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Did Mugabe pay US blacks to support him?

A group of African Americans who visited Zimbabwe in August 2002 came under fire from the Daily News which accused them of being used as a propaganda tool by President Robert Mugabe to demonstrate that his land reform programme had international support.

But worse, the paper claimed that they were doing it “for the money of course”.

In an editorial on 19 August, the paper said President Robert Mugabe had claimed while on a visit to the Far East that his government was leaving all white farmers with at least one farm each.

He had repeated the same false claim to a group of visiting black Americans, the paper said.

“President Mugabe clearly believes that those claims will successfully fool everyone. And that is extremely disconcerting, to say the least.. And yet some obscure American blacks appear only too happy to support the lie – for the money of course,” the paper said.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 02HARARE1879, MEDIA REPORT AFRICAN AMERICANS UNDER FIRE; HARARE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE1879

2002-08-19 07:38

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

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

UNCLAS HARARE 001879

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/PD, AF/S

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: OIIP KPAO ZI

SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT AFRICAN AMERICANS UNDER FIRE; HARARE

 

1.   Under headline “African Americans betraying Zimbabwe”

the independent “Daily News” dedicated its August 19

editorial to criticizing a group of African Americans who

are currently in the country at the invitation of the

Zimbabwe government. The editorial accuses the group of

being used as a propaganda tool by the Zimbabwean

government as it attempts to demonstrate the “support of

the international community” for its controversial fast-

track land reform program. Excerpts:

 

2.   “. . .During (Mr. Robert Mugabe’s) visit to the Far

East in the first week of August Mugabe, to the

utter disbelief of all diplomatic observers and the

world Press who knows what the true position is,

stunned everyone by claiming that his government was

leaving all white commercial farmers with at least

one farm each. Last week he repeated that false

claim when he told a group of `visiting’ black

Americans that his controversial land reform

program, a disguised, violent campaign launched to

destroy the MDC (Movement of Democratic Change),

would not leave white farmers landless. . .President

Mugabe clearly believes that those claims will

successfully fool everyone. And that is extremely

disconcerting, to say the least. . .And yet some

obscure American blacks appear only too happy to

support the lie – for the money of course. It is a

crying shame. The world’s moralists may not regard

the late former President of the United States, John

Fitzgerald Kennedy, as having been the best

qualified to lecture the international community on

matters of morality. Nevertheless, his

pronouncement: `The hottest places in hell are

reserved for those who, in times of crisis, maintain

their neutrality’ will stand forever as one of the

best moral teachings of all time. It’s much worse

for those who actively support injustice.”

 

WHITEHEAD

 

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