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Mugabe should change his vision for Zimbabwe

President Robert Mugabe must now begin to chart a new and different vision for Zimbabwe compared to the one he rammed through the nation for two decades, no matter how late.

This was the view of the Financial Gazette, 10 years ago after Mugabe had won the 2002 elections which the paper thought was his last term of office.

“He must work assiduously to heal a nation deeply fractured by bloody conflict, unprecedented economic ruin and mass hunger in one of Africa’s richest countries.

“He must take a long pause over his seizure of private commercial farms and instead launch transparent, legal and fair land reforms which guarantee food security for all in the land.

“He must re-look the many hurried laws which he authorized just before the ballot. Above all, he must move swiftly and decisively to restore law and order and punish without compunction all his followers who became a law unto themselves during and before the election campaign.

“He may also want to seriously consider forming a government of national unity to stave off more but needless bloodshed, particularly given the huge dissenting vote recorded,” the paper said.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE672, MEDIA REACTION MUGABE WINS POLL; HARARE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE672

2002-03-14 10:57

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.

 

141057Z Mar 02

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED    PTO4084

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00672 01 OF 03 141108Z

ACTION INR-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AF-00   A-00     ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00

USNW-00 DODE-00 DS-00   EUR-00   UTED-00 VC-00   TEDE-00

LAB-01   VCE-00   NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00 IIP-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   NFAT-00 SAS-00     /003W

——————746A36 141108Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1207

INFO NSC WASHDC

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000672

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/PD FOR COX AND ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR KRAFT AND

SCHLACHTER, AF/RA FOR SWANN, INR/R/MR, NSC FOR JENDAYI

FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM

SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION MUGABE WINS POLL; HARARE

 

 

1.   PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE’S VICTORY IN THE JUST-

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00672 01 OF 03 141108Z

ENDED

PRESIDENTIAL POLL IN ZIMBABWE IS FODDER FOR

EDITORIALS PUBLISHED IN THE MARCH 14 EDITIONS OF

THE LEADING NEWSPAPERS IN THE COUNTRY. THE

EDITORIALS WERE UNANIMOUS IN CALLING ON PRESIDENT

ROBERT MUGABE TO ADDRESS THE PRIMARY CHALLENGES

FACING THE COUNTRY. EXCERPTS FOLLOW:

 

2.   UNDER HEADLINE “BEYOND THE VOTE” THE INDEPENDENT

WEEKLY “THE FINANCIAL GAZETTE” (03/14) COMMENTS:

 

“THAT ZIMBABWE’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WOULD NOT BE

FREE AND FAIR WAS NOT IN DOUBT FROM THE VERY START.

. . THE UNEVEN PLAYING FIELD, MARKED BY THE

GOVERNMENT’S ABUSE OF THE STATE MEDIA, ITS USE OF

HASTILY CRAFTED UNDEMOCRATIC LAWS WHICH WERE

CHANGED VIRTUALLY EVERY HOUR TO SUIT ONE CANDIDATE,

ITS REFUSAL TO ACCEPT INDEPENDENT MONITORS AND

OBSERVERS AND ITS DECISION TO CUT POLLING STATIONS

IN URBAN AREAS, WAS BOUND TO PRODUCE A PRE-

DETERMINED RESULT. . . ZIMBABWEANS WHO VOTED IN

THEIR MILLIONS TO TRY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO THEIR

HARROWING LIVES AND TO RESCUE THEIR COUNTRY FROM

ITS RAPID DESCENT INTO THE ABYSS WERE BOUND TO BE

DISAPPOINTED AND ANGERED, BUT THAT IS NOW WATER

UNDER THE BRIDGE. THEY WILL FIGHT ANOTHER DAY.

UNFORTUNATELY FOR ZIMBABWEANS, THE POLL RESULT

SPELLS MUCH MORE PAIN AND SUFFERING BECAUSE, FROM

NOW ON, THE ENTIRE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL

TREAT THIS COUNTRY AS A PARIAH WHICH IT IS. . .

FOR PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE AND HIS BACKERS, THIS

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00672 01 OF 03 141108Z

ELECTION WILL BE INTERPRETED AS A FINAL AND HEROIC

VINDICATION OF HIS BLACK NATIONALIST CREDENTIALS

AND HARD-LINE STANCE ON THE UNRESOLVED LAND

QUESTION WHICH HE SAYS HE MUST PUT TO REST ONCE AND

FOR ALL. MANY IN THE LAND AND BEYOND WILL BE

SEARCHING FOR CLUES TO SEE IF, IN HIS LAST

PRESIDENCY IF IT STANDS, HE WILL REDEEM HIMSELF AND

PULL HIS TROUBLED COUNTRY BACK FROM THE BRINK.

 

“. . .MUGABE MUST NOW BEGIN TO CHART A NEW AND

DIFFERENT VISION FOR ZIMBABWE COMPARED TO THE ONE

HE RAMMED THROUGH THE NATION FOR TWO DECADES, NO

MATTER HOW LATE. HE MUST WORK ASSIDUOUSLY TO HEAL

A NATION DEEPLY FRACTURED BY BLOODY CONFLICT,

UNPRECEDENTED ECONOMIC RUIN AND MASS HUNGER IN ONE

OF AFRICA’S RICHEST COUNTRIES. HE MUST TAKE A LONG

PAUSE OVER HIS SEIZURE OF PRIVATE COMMERCIAL FARMS

AND INSTEAD LAUNCH TRANSPARENT, LEGAL AND FAIR LAND

REFORMS WHICH GUARANTEE FOOD SECURITY FOR ALL IN

THE LAND. . .HE MUST RE-LOOK THE MANY HURRIED LAWS

WHICH HE AUTHORIZED JUST BEFORE THE BALLOT. .

.ABOVE ALL, HE MUST MOVE SWIFTLY AND DECISIVELY TO

RESTORE LAW AND ORDER AND PUNISH WITHOUT

COMPUNCTION ALL HIS FOLLOWERS WHO BECAME A LAW UNTO

THEMSELVES DURING AND BEFORE THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN.

. . HE MAY ALSO WANT TO SERIOUSLY CONSIDER. .

.FORMING A GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY TO STAVE

OFF MORE BUT NEEDLESS BLOODSHED, PARTICULARLY GIVEN

THE HUGE DISSENTING VOTE RECORDED. . . WHETHER

ZIMBABWEANS AND THE WORLD EVENTUALLY ACCEPT

MUGABE’S DEEPLY FLAWED VICTORY WILL LARGELY DEPEND

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00672 01 OF 03 141108Z

UPON HOW HE TACKLES THESE AND MANY OTHER

OUTSTANDING ISSUES WHICH CRY OUT FOR MORE THAN

URGENT ATTENTION. THE IMMEDIATE OUTLOOK FOR HIS

DAUNTING TASK IS VERY GRIM. . . ONE ONLY HOPES

THAT MUGABE WILL READ THE EXPLOSIVE MOOD WITHIN AND

OUTSIDE ZIMBABWE CORRECTLY AND ACT WISELY NOT JUST

FOR HIS SAKE BUT FOR ZIMBABWE.

 

3.   UNDER HEADLINE “NATION BUILDING IS THE WORK OF

ALL,” THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED DAILY “THE HERALD”

(03/14) COMMENTS:

 

“NOW THAT THE ISSUE OF THE POLITICAL LEADERSHIP OF

THE COUNTRY HAS BEEN SETTLED FOLLOWING YESTERDAY’S

DECLARATION OF MUGABE AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE

REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, AFTER THREE DAYS OF POLLING,

IT IS TIME NOW FOR THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY TO WORK

WITH THE GOVERNMENT IN NATION BUILDING. THERE IS

NO DENYING THE FACT THAT THE PRIVATE SECTOR, LIKE

ANY OTHER ORDINARY ZIMBABWEANS, HAD TAKEN POLITICAL

POSITIONS. BUSINESS HAD ALMOST GROUND TO A HALT AS

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTO4085

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00672 02 OF 03 141108Z

ACTION INR-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AF-00   A-00     ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00

USNW-00 DODE-00 DS-00   EUR-00   UTED-00 VC-00   TEDE-00

LAB-01   VCE-00   NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00 IIP-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   NFAT-00 SAS-00     /003W

——————746A45 141108Z /38

P 141057Z MAR 02

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1208

INFO NSC WASHDC

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

 

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 000672

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/PD FOR COX AND ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR KRAFT AND

SCHLACHTER, AF/RA FOR SWANN, INR/R/MR, NSC FOR JENDAYI

FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM

SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION MUGABE WINS POLL; HARARE

 

MOST PROGRAMS HAD BEEN SUSPENDED BUT FOCUS SHOULD

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00672 02 OF 03 141108Z

NOW SHIFT TOWARDS SOLVING THE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS

AFFLICTING THE COUNTRY. . . WITH THE ELECTORATE

MANDATING MUGABE TO LEAD THE COUNTRY FOR THE NEXT

SIX YEARS, POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS SHOULD NOW BE PUT

ASIDE AS THE GOVERNMENT, THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND

ORDINARY CITIZENS PUT HEADS TOGETHER IN SEEKING

SOLUTIONS TO THE COUNTRY’S ECONOMIC WOES. . . THE

RE-ELECTION OF PRESIDENT MUGABE SHOULD NOW SEE

BUSINESS PEOPLE COMING OUT OF THEIR SHELLS TO TAKE

FIRM POSITIONS IN NATION BUILDING. NOW IS THE TIME

TO MOVE FORWARD IN THE ENDEAVOR TO PROP UP THE

ECONOMY AND THIS REQUIRES THE INVOLVEMENT OF ALL

CITIZENS REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL AFFILIATION. . .

WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL LISTEN TO

THE CONCERNS OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND THE PEOPLE

AND MOVE SWIFTLY TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS. WE ARE

QUITE SURE THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT BE FOUND WANTING

IN THIS REGARD. . . WE ALL AGREE THAT THE

SITUATION IS BAD BUT THE PROBLEMS ARE NOT

INSURMOUNTABLE. IF THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND THE

GOVERNMENT WORK TOGETHER IN MAPPING OUT SURVIVAL

STRATEGIES, WE WILL NOT GO WRONG. . . .”

 

4.   UNDER HEADLINE “PRESIDENT FACES DAUNTING TASK,” A

SPECIAL EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED DAILY

“THE HERALD” DEDICATED ITS MARCH 13 FRONT PAGE

EDITORIAL TO ENCOURAGING ZIMBABWEANS TO TURN THEIR

“SWORDS INTO PLOUGHSHARES” AND “RALLY BEHIND”

PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE IN REBUILDING THE NATION

AFTER A HOTLY-CONTESTED PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

EXCERPTS:

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00672 02 OF 03 141108Z

 

“THE MOST BITTERLY FOUGHT ELECTION SINCE

INDEPENDENCE IS OVER. PRESIDENT MUGABE HAS WON A

NEW MANDATE. HIS WIN WAS COMFORTABLE AND DECISIVE.

HOWEVER, AS HE PREPARES FOR A NEW SIX-YEAR TERM OF

OFFICE, HE DOES SO AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF A HIGHLY

POLARIZED NATION. FOR TWO YEARS ZIMBABWE HAS BEEN

IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ELECTION CAMPAIGN THAT

RESEMBLED A BATTLEFIELD OR A CIVIL CONFLICT.

HAVING OVERCOME THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF HIS

POLITICAL CAREER, THE PRESIDENT FACES THE DAUNTING

TASK OF BRINGING TOGETHER A DIVIDED NATION THAT HAS

FOR YEARS EXISTED UNDER A FACADE OF RACIAL HARMONY

AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY WHILE HIDING THE DEEP

DIVISIONS BETWEEN WHITE AND BLACK COUNTRYMEN AND

THE GROWING POVERTY AMONG ITS PEASANTRY. . . THE

CHALLENGE IS BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THE RICH

COMMERCIAL FARMERS. . .AND THE POOR MAJORITY WHO

HAVE WAITED FOR OVER 20 YEARS TO RECLAIM THE

COUNTRY TO MOVE FORWARD. FOR AS LONG AS THE MDC

LEADER, MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, CONTINUES TO ASSUME THE

POSTURE OF A GUERILLA LEADER AND NOT AN OPPOSITION

LEADER, THE OUTSIDE FORCES THAT HAVE SUBJECTED THIS

COUNTRY TO THE MOST TORRID TIMES WILL HAVE AN

EXCUSE TO PERPETUATE THEIR NEFARIOUS ACTIVITIES.

THE FIGHTING IS OVER AND IT IS TIME TO REBUILD THE

COUNTRY LOOKING AT THE REALITIES THAT CONFRONT THIS

NATION. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO BURY OUR HEADS IN THE

SAND AND PRETEND THAT THERE ARE NO FUNDAMENTAL

ISSUES THAT ARE CRYING OUT TO BE REDRESSED.

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00672 02 OF 03 141108Z

“THE QUESTION OF LAND WAS THE MAJOR CAMPAIGN ISSUE

IN THIS ELECTION, WHICH WAS AFFIRMED BY THE

MAJORITY OF THE ELECTORATE WHO VOTED FOR PRESIDENT

MUGABE. . . IT IS NOW INCUMBENT UPON ALL THE

PLAYERS TO ACCEPT THIS REALITY. . . THE REALITY IS

THAT LAND REFORM CAN NOT BE REVERSED. . . THE

FOLLOWING FEW DAYS WILL BE TELLING IN TERMS OF THE

DIRECTION THE COUNTRY WILL BE TAKING. THE CRUCIAL

POINT, HOWEVER, IS THAT IT IS NO LONGER NECESSARY

FOR CITIZEN TO BE FIGHTING CITIZEN. LET US ALL

RALLY BEHIND THE PRESIDENT AND TURN OUR SWORDS INTO

PLOUGHSHARES. THE VIOLENCE THAT MARRED THE

POLITICAL PROCESS OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS WAS

WRONG. . . WE NEED TO LEARN AS A COUNTRY TO

OPERATE A NORMAL TWO-PARTY SYSTEM. THIS DOES

REQUIRE A GENERAL ACCEPTANCE OF DEMOCRATIC RULES.

THE TWO MOST VITAL ARE THAT LOSERS SHOULD ACCEPT

THAT THERE IS A PERMANENT OPPOSITION GENERATING NEW

IDEAS AND WAITING FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE A

MISTAKE. IN OTHER WORDS, A MAJORITY PARTY AND AN

OPPOSITION PARTY SHOULD NOT SEE EACH OTHER AS

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTO4086

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00672 03 OF 03 141108Z

ACTION INR-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AF-00   A-00     ACQ-00   CIAE-00 INL-00

USNW-00 DODE-00 DS-00   EUR-00   UTED-00 VC-00   TEDE-00

LAB-01   VCE-00   NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00 IIP-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   NFAT-00 SAS-00     /003W

——————746A48 141108Z /38

P 141057Z MAR 02

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1209

INFO NSC WASHDC

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

 

UNCLAS SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 000672

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/PD FOR COX AND ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR KRAFT AND

SCHLACHTER, AF/RA FOR SWANN, INR/R/MR, NSC FOR JENDAYI

FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM

SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION MUGABE WINS POLL; HARARE

 

ENEMIES. THEY ARE OPPONENTS, AND POLITICS IS NOT

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00672 03 OF 03 141108Z

AN OCCUPATION FOR THE THIN-SKINNED OR FAINT-

HEARTED. BUT THERE ARE RULES AND THESE RULES

SHOULD BE FOLLOWED.”

 

SULLIVAN

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

(10 VIEWS)

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