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Herald celebrates Commonwealth decision

The Herald said the Commonwealth summit in Australia had firmly put Britain in its place when it refused to expel Zimbabwe from the organisation.

“The outcome of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Australia is a slap in the face for the pro-sanctions lobby that did not go to Coolum to compromise but to impose its will,” the paper said in an editorial.

“Led by Britain, an irresponsible former colonial power, the group planned to railroad the summit into suspending Zimbabwe from the 54-member body or imposing sanctions on the country.

“But Britain and its allies’ plan quickly crumpled with the majority of members refusing to rubber stamp self-serving proposals. The sanctions lobby was not only brushed aside but more importantly the Commonwealth, for the first time acknowledged, that the land issue was at the core of Zimbabwe’s problems.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE583, MEDIA REACTION ZIM PRESIDENTIAL POLL; HARARE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE583

2002-03-06 10:53

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.

 

061053Z Mar 02

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ8813

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00583 01 OF 02 061343Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 EUR-00   UTED-00 TEDE-00 INR-00

NSAE-00 PA-00   PRS-00   SP-00   TEST-00 USIE-00 IIP-00

DRL-02   SAS-00     /002W

——————704A0E 061343Z /45

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1109

INFO NSC WASHDC

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000583

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/PD FOR COX AND ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR KRAFT AND

SCHLACHTER, AF/RA FOR SWANN, INR/R/MR, NSC FOR JENDAYI

FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ZI PREL ZI PREL PHUM

SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ZIM PRESIDENTIAL POLL; HARARE

 

 

1.  WITH ONLY THREE DAYS REMAINING BEFORE ZIMBABWEANS

GO TO THE POLLS TO ELECT A NEW PRESIDENT, EDITORIALS IN

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00583 01 OF 02 061343Z

THE MAINSTREAM NEWSPAPERS CONTINUE TO CONCENTRATE ON

THE ELECTION. EDITORIAL EXCERPTS FOLLOW:

 

2.   UNDER HEADLINE “UK PUT FIRMLY IN ITS PLACE,” THE

GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED DAILY “THE HERALD” DEDICATED

ITS MARCH 6 EDITORIAL TO THE CHOGM DECISION TO

POSTPONE ACTION ON ZIMBABWE. EXCERPTS:

 

“THE OUTCOME OF THE COMMONWEALTH HEADS OF

GOVERNMENT MEETING IN AUSTRALIA IS A SLAP IN THE FACE

FOR THE PRO-SANCTIONS LOBBY THAT DID NOT GO TO COOLUM

TO COMPROMISE BUT TO IMPOSE ITS WILL. LED BY BRITAIN,

AN IRRESPONSIBLE FORMER COLONIAL POWER, THE GROUP

PLANNED TO RAILROAD THE SUMMIT INTO SUSPENDING ZIMBABWE

FROM THE 54-MEMBER BODY OR IMPOSING SANCTIONS ON THE

COUNTRY. . . BUT BRITAIN AND ITS ALLIES’ PLAN QUICKLY

CRUMPLED WITH THE MAJORITY OF MEMBERS REFUSING TO

RUBBER STAMP SELF-SERVING PROPOSALS. THE SANCTIONS

LOBBY WAS NOT ONLY BRUSHED ASIDE BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY

THE COMMONWEALTH, FOR THE FIRST TIME ACKNOWLEDGED, THAT

THE LAND ISSUE WAS AT THE CORE OF ZIMBABWE’S PROBLEMS.

. . ZIMBABWEANS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DEMOCRATICALLY

ELECT THEIR PRESIDENT WITHOUT INTERFERENCE. . . THERE

IS NO NEED TO PRE-JUDGE THE OUTCOME. . . ONLY

FOREIGNERS, SCARED THAT THE OUTCOME WILL NOT GO THE WAY

THEY WANT, WILL RUSH TO PRE-DETERMINE THE ELECTION AND

SEEK TO HAVE THE COUNTRY PUNISHED. . . AS THINGS

STAND, BRITAIN AND ITS SANCTIONS LOBBY WILL HAVE TO

THINK OF OTHER WAYS OF PUNISHING ZIMBABWE BECAUSE THE

COMMONWEALTH IS UNLIKELY TO DO ITS DIRTY WORK.”

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00583 01 OF 02 061343Z

3.   UNDER HEADLINE “THE KEY WORD IS CONSISTENCY,” THE

BULAWAYO-BASED GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED DAILY

“CHRONICLE” DEDICATED ITS MARCH 6 EDITORIAL TO

URGING ZIMBABWEANS TO VOTE FOR A LEADER WITH SOLID

EXECUTIVE QUALITIES IN THE MARCH 9 AND 10

PRESIDENTIAL POLL. EXCERPTS:

 

“. . .AS PEOPLE PREPARE TO VOTE ON MARCH 9 AND 10,

THE WORD CONSISTENCE SHOULD BE UPPER MOST IN THEIR

MINDS. AMONG THE PEOPLE ASKING THEM FOR THEIR VOTE,

WHO HAS BEEN CONSISTENT IN ACTION, WORD OR DEED? WHO

HAS DISPLAYED AN UNWAVERING STANCE ON ANY SUBJECT OF

NATIONAL IMPORTANCE? WHO HAS SPOKEN ELOQUENTLY ON ANY

MATTER THAT WOULD BENEFIT THE ORDINARY MAN? WHO HAS

PROMISED AND TO SOME EXTENT SHOWN EVIDENCE THAT HE HAS

THE PEOPLE AT HEART? THE ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS IS

RATHER OBVIOUS FOR BETWEEN THE SO-CALLED FRONT RUNNERS

IN THE POLL – PRESIDENT MUGABE AND MR. TSVANGIRAI –

MUGABE HAS EMERGED AS CONSISTENT AS EVER. . .   EVEN

THE IMMENSE PRESSURE FROM POWERFUL ANGLO-AMERICAN

FORCES, AND THREATS OF SANCTIONS HAVE NOT CHANGED HIS

CONSISTENT ARTICULATION OF ISSUES. NOT SO WITH MR.

TSVANGIRAI. . . CAN SOMEONE WHO IS SO INCONSISTENT

 

SIPDIS

THEREFORE BE TRUSTED TO CARRY THE JOB OF CEO OF THE

COUNTRY? UNLIKE IN A COMPANY WHERE YOU CAN EXPERIMENT

AND MAYBE FIRE THE INCUMBENT A YEAR OR TWO AFTER HE HAS

FAILED, WITH A COUNTRY IT WILL BE DISASTROUS TO ALLOW

OURSELVES THE FOLLY OF ‘TRYING.’ THE INCONSISTENCY

DISPLAYED BY SOME OF THE POTENTIAL LEADERS MIGHT

BACKFIRE, IN A WAY THAT IS BIGGER THAN THE ARTIFICIAL

SHORTAGES THAT WE HAVE TO GRAPPLE WITH ON A DAILY

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00583 01 OF 02 061343Z

BASIS.”

 

4.   UNDER HEADLINE “ZIMBABWE’S FAILURE COULD DOOM THE

COMMONWEALTH” THE INDEPENDENT DAILY “THE DAILY

NEWS” MARCH 6 EDITORIAL IS CRITICAL OF ALLEGED SADC

COLLUSION WITH THE MUGABE ADMINISTRATION IN

DISENFRANCHISING ZIMBABWEANS DURING THE MARCH 9 AND

10 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. EXCERPTS:

 

“. . .THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

(SADC) IS TAKING AFTER THE OAU OVER THE CRISIS IN

ZIMBABWE. LARGELY THROUGH ITS INFLUENCE, THE

COMMONWEALTH FAILED TO COME UP WITH A BOLD, DECISIVE

AND UNEQUIVOCAL POSITION ON THE TERROR UNLEASHED BY

PRESIDENT MUGABE’S REGIME ON THE OPPOSITION AHEAD OF

THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. THE IDEAL WOULD HAVE BEEN

TO ENSURE THAT THE PLAYING FIELD WAS LEVEL BEFORE THE

ELECTION. TO WAIT UNTIL THE VERDICT OF AN ELECTION IN

WHICH THOUSANDS OF VOTERS HAVE BEEN DISENFRANCHISED BY

MUGABE’S CUNNING DEVICES IS A COWARD’S WAY. THE FUTURE

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ8816

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00583 02 OF 02 061343Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 EUR-00   UTED-00 TEDE-00 INR-00

NSAE-00 PA-00   PRS-00   SP-00   TEST-00 USIE-00 IIP-00

DRL-02   SAS-00     /002W

——————704A1A 061343Z /45

P 061053Z MAR 02

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1110

INFO NSC WASHDC

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

 

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 000583

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/PD FOR COX AND ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR KRAFT AND

SCHLACHTER, AF/RA FOR SWANN, INR/R/MR, NSC FOR JENDAYI

FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ZI PREL ZI PREL PHUM

SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ZIM PRESIDENTIAL POLL; HARARE

 

OF THE COMMONWEALTH COULD BE IN GREAT DANGER IF THE 54-

NATION GROUP PANDERS TO THE WHIMS OF AN AFRICAN BLOC SO

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00583 02 OF 02 061343Z

AMBIVALENT ABOUT DEMOCRACY THEY BLAME THE MEDIA FOR

WHAT IS CLEARLY THE WORK OF MUGABE’S YOUNG THUGS

(MILITIAS) . . . THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE HAVE, SINCE

THE REFERENDUM IN 2000, DISPLAYED A RESILIENCE OF

SPIRIT WHICH SHOCKED MUGABE AND HIS PARTY OF VIOLENCE.

THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT THAT EVEN WITH THE VIOLENCE

AGAINST THEM AND THE SERIES OF ANTI-DEMOCRATIC LAWS

RUSHED THROUGH PARLIAMENT WITH THE INDECENT HASTE OF A

BANANA REPUBLIC, THE PEOPLE WILL MAKE THEIR CHOICE

KNOWN EMPHATICALLY ON 9-10 MARCH. . . .”

 

SULLIVAN

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

 

(19 VIEWS)

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