT
THAT IT DESERVES THE STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE
SERVICE CHIEFS THIS WEEK. ZIMBABWEANS MUST LEARN
TO STAND UP AND SAY 'NO' TO BULLY BOY TACTICS..."

4. UNDER HEADLINE "WHAT DOES TSVANGIRAI FEAR?," THE
JANUARY 12 EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED DAILY
"THE HERALD" COMMENTS:

"THE SECURITY FORCES' STATEMENT ON THE FORTHCOMING
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. . .AS EXPECTED. . .WAS
TWISTED TO IMPLY THAT THE ARMY HAD DISQUALIFIED
THE OPPOSITION'S MDC (MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC
CHANGE) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, MR. MORGAN
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 00139 141501Z
TSVANGIRAI, FROM CONTESTING THE ELECTION, ON THE
ALLEGED BASIS THAT HE DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE
LIBERATION STRUGGLE. AT NO POINT DID THE GENERALS
DISQUALIFY ANYONE, LET ALONE NAME MR. TSVANGIRAI,
OR EVEN SUGGEST THAT ONLY CANDIDATES WITH
LIBERATION STRUGGLE CREDENTIALS WOULD BE
RECOGNIZED BY THE MILITARY AND SECURITY FORCES.
WHAT THE GENERALS STATED EXPLICITLY WAS THAT THEY
WILL NOT ACCEPT ANYONE WHOSE AGENDA THREATENS TO
REVERSE THE GAINS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE. 'WE
WILL NOT ACCEPT, LET ALONE SUPPORT OR SALUTE,
ANYONE WITH AN AGENDA THAT THREATENS THE EVERY
EXISTENCE OF OUR SOVEREIGNTY, OUR COUNTRY AND OUR
PEOPLE.' WHAT COULD BE MORE CLEAR THAN THAT...?
THE HYSTERICAL REACTION MADE BY THE OPPOSITION
PARTY AND ITS WESTERN BACKERS CONFIRMS THE REAL
FEARS THAT THE GENERALS HAVE ABOUT ZIMBABWE'S
FUTURE. . ."

SULLIVAN

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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