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Mugabe chose to be second Idi Amin instead of Mandela

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, a hero of the country’s liberation struggle, could have become his country’s Nelson Mandela but instead became a second Idi Amin, a cable just released by Wikileaks says.

The cable quoting an editorial in a Brazilian centre-right newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo entitled: An Institutionalized Savagery, says Mugabe was being propped by then South African President Thabo Mbeki who tolerated the tyrant.

The editorial was written on 1 July 2008, four days after Mugabe had been sworn in as the country’s president following a re-run in which opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had pulled out because of rampant political violence. Tsvangirai had won the first round in March but had not won an outright majority.

Mandela was the first South African black President and spent 27 years in jail in his quest to liberate his country. He is regarded as an international hero though there is some sentiment that he did not do much for his people after independence and was more interested in promoting his saintly image.

Idi Amin was a President of Uganda and is more famous for kicking out Indians from the country and taking over their businesses.

The editorial said it was unlikely that South Africa, China and Russia would support economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, something that was being pushed for by the West to isolate Mugabe and if passed by the United Nations would have enabled military intervention.

“It is unlikely that South Africa, as well as Russia and China, will support economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, and much less the sending of the UN’s blue helmets. But it would be considered a victory if the African Unit, with the support of South Africa, declared illegitimate the sixth mandate of Mugabe and put pressure [on Mugabe] for new elections”,” the editorial said.

Full cable below:

Viewing cable 08SAOPAULO348, MEDIA REACTION: ZIMBABWE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08SAOPAULO348

2008-07-01 10:42

2011-07-11 00:00

UNCLASSIFIED

Consulate Sao Paulo

VZCZCXYZ0019

OO RUEHWEB

 

DE RUEHSO #0348 1831042

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O 011042Z JUL 08 ZDK

FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8362

INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE

RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 9496

RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 8776

RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 3125

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000348

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE INR/R/MR; IIP/R/MR; WHA/PD

 

DEPT PASS USTR

 

USDOC 4322/MAC/OLAC/JAFEE

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KMDR OPRC OIIP ETRD BR

SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: ZIMBABWE

 

An Institutionalized Savagery

 

Editorial in center-right O Estado de S.Paulo (7/01) says: “Robert

Mugabe, the hero of Zimbabwe’s independence movement, could have

been for his country what Nelson Mandela was for South Africa, but

instead became a second Idi Amin. Essential for the future of the

new Idi Amin is the position of South Africa’s president Thabo Mbeki

who has been giving signs of exasperation with the tyrant. It is

unlikely that South Africa, as well as Russia and China, will

support economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, and much less the

sending of the UN’s blue helmets. But it would be considered a

victory if the African Unit, with the support of South Africa,

declared illegitimate the sixth mandate of Mugabe and put pressure

[on Mugabe] for new elections.”

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