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Cablegate: Media Reaction Zimbabwe Decides; Harare

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

140558Z Mar 02


UNCLASSIFIED PTQ2055

PAGE 01 HARARE 00667 01 OF 02 140608Z
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 TEDE-00 LAB-01
VCE-00 DCP-01 NSAE-00 IRM-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00
IIP-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /004W
------------------74458A 140608Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1203
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000667

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ZIMBABWE DECIDES; HARARE


1. UNDER HEADLINE "GOVERNMENT DESPERATE TO WIN
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 00667 01 OF 02 140608Z
ELECTION BY ANY MEANS," THE INDEPENDENT DAILY "THE
DAILY NEWS" DEDICATED ITS MARCH 13 EDITORIAL TO
CRITICIZING REGIONAL OBSERVERS FOR BEING PARTISAN IN
THE JUST ENDED PRESIDENTIAL POLL. EXCERPTS:

"THE VERIFICATION OF THE BALLOT BOXES AND PAPERS
BEGAN YESTERDAY, BUT IT WAS MERELY THE BEGINNING OF
AN EXERCISE IN CONFIRMING THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE
WEEKEND PRESIDENTIAL POLL WAS FLAWED. JUST ABOUT
EVERYTHING REGARDING THIS ELECTION PROCESS -
OBSERVERS INCLUDED - HAS BEEN FLAWED. CURIOUSLY
ALL THE OBSERVER MISSIONS THAT WERE FAVORED BY THE
STATE MEDIA PROCLAIMED THE PROCESS FREE AND FAIR,
EVEN IN THE FACE OF THEIR OWN COLLEAGUES BEING
ATTACKED. . . IT IS DIFFICULT TO ESCAPE THE
CONCLUSION THAT THESE GROUPS OF OBSERVERS WERE
INSTRUCTED BY THE RULING PARTIES OR THEIR
GOVERNMENTS TO PRONOUNCE FREE AND FAIR, WHEN THEY
SET OUT FOR HARARE. IN THE CASE OF THE SOUTH
AFRICAN OBSERVER DELEGATION. . . SUCH A VIEW WOULD
BE PROMOTED BY A BELIEF THAT PRONOUNCING A 'STOLEN
ELECTION' IN ZIMBABWE WILL RESULT IN A CRISIS OF
THE TYPE WITNESSED IN MADAGASCAR AND A FLOOD OF
PEOPLE FLEEING TO SOUTH AFRICA. IT WOULD BE IN THE
INTEREST OF SOUTH AFRICA NOT TO CONDEMN THE PROCESS
AND, THEREFORE, CONTAIN THE LIKELIHOOD OF FALLOUT.
A SECOND CONSIDERATION THAT LEADS TO THE ASSUMPTION
THAT THE SOUTH AFRICAN OBSERVER MISSION APPEARS TO
BE ACTING ON THE INSTRUCTION OF THE AFRICAN
NATIONAL CONGRESS (ANC) OF SOUTH AFRICA IS THE
COMPARISON OF THE LEVEL OF VIOLENCE IN THAT COUNTRY
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 00667 01 OF 02 140608Z
TO WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ZIMBABWE. . . IN CONTRAST,
HOWEVER, THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU) AMBASSADORS HAVE
IDENTIFIED VIOLENCE AND THE GOVERNMENT'S EFFORTS TO
CHEAT ITS WAY TO AN ELECTORAL VICTORY AND DECLARED
'THE OPPOSITION DID NOT HAVE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY WITH
THE GOVERNMENT, VOTERS DID NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT
ACCESS TO POLLING STATIONS, AND THERE WAS NOT
ENOUGH MONITORING.' THE OPPOSITION HAS HAD TO
FIGHT EVERY INCH OF THIS ELECTORAL MILE, THAT IT
WOULD BE EMBARRASSING FOR ANYONE OF ANY PROBITY NO
TO HAVE NOTICED HOW FLAWED THIS EXERCISE WAS. .
.THE GOVERNMENT HAS SHOWN ITS DETERMINATION TO WIN
THIS ELECTION BY HOOK OR CROOK. . . ."

2. UNDER HEADLINE "PROPHETS OF DOOM PUT TO SHAME,"
THE
GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED DAILY "THE HERALD" DEDICATED
THE MARCH 13 EDITORIAL TO CRITICIZE THE UNITED
STATES GOVERNMENT FOR WANTING TO INTERFERE IN
ZIMBABWE'S INTERNAL AFFAIRS. EXCERPTS FOLLOW:

"AGAINST ALL ODDS, ZIMBABWEANS TURNED OUT IN THEIR
THOUSANDS TO VOTE IN THE THREE-DAY PRESIDENTIAL
POLL. . . THE PROPHETS OF DOOM, WHO WERE
PREDICTING VIOLENCE AND MAYHEM DURING THE ACTUAL
VOTING PROCESS, HAVE BEEN PUT TO SHAME AS
ZIMBABWEANS CONDUCTED THEMSELVES IN A MOST
EXEMPLARY MANNER. ALMOST THE ENTIRE WESTERN WORLD
WAS BANKING ON A CATASTROPHE HAPPENING IN ZIMBABWE
WITH DEAD BODIES LITTERING THE STREETS, GUN-TOTING
MILITIAS PATROLLING THE SUBURBS AND A STATE OF
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 00667 01 OF 02 140608Z
EMERGENCY PREVAILING IN THE COUNTRY. HOWEVER, THE
HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER STORY HAS TURNED OUT TO BE A
DAMP SQUIB AS ZIMBABWEANS HAVE DEMONSTRATED A
MATURE DEMOCRATIC DISPENSATION. THERE WAS A LOT OF
ANTICIPATION THAT THE CLOSER OF POLLING ON MONDAY
NIGHT BEFORE SOME PEOPLE HAD VOTED, AFTER THE
EXTENSION, WOULD TRIGGER AN ORGY OF VIOLENCE. BUT
THAT FAILED TO MATERIALIZE, FURTHER DAMPENING THE
EXPECTATIONS OF BRITAIN, THE U. S. AND THE EU,
AMONG OTHERS, WHO HAVE BEEN DESPERATELY LOOKING FOR
AN EXCUSE TO DISCREDIT ZIMBABWE'S ELECTION. THE
AMERICANS EVEN WENT TO THE EXTENT OF ISSUING TWO SO-
CALLED STRONG WARNINGS AGAINST THE RULING ZANU PF
GOVERNMENT FOR THE ALLEGED DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF
URBAN VOTERS AND THE QUESTIONING OF SOME AMERICAN
DIPLOMATS BY THE POLICE. THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO
BASIS FOR ISSUING SUCH WARNINGS EXCEPT WHAT WE SEE
AS A NAKED ATTEMPT TO CREATE A SITUATION. THIS
ALSO REVEALS GROWING DESPERATION BY THE WEST AS IT
FAILS TO INFLUENCE EVENTS IN ZIMBABWE. . .IT IS
INDEED AN INSULT TO ALL ZIMBABWEANS TO BE TOLD WHAT

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ2056

PAGE 01 HARARE 00667 02 OF 02 140608Z
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 TEDE-00 LAB-01
VCE-00 DCP-01 NSAE-00 IRM-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00
IIP-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /004W
------------------74459C 140608Z /38
P 140558Z MAR 02
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1204
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 000667

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ZIMBABWE DECIDES; HARARE

TO DO BY THE AMERICANS WHOSE OWN ELECTIONS LEFT A
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 00667 02 OF 02 140608Z
LOT TO BE DESIRED AND COULD NEVER STAND ANYWHERE IN
THE WORLD AS A MODEL OF DEMOCRACY OR FREE AND FAIR
ELECTIONS. WE ALSO FIND OBJECTIONABLE THE UNITED
STATES' THREAT AGAINST ZIMBABWE FOLLOWING THE
QUESTIONING OF AMERICAN DIPLOMATS. . .ARE THEY
INSINUATING THAT AMERICAN DIPLOMATS ARE GODS WHO
CANNOT BE QUESTIONED EVEN IF THEY ARE SUSPECTED OF
BREAKING THE LAW? WE THINK NOT. WHAT THIS SIMPLY
SHOWS IS THAT THE WESTERN WORLD IS UNASHAMEDLY
TRYING TO PICK A FIGHT WITH THE ZIMBABWEAN
GOVERNMENT BUT HAS SO FAR FAILED TO FIND ANY
JUSTIFIABLE REASON TO DO SO. THAT IS WHY THEY ARE
CLUTCHING AT ALMOST ANYTHING, NO MATTER HOW
TRIVIAL, TO THREATEN THE COUNTRY. THE TURNOUT IN
THIS ELECTION HAS SENT CLEAR SIGNALS TO THE WESTERN
WORLD THAT ZIMBABWE IS NOT A COLONY AND WILL NOT BE
SWAYED BY SUCH BLATANT THREATS. IN DENIGRATING THE
ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT THE WESTERN WORLD DOES NOT
SEEM TO REALIZE IS THAT IT DIRECTLY INSULTING THE
PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE. THAT IS WHY THEY HAVE TURNED
OUT IN THEIR HUGE NUMBERS TO SHOW THE WORLD THAT
THEY CANNOT BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED AND WILL STAND BY
THEIR LEADERSHIP, WHICH THEY VOTED INTO POWER TO
LEAD AND GUIDE THEM."

SULLIVAN

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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