Herald says MDC antics are childish and laughable

The battle to trash United States President George Bush’s visit to Africa continued with The Herald lashing out at the Movement for Democratic Change.

"United States President George Bush has snubbed an MDC petition calling South African President Thabo Mbeki a `dishonest broker' and urging the American Government to effect a `regime change' in Zimbabwe,” the paper wrote.

In language normally used by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, the paper said: "The British-sponsored MDC's predictable antics meant to catch the eye of U. S. President George W.Bush are vain, laughable and childish and can only confirm the MDC's infamous status as a puppet organization set up to protect and advance white interests.”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE1408, MEDIA REACTION PRESIDENT BUSH'S VISIT TO AFRICA;

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1408

2003-07-10 12:19

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.

 

101219Z Jul 03

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001408

 

SIPDIS

 

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

TAGS: PREL KPAO KMDR ZI

SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION PRESIDENT BUSH'S VISIT TO AFRICA;

HARARE

 

 

1.   President George W. Bush's remarks on the challenges

facing Zimbabwe during a joint news conference with

his South African counterpart, Thabo Mbeki, in

Pretoria made the top story during the state-run

radio and television, ZBC/TV, news programs

broadcast on July 9 at 2000 hours. The reporter

aired sound bites from the two Presidents that

centered on their shared position on how the

political, economic and social turbulence in

Zimbabwe could be resolved. This news clip was

followed by another clip about an anti-Bush protest

that declared him a dangerous warmonger. However,

the station remained tight-lipped about another

demonstration by about 100 supporters of the

Movement for Democratic Change that waved placards,

outside the U. S. Embassy in Pretoria, praising Bush

for taking a tough line on Robert Mugabe.

 

2.   Armed with the same story and a statement from

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo's office, the

July 10 editions of the two government-controlled

dailies - "The Herald" and "Chronicle" - smiled all

the way to the printers to run the following

articles:

 

"Under headline "Bush shocks MDC" the "Herald"

(07/10) carried the following articles under sub-

headlines:

 

"U. S. President agrees with Mbeki on Zim" Itayi

Musengeyi in Pretoria, South Africa reports:

 

"United States President George Bush has snubbed an

MDC petition calling South African President Thabo

Mbeki a `dishonest broker' and urging the American

Government to effect a `regime change' in Zimbabwe.

Speaking at a Press conference after meeting

President Mbeki in Pretoria yesterday, the American

President said he was of `one mind' with his South

African counterpart's approach to the Zimbabwean

situation. . .Mr. Bush told reporters that he did

not doubt the South African leader's capabilities as

a mediator and that America supported him all the

way. In an apparent climb-down from recent

pronouncements that the U. S. would ask South Africa

to pressure Zimbabwe to hold fresh presidential

elections, Mr. Bush said he was convinced President

Mbeki was working hard to help Harare resolve its

problems. The U. S. leader also said Mr. Mbeki was

an honest broker on the Zimbabwean issue. . ."

 

Under headline "Opposition party's antics laughable

and childish" the "Herald" (07/10) carried the

following article on page one:

 

"The British-sponsored MDC's predictable antics

meant to catch the eye of U. S. President George W.

Bush are vain, laughable and childish and can only

confirm the MDC's infamous status as a puppet

organization set up to protect and advance white

interests, the Department of Information and

Publicity in the President's Office said in a

statement yesterday. `No amount of falsehoods or

sonorous verbiage can take away the fundamental

truth that Zimbabwe today is a victim of her quest

for genuine independence, democratic and full

sovereign right over her resources, principally

land. Everything else is extraneous. . .' The

department said President Bush's fleeting and

perfunctory reference to Zimbabwe at his Press

Conference is a loud climb-down by a President all

along misled, but who now leaves the region better

enlightened about issues at stake. . .'The U. S. has

also had to accept that Zimbabwe savors full and

untrammeled sovereignty and thus will not accept

false and synthetic solutions from outsiders however

powerful. The long and bloody years of independence

struggle against white settler occupation have given

this region a unique political trait which Bush

cannot ignore, let alone contradict,' the statement

read. . . ."

 

3.   While the government-controlled press was gleefully

reporting on the press conference, the independent

daily "The Daily News" (07/10) settled on amplifying

opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's message to

Presidents Bush and Mbeki. The paper carried the

story on page two under headline "Tsvangirai

welcomes U. S. commitment to end crisis." Excerpts:

 

"Opposition MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai

yesterday said he had welcomed commitment by

American President George Bush and his South African

counterpart Thabo Mbeki to seek an urgent end to

Zimbabwe's crisis but the opposition leader insisted

there was no dialogue yet between his party and the

ruling ZANU PF party as claimed by Mbeki. . .`We are

encouraged by the statements of President Thabo

Mbeki . . .and President George W. Bush. . .that

there has been a meeting of minds between the two

presidents on the Zimbabwe crisis. . . . '"

 

SULLIVAN

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