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Cablegate: Media Reaction President Bush's Visit to Africa;

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

UNCLAS HARARE 001390

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PDPA FOR DALTON, MITCHELL AND SIMS
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAO KMDR ZI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION PRESIDENT BUSH'S VISIT TO AFRICA;
HARARE

1. Under headline "Bush must demand that Mbeki act on
Zimbabwe" the independent daily "The Daily News"
dedicated its July 9 editorial to calling on
President George W. Bush "to use his immense
influence to pressure" South African President Thabo
Mbeki to stand up for democracy and good governance
by acting on Zimbabwe. Excerpts:

2. ". . .The economic aid and development support that
Bush is dangling before the continent pales into
insignificance when compared with the damage caused
to Africa's weak economies by the United States'
protectionist trade policies. But we totally agree
with Bush on one count, and that is that regional
powerhouse South Africa must abandon its ineffective
policy of so-called `quiet diplomacy' and lead the
way in pressuring President Robert Mugabe and his
ruling ZANU PF party to abandon ruinous policies
that have brought this once prosperous country to
its knees. Bush must not be swayed or blackmailed
by the usual cheap accusations of racism or arrogant
imperialism by South African President Thabo Mbeki
and others. . .who. . .are only interested in buying
more time for Mugabe and his administration. The U.
S. leader must take comfort in the knowledge that
the majority of ordinary Zimbabweans. . .support his
call that Zimbabwe return to democracy. We urge
Bush to use his immense influence to pressure Mbeki
to stop covering up for Mugabe. Bush must tell
Mbeki what all of us have tried to tell the South
African leader but in vain. That is that Mbeki
should vigorously lead the Southern African
Development Community and the rest of the
international community in demanding that Mugabe
step down to pave the way for a transitional
government that will be tasked with organizing fresh
and truly democratic elections in Zimbabwe. Bush
has already started his African safari on a high
note by forcing Charles Taylor to leave power and
give Liberia a chance to start all over again. We
see absolutely no reason why he should fail to
emulate Henry Kissinger's diplomatic triumph in
Pretoria in 1976, when he got John Vorster. . .to
turn the screws on Ian Smith. . .until the white
supremacist agreed to black majority rule. . . ."

SULLIVAN

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