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Cablegate: Media Reaction Zim After Presidential Poll;

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


UNCLASSIFIED PTO8325

PAGE 01 HARARE 00767 01 OF 02 251337Z
ACTION INR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 A-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00
USNW-00 DODE-00 DS-00 EUR-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00
IO-00 LAB-01 VCE-00 NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00
IIP-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /003W
------------------7A0D83 251337Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1310
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000767

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 ZIM AFTER PRESIDENTIAL POLL;
HARARE

1. EDITORIALS IN THE MAINSTREAM NEWSPAPERS CONTINUE
TO
FOCUS ON THE HOTLY DISPUTED PRESIDENTIAL POLL IN
ZIMBABWE. EXCERPTS FOLLOW:

2. UNDER HEADLINE "A REGIME BENT ON VIOLENCE,
CORRUPTION WON'T GET AID," THE INDEPENDENT DAILY "THE
DAILY NEWS" (03/25) COMMENTS:

". . .IN LAST WEEK'S CONFERENCE. . .IN MONTERREY,
(MEXICO), PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH OF THE UNITED
STATES LINKED AID TO GOOD GOVERNANCE. CLEARLY,
WORLD POVERTY HAS TO BE TACKLED WITH THE FULL
KNOWLEDGE THAT UNLESS A COUNTRY GOVERNS ITS PEOPLE
WITH FAIRNESS, IT CANNOT EXPECT TO ATTRACT MUCH
HELP TO REDUCE POVERTY. LIKE ANY OTHER AFRICAN
COUNTRIES, ZIMBABWE HAS NOT ALWAYS BEHAVED
RESPONSIBLY WITH OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY, PARTICULARLY
FOR POVERTY ALLEVIATION. THE CONDUCT OF THE
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION HAS BEEN SO OVERWHELMINGLY
CONDEMNED AS A TRAVESTY OF FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE
THAT THE FEW FRIENDS WHO HAD STUCK WITH US AFTER
THE KILLINGS OF THE 2000 ELECTION CAMPAIGN HAVE
DECIDED THEY HAVE HAD ENOUGH. ON ITS PRESENT
RECORD OF VIOLENCE AGAINST ITS OWN PEOPLE, THE
GOVERNMENT OF PRESIDENT MUGABE IS UNLIKELY TO FIND
TOO MANY COUNTRIES WILLING TO HELP IT END POVERTY
AMONG ITS PEOPLE. AS LONG AS THE KILLINGS
CONTINUE, NO CONFERENCE ON POVERTY IS LIKELY TO
HELP A REGIME SO COMMITTED TO VIOLENCE."

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 00767 01 OF 02 251337Z
3. UNDER HEADLINE "EU BULLYING TACTICS GOING TOO
FAR," THE BULAWAYO-BASED GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED DAILY
(03/25) COMMENTS:

"THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU). . .IS TAKING ITS BULLYING
TACTICS TOO FAR. IT STILL HOLDS THE ILL-ADVISED
BELIEF THAT ITS RACIST MEMBERSHIP HAS THE DIVINE
RIGHT TO DECIDE THE FATE OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.
MAYBE THIS IS THE RIGHT TIME TO REMIND THE EU THAT
ZIMBABWE IS NO LONGER A BRITISH COLONY TO BE TOLD
AT EVERY TURN WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT. WE
DEMAND THAT THE BRITISH AND THEIR RACIST FRIENDS
ABANDON THE BLACKMAIL THEY ARE TRYING TO APPLY ON
ZIMBABWE BECAUSE IT IS A WASTE OF TIME AND
RESOURCES. NOW, WE WANT TO BE RESPECTED AS AN
EQUAL MEMBER OF THE UNITED NATIONS."

4. UNDER HEADLINE "MUDENGE KNOWS HE IS TALKING
NONSENSE," THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY "THE STANDARD"
(03/24) COMMENTS:

"DR. STAN MUDENGE, ZIMBABWE'S FOREIGN MINISTER, HAS
AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT JOB, CONSIDERING ALL THE
CLEANING UP HE HAS TO DO AFTER MUGABE. BUT THAT'S
NO EXCUSE FOR HIM TO TALK NONSENSE. HIS RESPONSE
THIS WEEK TO ZIMBABWE'S SUSPENSION FROM THE
COMMONWEALTH IS A CASE IN POINT. IN AN ANGRY
RESPONSE TO THE DECISION BY THE COMMONWEALTH TROIKA
ON ZIMBABWE TO SUSPEND THE COUNTRY FROM THE
COMMONWEALTH FOR A YEAR. . .MUDENGE FLATLY STATED
THAT THE ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT REJECTED THE REPORT.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 00767 01 OF 02 251337Z
MUDENGE SAYS THE DECISION TO SUSPEND ZIMBABWE FROM
THE COMMONWEALTH FOR 12 MONTHS UNDERMINED THE
CREDIBILITY OF THE COMMONWEALTH. WE ARE OF THE
OPINION THAT THE COMMONWEALTH'S REPUTATION WOULD
HAVE BEEN MORE IN JEOPARDY HAD IT NOT TAKEN ACTION
AGAINST A TRUANT ADMINISTRATION THAT OVER A GOOD 36
MONTHS HAS PERFECTED THE ART OF DUCKING AND DIVING.
.NO ACTION SHOULD BE SPARED IN BRINGING TO BOOK A
POWER HUNGRY DESPOT WHO WILL USE ALL LEGAL AND
ILLEGAL MEANS TO REMAIN IN POWER, LONG PAST HIS
SELL-BY DATE."

5. UNDER HEADLINE "WHY MUST THE BRUTALITY AND
KILLINGS CONTINUE?" THE INDEPENDENT DAILY "THE DAILY
NEWS" (03/23) COMMENTS:

".MORE THAN 10 PEOPLE HAVE DIED SINCE THE VOTING
ENDED, ALMOST TWO WEEKS GO. MANY OTHERS BEAR FRESH
SCARS INFLICTED ON THEM BY SUPPORTERS OF THE RULING
PARTY OR SO-CALLED WAR VETERANS. YET OTHERS HAVE
BECOME INTERNAL REFUGEES, DISPLACED FROM THEIR

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ0113

PAGE 01 HARARE 00767 02 OF 02 251337Z
ACTION INR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 A-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-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 IIP-00
DSCC-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /004W
------------------7A0D99 251337Z /38
P 251320Z MAR 02
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1311
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 000767

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 ZIM AFTER PRESIDENTIAL POLL;
HARARE

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 00767 02 OF 02 251337Z
RURAL HOMES BY A WAVE OF RETRIBUTION UNLEASHED BY
GOVERNMENT SUPPORTERS. THE ONLY CRIME TO HAVE BEEN
COMMITTED BY VICTIMS OF THE CURRENT 'CARAVAN' OF
TERROR IS THAT THEY ARE SUSPECTED OF BEING MEMBERS
OF THE OPPOSITION MDC, LEGAL OPPOSITION PARTY. IT
IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE UNITY WHEN COERCION IS
EMPLOYED INSTEAD OF PERSUASION. IT IS
CONTRADICTORY TO RECOGNIZE THE DIVERSITY OF
OPINIONS AND YET AT THE SAME TIME SEEK TO DENY OR
PUNISH ANYONE HOLDING VIEWS CONTRARY TO ONE'S OWN.
IF MUGABE WAS SINCERE IN HIS CALL FOR UNITY, AND IF
HE WAS CONFIDENT THAT HE ENJOYED THE CONFIDENCE AND
SUPPORT IF THE 56,2 PERCENT OF THE 2,9 MILLION
VOTERS IN THE COUNTRY WHO TOOK PART IN THE
ELECTION, THEN HE WOULD HAVE STARTED BY DISMANTLING
THE (TORTURE CAMPS) SET UP BY ZANU PF YOUTH
BRIGADES. HE WOULD ALSO HAVE ORDERED THE POLICE TO
CLAMP DOWN ON THOSE RUNNING AROUND THE COUNTRY
CAUSING MAYHEM AND BEHAVING AS IF THEY ARE ABOVE
THE LAW. HE WOULD HAVE ORDERED THE SECURITY AGENTS
TO ENSURE ALL ACTS OF LAWLESSNESS AND THE FARM
INVASIONS STOPPED FORTHWITH. BUT THERE IS A FAR
MORE SINISTER INFERENCE THAT CAN BE MADE HERE. IT
IS THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS DARING THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY TO OSTRACIZE IT SO THAT IT BECOMES FREE
OF ANY INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATION TO UPHOLD HUMAN
RIGHTS AND OTHER RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS THAT GO
WITH A GOVERNMENT THAT IS A MEMBER OF THE WORLD
COMMUNITY. INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION WOULD CREATE
THE CONDITIONS NECESSARY FOR DECLARING A STATE OF
EMERGENCY AND THE GOVERNMENT WOULD THEN BE FREE TO
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 00767 02 OF 02 251337Z
TERRORIZE AND SUBJUGATE ITS OWN PEOPLE."

6. UNDER HEADLINE "THE PEOPLE WANT PEACE," THE
INDEPENDENT WEEKLY "THE ZIMBABWE MIRROR" (03/22)
COMMENTS:

".IT IS CRUCIAL FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT IN
ZIMBABWE THAT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI AND HIS FOLLOWERS
INDULGE IN A CAREFUL AND HONEST ASSESSMENT OF BOTH
THE BALANCE OF FORCES AND THE MOOD OF THE MASS OF
THE PEOPLE IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION. AS WE HAVE ALREADY STATED. . .PEOPLE ARE
TIRED OF THE POLITICS OF CONFRONTATION AND SIMPLY
WANT PEACE AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET DOWN TO THE
BREAD AND BUTTER ISSUES THAT ARE ALREADY SO
CRUCIAL. AS PRESIDENTS MBEKI AND OBASANJO
INTIMATED EARLIER THIS WEEK, THE MDC AND ZANU PF
SHOULD PUT ASIDE THEIR DIFFERENCES AND ENGAGE IN
DIALOGUE. IT IS OUR HOPE THAT THE DIALOGUE WILL
BEGIN SOON IN PARLIAMENT, WITH THE DEBATE TOWARDS A
NEW CONSTITUTION, TOWARDS A NEW ERA FOR ZIMBABWE."

SULLIVAN

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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