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Cablegate: Media Report Army Warns Scribes; Harare

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

101022Z Jan 02


UNCLASSIFIED PTQ1152

PAGE 01 HARARE 00090 101127Z
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 EPAE-00 IIP-00 DSCC-00
DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /003W
------------------55C4BE 101128Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0686
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS HARARE 000090

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: PREL PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT ARMY WARNS SCRIBES; HARARE


1. ZIMBABWE'S MILITARY AND SECURITY CHIEFS HAVE WARNED
JOURNALISTS WORKING FOR THE INDEPENDENT PRESS AGAINST
PUBLISHING "FALSE REPORTS THAT DISCREDIT THE LEADERSHIP AND
MEMBERSHIP OF SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS." ADDRESSING
JOURNALISTS IN HARARE ON JANUARY 10, THE COMMANDER OF THE
ZIMBABWE DEFENSE FORCES, GENERAL VITALIS ZVINAVASHE, TOLD
JOURNALISTS IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS THAT "ANY REPORTS AND
ACTIONS DESIGNED TO CREATE INSTABILITY IN ZIMBABWE WILL BE
MET BY THE FULL FORCE OF THE LAW." THIS WARNING COMES BACK-
TO-BACK WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE MARCH 9 AND 10, 2002
PRESIDENTIAL POLL DATES BY PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE
YESTERDAY (JANUARY 9). AT THE PRESS BRIEFING, ALL THE
SERVICE CHIEFS FROM THE ZIMBABWE NATIONAL ARMY, THE CENTRAL
INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION, AIR FORCE OF ZIMBABWE, THE
ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE AND ZIMBABWE PRISON SERVICES
FLANKED ZVINAVASHE. ALL THE DEFENSE AND SECURITY FORCE
CHIEFS ARE VETERANS OF ZIMBABWE'S WAR OF LIBERATION.
WITHOUT MENTIONING NAMES, THE ARMY CHIEF ALSO TOOK THIS
BIZARRE OPPORTUNITY TO DECLARE THAT THE ZIMBABWE ARMED
FORCES WILL "NOT ACCEPT, LET ALONE SUPPORT OR SALUTE
ANYONE" WITHOUT LIBERATION WAR CREDENTIALS. EXCERPTS OF THE
STATEMENT FOLLOW:

2. ". . .ATTACKS ON INDIVIDUALS BASED ON CONTRIVED
INFORMATION BY THE MEDIA USING SECURITY ORGANIZATION
SYSTEMS BREED MISUNDERSTANDINGS, MISTRUST, DIVISIONS AND
UNDERMINE THE CREDIBILITY OF THE SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS. .
.WHILST IT IS KNOWN THAT MEDIA HOUSES ARE IN BUSINESS, THEY
MUST NOT GENERATE PROFITS OUT OF FALSE REPORTS THAT
DISCREDIT THE LEADERSHIP AND MEMBERSHIP OF SECURITY
ORGANIZATIONS. . .ANY REPORTS AND ACTIONS DESIGNED TO
CREATE INSTABILITY IN ZIMBABWE WILL BE MET BY THE FULL
FORCE OF THE LAW. . .TO THIS END, LET IT BE KNOWN THAT THE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 00090 101127Z
HIGHEST OFFICE ON THE LAND IS A 'STRAIGHT JACKET' WHOSE
OCCUPANT IS EXPECTED TO OBSERVE THE OBJECTIVES OF THE
LIBERATION STRUGGLE. WE WILL THEREFORE NOT ACCEPT, LET
ALONE SUPPORT OR SALUTE ANYONE WITH A DIFFERENT AGENDA THAT
THREATENS THE VERY EXISTENCE OF OUR SOVEREIGNTY. . . ."

3. THIS STATEMENT HAS ECLIPSED THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION DATES. IT IS THE LEAD STORY IN
ALL THE NEWSPAPERS PUBLISHED IN HARARE TODAY (JANUARY
10). THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED DAILY "THE HERALD"
CARRIED THE ARTICLE UNDER HEADLINE "NO TO TRAITORS,"
WITH THE FOLLOWING SUB-TITLE "SERVICE CHIEFS MAKE A
STAND," ACCOMPANIED BY TWO BULLETIN TITLES "GAINS OF
THE STRUGGLE MUST BE MAINTAINED," AND "POLLS SHOULD BE
PEACEFUL." THE INDEPENDENT DAILY "THE DAILY NEWS"
PRINTED THE ARTICLE UNDER HEADLINE "ARMY BACKS MUGABE:
SAYS IT WILL NOT ACCEPT ANYONE WITHOUT LIBERATION WAR
CREDENTIALS." THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY "THE FINANCIAL
GAZETTE" CARRIED THE ARTICLE UNDER HEADLINE "ARMY
SHOOTS DOWN TSVANGIRAI." PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE AND
OPPOSITION MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) LEADER
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI ARE THE MAJOR CANDIDATES FOR THE
MARCH PRESIDENTIAL POLL.

SULLIVAN

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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