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Cablegate: Media Reaction Goz-Controlled the Herald Hails

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

161209Z Sep 03

UNCLAS HARARE 001871

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/S FOR RAYNOR; 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 PHUM KPAO KMDR ZI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION GOZ-CONTROLLED THE HERALD HAILS
CLOSURE OF THE "DAILY NEWS"; HARARE


1. Under the headline "Action against Daily News proper"
the government-controlled daily newspaper "The Herald"
dedicated its September 16 editorial to saluting the
government of Zimbabwe for shutting down the "Daily News"
and its sister weekly "The Daily News on Sunday," saying
"No individual or organization should ever be allowed to
hold the sovereignty and laws of Zimbabwe to ransom."
Excerpts:

2. "The closure of `The Daily News' on Friday last week
may not augur well for the advancement of democratic
principles but such principles should never ever be
abused to advance illegality and to blackmail the
sovereignty of a country and its laws. . .The `Daily
News' did not only break the law but pocketed its
lawlessness in the face of the government, daring it
to take action. Fortunately, the government refused
to take the bait and left the paper to continue
publishing irrespective of the requirements of the
country's media laws. . .However, buoyed by the lack
of punitive action by the government, the opposition
paper went on to challenge in court the
constitutionality of the very same legislation that
it was refusing to recognize. After closing the
court case the newspaper publishers thought they
could just simply stroll back to their offices and
ask to be registered when the deadline for such
registration had expired long back as if nothing had
happened. There is such a thing as honor even among
thieves. If the opposition paper felt really
strongly that it cannot submit itself to the media
laws of this country, it should have simply closed
shop on its own and stood by its principles. . .No
individual or organization should ever be allowed to
hold the sovereignty and laws of Zimbabwe to ransom,
as the country is bigger than individuals and
organizations. No amount of intimidation,
especially from those countries that have been
funding lawlessness in Zimbabwe, should deter the
arms of government from fulfilling their
functions. . . ."

SULLIVAN

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