Cablegate: Media Reaction Wssd; Harare

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Under headline "Zim must stand its ground at
summit" the independent weekly "The Business Tribune"
dedicated its August 22 editorial to encouraging
Zimbabwe to advance its controversial land
redistribution program at the forthcoming World Summit
on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South
Africa. Excerpts:

2. ". . .The upcoming World Summit on Sustainable
Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. What does
it mean for Zimbabwe? What should Zimbabwe, and
indeed Africa, expect from the summit? That it
will be one of the largest and most important
international meetings Africa has hosted is not
in doubt. . . For Zimbabwe, this summit, more
than any other, presents many challenges. These
include the ongoing land reform program and the
environmental concerns that it implies. Already
many observers and conference organizers are
concerned the Zimbabwe contagion may derail the
summit. If Zimbabwe is not on the agenda it
surely will be put at the center stage not only
because the premise on which the land reform is
being conducted challenges the agenda of the
developing countries. . . The summit thus
provides a platform for the condemnation of land
reform and the food problem that has now been
conveniently associated with it. Any country
that attempts to identify with Zimbabwe will
also face the wrath of the international
community. So any Zimbabwean delegates,
particularly those representing the government,
will have to endure being sidelined and
ridiculed. . . Zimbabwe cannot be integrated
into the world economy when it is pursuing
policies that undermine the foundation of modern-
day capitalism.

". . .U.S. President George W. Bush's millennium
challenge account that seeks to increase
conditional development assistance best
describes the attitudes of the developed world
to Africa. AGOA and NEPAD are similar
initiatives that rely on partnerships and
unfettered markets as the sine qua non for
development. The impact of corporate greed so
much evident in the U.S. on the lives of
ordinary citizens will surely be ignored. The
thrust will certainly be driven by corporates,
particularly those from developed countries who
have seen these summits as a convenient platform
to advance their selfish and parochial
interests. Already the composition of the
delegates is mostly non-African, with Africans,
in a demonstration of their world-renowned
inability to pay for their own costs without
donor support, missing at the summit. The fact
that the summit is being held in Africa but the
majority of delegates will be advancing non-
African values is just another example of what
can be expected when Zimbabwe and Africa in
general have not put their house in order."


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