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 "Demonstrations a seal for land
reforms" the government-controlled daily "Chronicle"
dedicated its September 2 editorial to criticizing the
West for failing to endorse the land reform program in
Zimbabwe. Excerpts:

2. "Some Western leaders have been working
tirelessly to isolate Zimbabwe through the use of
targeted sanctions and vicious condemnation of its
land reforms. However, events unfolding in South
Africa at the WSSD and elsewhere, have shown beyond
any doubt that the devious machinations to throttle
Zimbabwe have only served to cement African unity, and
isolated the likes of Blair and Bush. Several
conferences and demonstrations are being held
alongside the summit in South Africa as people try to
register their anger over the way `development' has
been managed, leading to the destabilization of the
environment. . . It was quite interesting that the
demonstrators who applauded the President lambasted
British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair and American
President, Mr. George Bush. The West should read the
signs that Africans can no longer be taken for
granted. . . The land issue is a thorny one in the
region since land ownership is still skewed in favor
of whites. . . The calls for land cannot therefore
die down before this anomaly is addressed throughout
the region and attended to quickly, since the Western
countries are ganging up against such initiatives to
stall the redistribution of land held by their kith
and kin. We implore the Western leaders to read the
mood of the people of Africa and come to their senses
instead of trying to propagate notions that will not
bring food to our people's tables. It is not too late
for the West to give land reforms in the region all
the support the programs need. This would also
safeguard their descendants against future wars over

". . .The people have spoken, and said that the
land issue is an African issue and we hope the
likes of Blair and Bush are listening. Their
efforts to divide Africans were dealt another
major blow at the weekend when it was revealed
by Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique that
they were not involved in U.S. plans to remove
President Mugabe as the Americans claimed.
. . .Zimbabwe is ready to defend its sovereignty
and would do so with pride since it will be
defending its land, with the full support of
fellow Africans in the region. We are sure Bush
and Blair are now feeling isolated and
irrelevant, since there is so much principled
anger against them across the continent. Bush
even feared to attend the conference!"


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