Cablegate: Media Report "Zim's Judiciary Independent" -
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
010544Z Oct 03
UNCLAS HARARE 001992
DEPT FOR AF/PDPA FOR DALTON, MITCHELL AND SIMS
AF FOR RAYNOR
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 REPORT "ZIM'S JUDICIARY INDEPENDENT" -
1. Under headline "Zim's judiciary independent" the
government-controlled daily "The Herald" (circulation 50 -
70,000) dedicated its September 27 editorial to declaring
that that local judges "fit the bill of an independent
judiciary." The editorial is in response to an outpouring
of criticism against the country's judges and justice
system that is being looked at as being partisan.
2. "For the past three or so years the country's judges
and justice system have come under attack from some self-
appointed paragons of virtue both at home and abroad.
Their crime: Not defending the property rights of former
white commercial farmers and failing to assist the
opposition MDC and its web of NGOs, media houses and other
activists to dislodge President Mugabe and his ruling ZANU
PF government from power. Judges appointed over the past
three years have been ridiculed and their reputation as
judicial officers maligned for accepting appointments to
replace former white judges. . .Their critics argue that
the independence of the judiciary was compromised when the
white judges, who had made it their mission to defend the
property rights of their kith and kin and to dislodge the
ruling ZANU PF from power, were forced to leave the bench.
However, when some of the new judges ruled against the
ruling ZANU PF government they were hailed as `independent'
even though some of them were former ZANU PF freedom
fighters. . .It is important to note that the integrity of
our justice system is not derived from what the
international community says about it but what the people
of Zimbabwe want it to be. . .In our view, our judges fit
the bill of an independent judiciary and should never feel
intimidated or inferior to those who believe their
integrity comes from aligning themselves to foreign
interests. . . ."