President Robert Mugabe was a stumbling block to any change but increased calls for his resignation could have the unintended effect of strengthening his resolve to stay in power, a United States research institute said way back in 2003.
A report by the United States Institute for Peace quoted by the local weekly, the Zimbabwe Independent, reportedly said that a negotiated political settlement between the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the Movement for Democratic Change offered Zimbabwe the most credible chance for a resolution of the country’s crisis.
The report urged the international community to maintain pressure on the government of Zimbabwe saying though ZANU-PF was still in control it was not able to rescue the country from the crisis but at the same time though the MDC had widespread support of the people it had no capacity to impose itself in power.
Viewing cable 03HARARE1732, MEDIA REACTION PAPER REBUTS “HERALD” STORY; HARARE
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS HARARE 001732
DEPT FOR AF/PDPA FOR DALTON, MITCHELL AND SIMS
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION PAPER REBUTS “HERALD” STORY; HARARE
¶1. The August 29 edition of the independent weekly the
“Zimbabwe Independent” carried an article rebutting
a front-page article in the August 28 edition of the
government-controlled daily “The Herald” that
deliberately mis-reported and quoted out of context
a most recent United States Institute of Peace
report on the political situation in Zimbabwe.
Under headline “U. S. Institute urges sustained
pressure” the newspaper carried the following
article by Dumisani Muleya on page 2:
¶2. “A negotiated political settlement between ZANU PF and
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) offers
Zimbabwe the most credible chance for a resolution of the
current crisis, U. S. research institute has said. But it
urged the international community to maintain pressure on
Harare. . .It said the balance of political forces at the
moment made the environment for crisis talks ideal.
Although ZANU PF is still in control through the use of
force, it is not able to rescue the country from the crisis
on its own. As for the MDC, it has widespread support of
the people but has no capacity to impose itself on power. .
.The report noted that President Robert Mugabe was a
hindrance to change. `There is a growing consensus that
Mugabe is the stumbling block to constructive dialogue,
although increased calls for his resignation may have the
unintended effect of strengthening his resolve to stay in
power,’ it said. . . .”