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Cablegate: Editorials Support and Criticize Mugabe

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

UNCLAS HARARE 001389

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PD, AF/S, AF/RA
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM
SUBJECT: EDITORIALS SUPPORT AND CRITICIZE MUGABE
TRAVEL TO FAO MEETING IN ROME


1. Editorials in the June 10 editions of the
government-controlled daily "The Herald" and the
independent daily "The Daily News" focus on Robert
Mugabe's presence in Rome for the United Nations
meeting on hunger. Excerpts:

2. Under headline "Travel bans prove ineffective"
the
government-controlled daily "The Herald" dismisses
travel restrictions against Robert Mugabe and his
government as meaningless. Excerpts:

"Despite the imposition of travel sanctions against
President Mugabe, government officials and other
Zimbabwean business people by the United States and
the European Union (EU), the Zimbabwean leader and
his entourage have once again managed to travel to
a European destination without any hindrance. This
puts to shame political upstarts and Uncle Toms who
were gleefully celebrating the imposition of the
travel ban against Zimbabwe's leaders and
entrepreneurs. . . The failure of the travel ban
has also exposed another fallacy that the US and EU
were going to seize foreign assets of President
Mugabe and his officials. Several months after
this announcement, nothing has been found despite
the celebrated international intelligence network
of the Americans, British and other Western super
powers.

"If President Mugabe was such an abomination to the
international notion of civil liberties, democracy
and human rights how come his two international
visits to the US and Italy have not caused any stir
in these two countries? We have not seen the
public outrage against his visits unlike that which
was attracted by the American President and British
prime minister in some of their travels outside
their own countries, which saw thousands of people
taking to the streets in protest. Maybe it is now
time to turn the tables against those who have been
fighting for the isolation of Zimbabwe, the
imposition of sanctions, among other things meant
to bring suffering on the people. Why should they
continue to enjoy international travel to advocate
evil against their own people and nothing is done
to hold them accountable. No other country would
tolerate such nonsense and Zimbabwe should be no
exception."

3. "The Daily News" editorial blames the Mugabe
government for the food crisis. Excerpts:

". . .The government (of Zimbabwe) is the chief
architect of the food shortage, but the tragedy is
that it is unwilling to see or acknowledge its
authorship of the crisis. Instead, it prefers to
blame the weather and an alleged conspiracy by
commercial farmers. . . By being in Rome, Mugabe
is demonstrating the futility of the 'smart'
sanctions against himself and his government, but
he is also saying he can create a crisis and leave
the international community to assume
responsibility for his actions. . . If the FAO
summit produces pledges food aid for starving
Zimbabweans, it must be on condition that non-
governmental organizations - and not the
government - be involved in its distribution. . ."

SULLIVAN

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