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If you break the law do it once to seize power!

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his supporters had followed Julius Caesar’s advice- if you break the law do it once to seize power- but they had failed to seize power, the Herald commented after the first day of the proposed week-long anti-government demonstration to force President Robert Mugabe to step down.

They therefore had to face the full wrath of the law.

The Daily News, however, saw things differently. It said the shutdown of the entire nation dramatically and graphically underlined who now called the shots in the power stakes in Zimbabwe.

“The nationwide shutdown dramatised in no uncertain terms. . .that the people will no longer be cowed and that people power is now on the ascendancy. . .All signals point to one certainty: freedom is coming tomorrow,” the paper said.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 03HARARE1113, MEDIA REACTION MASS ACTION IN ZIM; HARARE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1113

2003-06-03 11:18

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 001113

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/PDPA DALTON, MITCHELL AND SIMS AND AF/S RAYNOR

 

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO KMDR ZI

SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION MASS ACTION IN ZIM; HARARE

 

1.   Editorials in the mainstream media remain sharply

divided over the implications of the week-long

national protests organized by the opposition

Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) to pressure

Robert Mugabe to the negotiating table. While the

independent media is hailing the five-day strike,

which began on June 2 by completely shutting down

all commercial and industrial activity in Harare and

other major cities, as a welcome move to show the

country’s displeasure at Robert Mugabe’s leadership,

the government-controlled press continues to clamor

for the incarceration of MDC leader Morgan

Tsvangirai. Editorial excerpts follow:

 

2.   Under headline “The people’s loud and clear voice” the

independent daily “The Daily News” (06/03) comments:

 

“. . .But the stunning shutdown of the entire

nation, with the capital Harare eerily deserted and

resembling a ghost town, dramatically and

graphically underlined who now calls the shots in

the power stakes in Zimbabwe. The overwhelming

response of Zimbabweans to stay put at home after

dire threats from the government that it would crush

the protests showed that, while the administration

had possibly won this phase of the battle, it had

significantly lost the war. The nationwide shutdown

dramatized in no uncertain terms. . .that the people

will no longer be cowed and that people power is now

on the ascendancy. . .All signals point to one

certainty: freedom is coming tomorrow.”

 

3.   Under headline “Tsvangirai must face full wrath of

law” the government-controlled daily “The Herald” (06/03)

comments:

 

“It is Julius Caesar who is famed for saying, `If

you must break the law do it once to seize power.

Otherwise you must obey it.’ The MDC leader, Morgan

Tsvangirai, and his supporters followed Caesar’s

advice and broke the law yesterday but failed to

seize power. They now face the full wrath of the

law. . .According to the MDC, this was a make-or-

break demonstration and its gamble has fallen flat

on its face as the ZANU-PF government has clearly

shown that it has both the might and the will to

resist such silly machinations. . .As we have stated

before, no amount of force will stop a genuine

uprising by the majority of the people against any

government if there was a real

cause. . .It is, therefore, important for Tsvangirai

to note that he cannot manufacture an uprising and

no amount of money can buy him the people’s support.

This is why his paid demonstrators could not stand-

up to their convictions when confronted by the law

enforcement agents. . . .”

 

SULLIVAN

(11 VIEWS)

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