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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.

060901Z Jun 03




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. The week-long mass action, called by the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) aimed at
forcing Robert Mugabe to address the economic and
political crisis afflicting the country, remains the
mainstay for editorials being carried in the
mainstream media. Excerpts follow:

2. Under headline "The final nail on the economy" the
independent daily "The Daily News" (06/06) comments:

"The government's forcible opening of companies
heeding the opposition mass action to stay shut this
week and threats to deregister these firms could be
the final nail on an economy already on the brink of
total collapse. When the dust of the harsh
clampdown on the mass action and on these companies
has settled down, the cost of the government's high-
handedness will only then unfold, and many in the
administration could have a rude awakening. . .It is
not the companies which will be the eventual losers
in this high-stakes game, but the government itself,
Zimbabwe and its people. . . ."

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3. Under headline "Regime clinging to power by force" the
independent weekly "The Zimbabwe Independent" (06/06)

". . .If the MDC is unable to assemble its
supporters in town centers, its leadership is at
least able to call a successful strike whenever it
likes. No amount of threats by ministers. . .could
get people to work. . .At the end of the week the
impression that remained was one of a desperately
insecure regime using every means at its disposal. .
.to get the country back to work. . .The reality,
which the world was able to observe this week, was
of a regime that is only able to survive by brute
force. . .We are all agreed that by its campaign
this week the MDC has drawn the attention of the
country and the world to the connection between
brutal misrule and economic collapse. That is the
issue successfully dramatized by its followers in
the teeth of repression and which can no longer be
ignored, not even by the delusionist in State

4. Under headline "The West in discord" the
government-controlled daily "Chronicle" (06/06)

". . .While the Western self-appointed anointers of
African rulers have consistently refused to `bless'
our President's victory in the 2002 election, the
same `angels. . .,' have decided to see legitimacy
in the mass action organized by MDC, when the action
was declared illegal by the High Court. . .The
Western governments decide to close their eyes so
that they see no evil and hear no evil. They are
mum about the beatings of demonstrators in their
backyards but are quick to chastise Zimbabwe for
breaking up demonstrations organized by a party that
is in possession of a High Court order outlawing the
action. . .The people of this country will never
surrender their sovereignty to a bunch of leaders
who have never been elected by Zimbabweans. . . ."


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