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Cablegate: Media Reaction Mugabe/Taylor Arrogant; Harare

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

131356Z Aug 03

UNCLAS HARARE 001607

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 MUGABE/TAYLOR ARROGANT; HARARE


1. Under headline "Alternative to dialogue" the
independent daily "The Daily News" dedicated its
August 13 editorial to urging Robert Mugabe to be
sincere in finding a durable solution to the current
political impasse in Zimbabwe, adding that Mugabe's
"demand that others should repent" is "arrogant
hypocrisy of the worst kind. . .The kind of arrogant
hypocrisy the world has come to expect from the
likes of Liberia's embattled Charles Taylor."
Excerpts:

2. "An unrepentant President Robert Mugabe on Monday used
Heroes' Day. . .to inflict more despair and anguish on
crisis-weary Zimbabweans. When he could have used the
occasion to rally the nation behind the search for a
negotiated end to Zimbabwe's bitter crisis, Mugabe single-
handedly tried to scuttle prospects for an end to the
country's political impasse when he demanded that the
opposition `repent' before there can be co-operation with
his government. . .That in the face of all this, Mugabe -
who as President of Zimbabwe bears the most responsibility
for the way things have fallen apart in this country - can
turn around and demand that others should repent and beg
for forgiveness is arrogant hypocrisy of the worst kind.
The kind of arrogant hypocrisy the world has come to expect
from the likes of Liberia's embattled Charles
Taylor. . .But then Taylor was always an uncouth
warlord prepared to do anything for the love of
political power and diamonds. This is not the kind
of behavior that Zimbabweans want or expect from
Robert Mugabe. . .Zimbabweans expect Mugabe to
negotiate, not only with the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), but with the devil himself
if that is the only way to break the country's
political impasse and allow Zimbabwe a chance to
make a fresh beginning. . . ."

WHITEHEAD

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