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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 001409

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 putting up a faade" the July 10
edition of the independent weekly "The Financial Gazette"
carried the following opinion piece by Taungana Ndoro under
his regular column "Inside Politics" on page 13, in which
he bemoans the exclusion of Zimbabwe from President Bush's
itinerary in Africa. Excerpts:

". . .It's folly for Bush to think that he can solve
Zimbabwe's problems via South Africa. President Thabo
Mbeki's position on that one is very clear - leave
Zimbabweans to solve their own problems, period! The only
logical thing for Bush to harangue about is Mugabe's asylum
in South Africa. Mbeki should simply be persuaded to offer
Mugabe asylum just as Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo offered
Charles Taylor of Liberia. If Bush's visit to Africa was
really in earnest, he would have been in Harare today
urging talks between the ruling ZANU PF and the opposition
MDC. Zimbabwe is drowning in economic debris and all Bush
can do to help is watch from a distance and try and push
Mbeki to the forefront of maneuvering an amicable
settlement for the beleaguered Zimbabweans. The problem is
that there is nothing at stake for the Americans in
Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is not Iraq. It does not have oil. .
.There is therefore, not a chance in hell for Zimbabwe to
tempt the Americans' insatiable taste for oil. We do not
have weapons of mass destruction either. . .Americans will
be Americans. If their interests are not threatened, then
they have no interest in whatever venture - not even the
Zimbabwe crisis. . . ."

SULLIVAN

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