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Cablegate: Media Reaction Mugabe/Taylor Hold Political

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

140918Z Aug 03

UNCLAS HARARE 001614

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 HOLD POLITICAL
SPOTLIGHT; HARARE


1. Under headline "Africa must now bear on Mugabe to step
down" the independent daily "The Daily News" dedicated its
August 14 editorial to calling on African leaders to "use
their influence" to encourage Robert Mugabe, blamed for the
"deepening political and economic anarchy" in the country,
to resign from the presidency of Zimbabwe as a harbinger to
the restoration of "normality" and "democracy" to Zimbabwe.
Hailing Charles Taylor's resignation from the presidency of
Liberia and his departure into exile after "he obviously
realized that Liberia is bigger than Taylor," the editorial
encouraged African leaders to "use their influence to
ensure that Mugabe is not forced to go the (Charles) Taylor
route." Excerpts:

2. "The change of the guard in Liberia, where Charles
Taylor resigned as president on Monday and flew to
Nigeria for political asylum, could provide useful
lessons for troubled Zimbabwe, where planned talks
between the government and the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) could fail to rescue the
country from total collapse. While Liberia has been
torn apart by civil war in the past 20 years,
Zimbabwe is gripped by deepening political and
economic anarchy after President Robert Mugabe
presided over the virtual destruction of the
economy. Taylor, for all his sins of the past,
should be commended for seeing the light and
stepping aside so that peace could return to the
shattered land. He obviously realized that Liberia
is bigger than Taylor. . .In Zimbabwe, Mugabe still
clings to power despite mounting public pressure for
him to step down in the midst of a rapidly worsening
economic crisis created by his government's poor
policies. Mugabe, accused locally and
internationally of gross human rights abuses, would
need immunity if he were to step down. . .If Mugabe
does not quit now, how long can he precariously
cling to power and at what cost to the tottering and
anguished nation. . .? Although Mugabe's colleagues
in the Southern African region have been working
behind the scenes to try to put things right, much
more needs to be done at that level to make clear to
the President that there can never be normality
until democracy is restored to Zimbabwe. The
African leaders could use their influence to ensure
that Mugabe is not forced to go the Taylor route.
Whether or not an African country would be prepared
to offer him asylum would depend largely on the
modalities and timing of his departure."

WHITEHEAD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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