Cablegate: Media Reaction Mass Action in Zim; Harare

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

041255Z Jun 03




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Editorials in the June 4 editions of the two national
dailies - the independent "Daily News" and the government-
controlled "Herald," continue to focus on the on-going
nationwide anti-government protests that are expected to
end on Friday, June 6. The demonstrations, organized by
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), have
kept the country at a standstill since Monday. Excerpts:

2. Under headline "Crushing protests not the solution"
the independent daily "The Daily News" (06/04) comments:

"In forcefully crushing the street protests of the
opposition MDC this week, President Robert Mugabe's
government also unwittingly tied a burdensome and
tricky knot around its neck. By authorizing the
deployment of thousands of army troops and police to
snuff out the protests just as they were being
launched, the government could find itself facing a
dilemma of when to pull out these forces from the
streets, if at all. . .Indeed, can the use of
military might alone buy the government more time in
power, in the face of overwhelming public discontent
with its rule. . .? Unfortunately, the hardening
positions of both the government and the MDC, let
alone the poisoned timing, do not favor meaningful
inter-party talks that must necessarily focus on
governance issues that have triggered Zimbabwe's
collapse. . .A harsh military clampdown on protests
by concerned citizens certainly does not offer a
lasting solution."

3. Under headline "Tsvangirai overestimating popularity"
the government-controlled daily "The Herald" (06/04)

"Monday marked the beginning of what MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai and his Western handlers hoped
would be a week of mass demonstrations tailored to
topple the democratically elected government of
President Robert Mugabe. Well, that did not happen
and once again Tsvangirai was left with egg in the
face. His Western handlers, who we understand
poured billions of dollars into the futile exercise,
must be particularly red in the face. . .No,
Tsvangirai, Zimbabweans don't need your
sacrifice. . .We think Tsvangirai is overestimating
his popularity and fear that he will get a nasty
jolt come presidential polls in 2008. We join other
peace-loving Zimbabweans in congratulating our
security forces for rising to the occasion and
ensuring that misguided elements do not rampage
through our cities, destroying property and looting,
as is their wont."


© Scoop Media

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