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Cablegate: Zimbabwe's Government Media Play Up "Plot"

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 001951

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: PREL PHUM KPAO KMDR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE'S GOVERNMENT MEDIA PLAY UP "PLOT"


1. Under the headline "American madness" the weekly
ZANU-PF house organ "The People's Voice" (08/25)
comments:

"The U.S. Government this week shamelessly went
public about its plans to oust the
democratically elected President of the Republic
of Zimbabwe Robert Gabriel Mugabe, from power.
This American madness has been witnessed in
Cuba, Iraq, Libya, Iran and the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea among others.
American bureaucrats forget that it is not their
business to choose leaders of the countries of
the world. This is the prerogative of the
peoples of these countries by God's divine
ruling. In exercising that exclusive
prerogative, the people of Zimbabwe elected
President Mugabe. . . ZANU PF, the government
and people of Zimbabwe will stand up against any
world power and their international network in
defense of the country's national sovereignty
and independence. No Western power is mighty
enough to intimidate the heroic people of
Zimbabwe.

"British and American citizens must be extremely
worried that their governments have given
themselves the Satanic role of spreading misery
and strife throughout the world. Where other
nations are striving for international progress
and development, the British and American
governments are being retrogressive because of
their selfish and myopic interests. Zimbabwe
and the progressive world in general, will not
stand for that. The sooner the British and
American governments realize that the better.
The world will not tolerate a situation whereby
the British and Americans speak so highly of
people's democratic will but are quick to punish
the same people when that democracy fails to
yield pre-determined western results. . . Our
government owes its allegiance not to the United
States and Britain but to the people of Zimbabwe
who elected it."

2. Under headline "Zimbabwe's neighbors humiliate
U.S. Assistant Secretary" the pro-government weekly
"The Sunday Mirror" (08/25) carried the following
article on its "Media Focus" column on page 9:

"Not content with blasting Afghanistan's Tora
Bora mountains to smithereens in search of an
elusive Osama bin Laden, and planning on
ejecting Iraqi strongmen Saddam Hussein from
power, the U.S. has focused its interest on
Zimbabwe. In flagrant violation of the
principle that `none of us can choose who leads
governments or administrations in foreign
countries,' the U.S. has endeavored to dabble in
the politics of the country with the hope of
instilling its own preferred candidate in the
seat of government. In a humiliating slap in
the face, Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique
have shot down claims by the U.S. Secretary of
State for Africa, Walter Kansteiner, that their
governments had signed up to a U.S. plan to
isolate President Robert Mugabe. . . The snub
America has received from the region has
exploded the myth that it has the influence to
manipulate the political dynamics in the region
in its favor, and with the moral blessing and
active co-operation of the region itself. . ."

3. Under headline "Zimbabwe is not a colony" the
government-controlled weekly "The Sunday News" (08/25)
comments:

". . .Mr. Walter Kansteiner. . .told the world
that the illegitimate Bush administration has
hatched a plot to topple the elected government
of Zimbabwe. This is not news to most Africans.
The only starling aspect of Mr. Kansteiner's
utterances is that he actually found such racist
nonsense newsworthy. . . The man either suffers
from a severe strain of amnesia or is hopelessly
addicted to the despicable pastime of political
mischief. His own un-elected boss, President
Bush, is an illegitimate leader who bulldozed
his way to power by manipulating partisan
Supreme Court judges appointed by his Republican
Party. Any serious watchers of international
politics would know that Mr. Bush was elected by
judges whereas President Mugabe has the mandate
of the people of Zimbabwe. . . We owe our
legality, democracy and rule of law to none but
ourselves. . . The confrontational stance
adopted by Washington and London against
Zimbabwe's land reform program is futile because
the agrarian revolution is irreversible. The
legitimacy of Zimbabwe's political system is
neither decided by George Bush and Tony Blair
nor by southern Africa's so-called regional
powers. . . American and British politicians
must be reminded that foreign interference in
the internal affairs of a sovereign country is a
clear violation of international law and norms.
Any Western leader. . .who assumes that he can
use his economic and military muscle to bully
Zimbabweans into reversing the perfectly legal
and morally justifiable land redistribution
program is not being sincere to himself and his
country. Zimbabwe is not a colony and Zimbabwe
is not for sale."

4. Under headline "Zimbabwe will not be
intimidated!" the government controlled daily (08/24)
"Chronicle" comments:

". . .The reason behind (the American) resolve
to see the Zimbabwe government out of office is
that they backed the wrong horse at the last
election, and that the government in power will
not bow down to their evil machinations. The
people of Zimbabwe are more than ready to defend
their sovereignty and will not be intimidated by
statements from people whose only pre-occupation
is protecting the interests of a few white
farmers at the expense of the black majority. .
.Where are the voices of the likes of Amnesty
International and the United Nations? Do the
landless majority of this country not have any
rights? Would somebody know what happened to
the Universal Bill of Rights. . .? It seems
President Mugabe's only sin is to redistribute
land to fellow blacks, and winning the elections
when the Americans and the British gave him no
chance. The new democracy through the barrel of
a gun will not be tolerated, and the ganging up
against the country only goes to show that
imperialists cannot get over their colonial
paternalism and disdain for African authority. .
. The Americans and the British are still to
deliver on their promise of funding for land
reforms made in 1979. For the record, our
President has delivered a few months after
elections. . . We have not meddled in
Washington's affairs and in the same spirit we
hope the Americans steer clear of Harare and do
not get caught up in their British cousins'
nostalgia."

5. Under headline "Belligerent U.S. joins Zimbabwe's
tormentors" the August 24 edition of the government-
controlled daily "Chronicle" carried the following op-
ed by Peter Baka Nyoni:

"After the British, the Europeans and the white
Commonwealth and their attempts to force their
own kind of change in Zimbabwe's political
landscape over the last eight months without
success, it has now fallen to the Americans to
try their hand too. How frustrating it must be
for little Zimbabwe to prove such a hard nut to
crack for those who live outside it! The
present American government is distinctly
different from the one that preceded it. Bill
Clinton had a human face to him. . . By
contrast, the George W. Bush administration is a
belligerent one. It only understands the
language of war and threats. It has marked
itself out on a mission to exhibit American
power and might as the sole super-power of the
world. . . Zimbabwe this week stands under the
shadow of the most direct and menacing of the
American threats. Where others have failed, the
mighty U.S. is not expected to fail. After all
it is the world's last Big Brother that we have
around.

"America's so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and
Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) has now been upon
us for over six months. Under it we faced a
select range of financial and immigration
sanctions. . . The reality has proved a little
more complicated. Thus the search is on for
other and more effective ways to bring this
stubborn government to its knees. For some
strange and inexplicable reason, the internal
revolt and mass uprising premised on the efforts
of the internal political opposition have so far
come to grief. It is common cause now that the
opposition coalition is hopelessly divided and
ineffectual. Its backbone, in the white farming
community, has now been finally
broken. . . Internally, the opposition is a
lost cause. . . It is this realization that
appears to have pushed the Americans to center
stage in the fight against Zimbabwe. . ."

6. Under headline "United States spills the beans"
the government-controlled daily "The Herald" (08/24)
published the following editorial on page 8:

"The American government spilled the beans last
week with their revelation that they are working
with some `independent' journalists in Zimbabwe
to topple the ruling ZANU PF government. We
have always known that the private media in this
country was controlled from Britain and America
and it comes as no surprise that the U. S. is
confirming it. . . The U.S. Assistant Secretary
of State, Mr. Walter Kansteiner has exposed them
for what they really are: shameless turncoats
who are prepared to sell their own country to
the highest bidder. It is indeed a sad chapter
in Zimbabwe's media history as a new madness has
gripped the privately owned Press. Instead of
being the first line of defense of the country's
sovereignty, values and dignity, they celebrate
at its denigration and are even players in the
process. . ."

Sullivan

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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