Cablegate: Daily News Criticizes Political Use of Food
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS HARARE 002444
DEPT FOR AF/PD, AF/S, AF/RA, AF/PDPA
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAO ZI
SUBJECT: DAILY NEWS CRITICIZES POLITICAL USE OF FOOD
1. Under headline "SADC ministers must act to avert
disaster" the independent daily "The Daily News"
dedicated its November 8 editorial to criticizing the
government of Zimbabwe for politicizing the
distribution and purchase of much-needed maize-meal in
the country. The editorial also called on the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) to
"exert" pressure on the government of Zimbabwe in
order to "avert a looming humanitarian crisis."
2. "Recent developments in which ZANU PF has
demanded membership cards from hungry rural and urban
dwellers only serve to strengthen the need for
international pressure to ensure non-governmental
organizations are allowed direct participation, in
order to save millions of Zimbabweans from starvation.
Villagers in Binga, Insiza, and urban dwellers in
Budiriro, Chitungwiza, Kuwadzana, Mufakose and Warren
Park have in the past week been required to produce
membership cards of the ruling party before being
allowed to buy maize-meal. This is the most callous
conduct anyone can ever imagine from a government. . .
This is one example of how a government has
deliberately plotted to wage a war against its own
citizens for daring to exercise their right to belong
to a party of their choice. It is because the
government no longer listens to anyone, internally,
that pressure from outside should be applied in order
to avert an imminent humanitarian crisis. . . That a
government can sanction the starvation of hundreds of
thousands of people because they differ politically is
reprehensible, disgraceful and
horrendous. . . Pressure must be exerted on the
government to avert a looming humanitarian
crisis. . ."