Mugabe puts US on the defensive


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President Robert Mugabe put United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Joseph Sullivan on the defensive when he said United States President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair had lied about Iraq.

Mugabe said the two superpowers were “liars” and “criminals” and must stand before the International Court of Justice.

The embassy also accused Information Minister Jonathan Moyo of dishing “out a steady stream of vitriol replete with broad-gauge attacks on the US, racial slurs, criticism of the US operation in Iraq” and claims that the US was seeking African resources.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE1362, MUGABE LAUNCHES RHETORICAL DEFENSE AGAINST VISIT

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1362

2003-07-07 08:57

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

070857Z Jul 03

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001362

 

SIPDIS

 

OPSCENTER PASS TO POTUS PARTY

DAKAR AND PRETORIA FOR A/S KANSTEINER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/07/2008

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: MUGABE LAUNCHES RHETORICAL DEFENSE AGAINST VISIT

OF PRESIDENT BUSH: US COUNTER-POINTS

 

REF: A. (A) FBIS RESTON AFP20030707000114

 

B. (B) FBIS RESTON FBIS RESTON 20030704000061

 

Classified By: JOSEPH G. SULLIVAN FOR REASONS 1.5B/D

 

1.(u) The GOZ and President Mugabe have sought to send out

several messages in advance of President Bush’s visit to

Africa and anticipated pressure on the Mugabe regime. The

state media, led by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, has

dished out a steady stream of vitriol replete with

broad-gauge attacks on the US, racial slurs, criticism of the

US operation in Iraq, claims that the US was seeking African

resources or to prevent land redistribution to indigenous

Zimbabweans and arguments based on national sovereignty.

Mugabe sought to downplay the importance and risks for the

GOZ of President Bush’s visit by telling a ZANU-PF Central

Committee meeting last Thursday that the USG would never

attempt what it had in Iraq (ref b). But by Sunday, Mugabe

told a mystified rural crowd that President Bush and Prime

Minister Blair had lied on Iraq, were “liars” and “criminals”

and must stand before the International Court of Justice(ref

a).   He went on to say that President Bush was not welcome

in Africa if he sought to interfere in internal African

affairs, that South Africa would tell him that, and that

Mugabe supported those in South Africa who were protesting

President Bush’s visit. While this story was featured on

Sunday state television news, it had disappeared from

Monday’s state radio and newspaper coverage, as if someone

had second thoughts about publicizing Mugabe’s harsh language.

 

2.(c) The GOZ lines of defense are obvious: national

sovereignty, interference in African and Zimbabwean affairs,

and claims that the US is acting to prevent distribution of

land from white farmers to landless blacks. We can preempt

these defenses by making the following points:

 

— the US seeks to give the Zimbabwean people the right to

choose its own leadership in free and fair elections,

something they were not given in the 2002 elections;

 

— the US defends the human and civil rights of all

Zimbabweans; it is the black majority which has suffered most

from human rights abuses and poor governance;

 

— the US has always supported land redistribution designed

to benefit Zimbabwe’s poor, something the Mugabe regime’s

land reform has not done;

 

— the Mugabe land redistribution and economic policies have

failed the basic test of governance by creating the

conditions in which Zimbabweans are no longer able to feed

themselves.

 

In response to the corollary point made by the GOZ and some

South Africans that Zimbabweans   must be left to solve

their problems themselves, the counter is that

 

— the GOZ and ZANU-PF have declined to engage in any serious

dialogue since initially agreeing to an agenda for dialogue

in May of 2002.

 

SULLIVAN

(14 VIEWS)

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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