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Cablegate: Government Paper Blames Opposition Party and "The

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

UNCLAS HARARE 002008

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: GOVERNMENT PAPER BLAMES OPPOSITION PARTY AND "THE
WEST" FOR BOMBING OF RADIO STATION

REF: HARARE 01984

1. The government-controlled "Herald" used its August 31
editorial to suggest that the bombing of the "Voice of the
People" radio station offices on August 29 was the work of
western-sponsored "enemies of Zimbabwe" bent on sullying
the nation's reputation.

2. Under the title "Stop smear campaign" the paper
comments:

". . .The bombing comes in the wake of plans by
members of the white Commonwealth at the Earth
Summit on WSSD in South Africa to discuss Zimbabwe.
There is no doubt that the whole incident has been
timed to embarrass the Zimbabwean government, so
that the British and their allies have something to
discuss and justify their condemnation of Zimbabwe.
The ploy is obvious. . . The Americans, the British
and the European Union have already ganged up
calling on the Earth Summit. . .to condemn President
Mugabe. . . They are accusing Zimbabwe of the
bombing claiming it is a clear signal that freedom
of speech has no place in the country. As
Zimbabweans we are not deterred or surprised by
these onslaughts by the West. They have a mission
to accomplish. The attack on the government before
any investigations are concluded shows a high degree
of shortsightedness on their part. . . Rushing to
conclusions on the radio station's bombing is not
justified. . . ."

3. Under headline "Bombing of radio station
predictable: Attack provides Zim's enemies with
chance to launch fresh onslaught" the same newspaper
carried the following opinion piece political editor
Phillip Magwaza:

"As expected, Thursday's bombing of the offices of
the illegal private radio station (VOP). . .has
provided Zimbabwe's sworn political enemies a golden
opportunity to launch a fresh attack on the country.
Before the ashes of the explosion had gone cold,
Britain and the United States were on cue to condemn
the bombing, which they linked to previous attacks
on the independent media. . . The cowardly attack
was so predictable as it came barely four days
before President Mugabe addressed the WSSD in South
Africa.

". . .It is only logical to assume that the failure
by the British, the Americans and the MDC to put
Zimbabwe's land reforms on the agenda of the summit
could have had something to do with the bomb attack.
. . .The recent statement made by the American
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Mr.
Walter Kansteiner about working closely with the
independent media to topple the government now makes
sense. . . It is a shameful act that after
Kansteiner's statement, a house belonging to the so-
called independent media is bombed. What a
coincidence. . ."

SULLIVAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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