Cablegate: Un Special Envoy Morris in the Zimbabwean Press

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. Zimbabwe's government-owned "Herald" newspaper
attempted to twist comments made by UN Special Envoy for
Humanitarian Needs in Southern Africa James Morris after
his January 24 meeting with President Mugabe in Harare.
The front page of the January 25 "Herald" informed readers
that Morris "accepted the irreversibility of Zimbabwe's
land reform program." Because the independent press are
excluded from State House where Morris spoke to media after
his meeting with Mugabe, that gross distortion might have
stood, but Morris used his January 25 pre-departure press
conference to set the record straight. His frank criticism
of the "Herald's" politically motivated distortion provided
a choice lead in the January 27 "Standard," a privately
owned weekly. Excerpts follow:

2. Under headline "Help new farmers: U.N. special
envoy" the "Herald" (01/25) carried the following
lead story:

"Humanitarian agencies working in Zimbabwe should
help provide farmers with water and inputs, visiting
U.N. special envoy Mr. Tim (sic) Morris said
yesterday, accepting the irreversibility of land
reform in essence. This help to farmers was
necessary, in addition to providing immediate food
aid to those in need of assistance. `We need to work
very hard to provide people with water, fertilizers
and inputs. . .,' he told journalists soon after
meeting President Mugabe at State House. `Food is
only a piece of it. In a drought, the provision of
water is very important.' Mr. Morris said the
provision of water, fertilizers and other
agricultural inputs would enhance the capacity of the
famine stricken families to feed themselves. The
U.N. official expressed optimism and satisfaction
with food distribution mechanisms and the efforts
being undertaken by the government to deal with the
HIV/AIDs scourge. . . ."

3. Under headline "Herald lied 100 (percent), says U.N.
envoy" the independent weekly "The Standard" (01/26)
carried the following article by Henry Makiwa:

"James Morris, the U.N. special envoy for
Humanitarian Needs in Southern Africa, yesterday
dressed down the state-controlled daily, The Herald,
saying it had peddled `100 (percent) lies,' in
yesterday's front-page lead story. Morris who says
his deep-seated concern for the humanitarian crisis
in Zimbabwe should be accurately reflected, told
journalists, diplomats and government officials at a
press conference, that he was shocked to see `The
Herald' publish a story purporting that he had
accepted the irreversibility of the land reform
exercise. . . Morris said The Herald's lead
story. . .constituted a gross misrepresentation of
what he had said when addressing journalists on
Friday afternoon. . . Said Morris yesterday: `The
comments in `The Herald' were 100 (percent) lies. I
did not comment as `The Herald' purportedly reports
in its front-page story today. . . I did not accept
that the land reform process was irreversible as
they quote me as saying. It was gross
misrepresentation of the worst form. `What I did
say was that the future of Zimbabwe depended on the
success of a robust agro-based economy. It was also
embarrassing that `The Herald' repeatedly quoted me
as `Tim Morris' when my real name is James Morris.
Ironically, I have a 36-year-old son called Tim who
will probably be attributed to The Herald's
utterances, not myself!' Morris said. . . ."


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...

Sudan: 15 Attacks On Health Facilities And Workers In Two Months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday... More>>

Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>