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Moyo called for investigation of USAID operations in Zimbabwe

Independent Legislator Jonathan Moyo called for an international investigation into the operations of the United States Agency for International Development after the death of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife, Susan, in a car accident which involved a USAID truck.

Moyo said the American and British governments, or some of their agents dealing with Zimbabwe, had the motive, incentives and means to derail the inclusive Government through foul play.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE233, ANALYSIS OF ZIMBABWE MEDIA COVERAGE OF SANCTIONS AND PM CAR

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE233

2009-03-17 16:41

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1881

RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0233/01 0761641

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

R 171641Z MAR 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4245

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000233

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/PDPA LALLISON AND BSTRASSBERGER;

AF/S FOR BWALCH

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: OEXC KPAO PGOV PREL ETTC ZI

SUBJECT: ANALYSIS OF ZIMBABWE MEDIA COVERAGE OF SANCTIONS AND PM CAR

CRASH

 

1. SUMMARY: Extension of U.S. targeted sanctions by President Obama

on March 4 and the car crash that killed Susan Tsvangirai both

received extensive media coverage in the last two weeks. A

significant section of the mainstream media believes that targeted

sanctions should ease following the formalization of the

all-inclusive government. Government controlled media hostility

towards the West continues amid media speculation that the accident

that claimed the life of Susan Tsvangirai, the Prime Minister’s

wife, was a plot against the Prime Minister’s life either by the

U.S. or ZANU-PF. END SUMMARY.

 

———————–

COMMENTARY ON SANCTIONS

———————–

 

2. The government controlled media’s coverage was hostile to the

March 4 announcement by President Obama that economic sanctions

originally imposed by President Bush will continue for another year.

These media do not argue that the actions of the new government

meet the criteria for the removal of these targeted sanctions, but

rather that there is no justification for sanctions in the first

place. The Herald, March 5, maintains that “if these sanctions are

not removed it means the West will be trying to retain some form of

heinous influence in our affairs that at a future date will result

in the creation of a puppet administration in Zimbabwe.” The Herald

has labeled the targeted sanctions as “extremely evil, dictatorial

and an abortion of justice” (commentary by Assistant News Editor

Isdore Guvamombe in The Saturday Herald, March 7). The Herald has

pointedly not blamed President Obama for the continuation of

sanctions, saying: “Obama’s problem is that he has kept diehard

remnants of the Bush administration in strategic offices like the

Embassy in Harare who are still pushing the old agenda.”

 

3. Even independent media question the sanctions, although in a less

sensational manner. Commenting in the New Zimbabwe Blogs (March 7),

Joram Nyathi, deputy editor of the privately owned The Zimbabwe

Independent, says “the sanctions serve a purpose extraneous to

Zimbabwe’s interests whether one is MDC or ZANU-PF or non-partisan,”

adding “there is no point in Obama pretending to see “a threat”

posed by little Zimbabwe to America when we know (Vice President

Joe) Biden and (Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton are still

pursuing their Republican agenda in Zimbabwe.” Semi-independent

financial weekly The Financial Gazette, March 12, says “further U.S.

sanctions (are) detrimental to the inclusive government,” but quotes

Lovemore Madhuku, constitutional lawyer and civil society leader

saying the announcement is just a technical extension: “The

Americans do this every year, so people mustn’t be worried. There is

no way the Americans are going to change their policies

over-night.”

 

4. In his inaugural address to Parliament on March 4, Prime

Minister Morgan Tsvangirai called for the removal of “restrictive

measures.” Government controlled media have labeled Tsvangirai’s

call as “lukewarm” (The Herald, March 16).

 

—————————

Australian Change in Policy

—————————

 

5. The US$10 million aid donation announced by Australia for water,

sanitation, and health assistance has been interpreted as a “shift

in policy towards Zimbabwe after the formation of the inclusive

government” (The Zimbabwe Guardian, March 11). Other independent and

government controlled papers shared the view that Australia has

Qgovernment controlled papers shared the view that Australia has

broken with the U.S. and EU in deciding to provide non-humanitarian

assistance.

 

————————

REACTION TO PM CAR CRASH

————————

 

6. Government media have alleged a plot by the U.S. and Britain to

assassinate Tsvangirai because of displeasure at his joining the

unity government. “I bet my last dollar, that 25 years from now, we

will read about an abortive mission along Masvingo Road,” writes The

Herald’s Assistant Editor, and notorious ZANU-PF shill, Caesar Zvayi

(March 14). The Herald also gave space to the views of Professor

Jonathan Moyo, who argued that “the American and British

governments, or some of their agents dealing with Zimbabwe, have the

motive, incentives and means to derail the inclusive Government

through foul play” (The Saturday Herald, March 14). Moyo, whose

views were echoed in New Zimbabwe.com, called for an international

investigation into the operations of USAID in Zimbabwe.

 

7. In contrast, privately-owned independent media continued to

speculate that there was a plot against Prime Minister Morgan

Tsvangirai’s life by ZANU-PF. The Standard (March 1) argued that

 

HARARE 00000233 002 OF 002

 

 

“the vehicle [that struck Tsvangirai’s car] was dispatched under

unclear circumstances.” The Zimbabwe Independent also called for an

enquiry but focused its coverage on the inadequate security

protection afforded the PM.

 

8. COMMENT: A sharp divide between the government controlled and

private media persists, despite the formation of the unity

government. While attacks on the MDC and PM Tsvangirai have been

toned down, the West in general, and the U.S. and UK in particular,

remain a favorite bogeyman for the state media. On the issue of

sanctions, the fact that the private media largely shares the same

view, if not the same bombast, as the state media demonstrates the

need for us to continue to better explain our sanctions policy. END

COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(14 VIEWS)

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