The New Partnership for Africa’s Development was doomed to fail if founding leaders South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo did not get to grips with rogue leaders in their midst like Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
This was the view of the Zimbabwe Independent ahead of the G8 summit in Canada. The paper said G8 countries should not swallow the deception that African leaders had the Zimbabwe crisis in hand.
“Zimbabwe’s crisis meanwhile cannot be so easily swept under the G8 carpet. It is the elephant in the living room. It cannot be ignored. The humanitarian disaster that is already unfolding across the land is the direct product of bad governance, not drought,” the paper said.
“And this tragedy has been allowed to develop precisely because African leaders indulged President Mugabe by recognising his flawed victory in the presidential poll.”
Viewing cable 02HARARE1182, MEDIA REACTION G8 SUMMIT AND NEPAD; HARARE
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS HARARE 001182
AF/PD FOR COX AND ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR KRAFT AND
SCHLACHTER, AF/RA FOR DIPALMA, INR/R/MR, NSC FOR
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION G8 SUMMIT AND NEPAD; HARARE
¶1. Under headline “NEPAD’s Zim quarantine a false
start” the independent weekly “Zimbabwe Independent”
warns the G8 countries meeting in Canada next month not
to ignore the crisis in Zimbabwe. Excerpts:
¶2. “Remarks by the Canadian High Commissioner to
South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki reveal a worrying trend:
The G8 countries are preparing to swallow the
deception that African leaders have the Zimbabwe
crisis ‘in hand’ and thereby qualify for the US$64
billion on offer for trade and investment under the
NEPAD plan. . . The Canadian statement this week
signaled that collective self-deception about peer
review has become the official line. Zimbabwe as a
topic will be quarantined so its contagion does not
infect the NEPAD process even though the Zimbabwe
crisis itself is demonstrably infecting the region.
Statements following Mbeki’s visits to Oslo and
London this week confirm that nothing will be
allowed to get in the way of the NEPAD juggernaut.
The West wants an African success story and NEPAD,
they hope, is it.
“Zimbabwe’s crisis meanwhile cannot be so easily
swept under the G8 carpet. It is the elephant in
the living room. It cannot be ignored. The
humanitarian disaster that is already unfolding
across the land is the direct product of bad
governance, not drought. And this tragedy has been
allowed to develop precisely because African
leaders indulged President Mugabe by recognizing
his flawed victory in the presidential poll. If G8
leaders cannot see the contradiction between that
act of political dishonesty and NEPAD’s proclaimed
commitment to good governance, the project is
doomed from the outset. There will be no African
recovery, no renaissance until leaders like Mbeki
and Obasanjo get to grips with rogue rulers in the
midst. That means speaking out on human rights
abuses, lawlessness and economic sabotage. The G8
should make this clear. Looking the other way in
Canada is no basis for future relations between the
developed world and Africa.”