Zimbabwe tops Bush’s agenda

Under headline "Zimbabwe tops Bush's agenda" the "Daily News" (06/25) carried the following article by Sydney Masamvu, Assistant Editor:

"A quick resolution of the political impasse in Zimbabwe and the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the continent's economic blueprint, will top the agenda of U. S. President George Bush's first ever visit to Southern Africa on 9 July, diplomats disclosed yesterday.

“The diplomats spoke as American Secretary of State Colin Powell pledged Washington's full support for a transitional government in crisis-weary Zimbabwe, ratcheting up pressure on President Robert Mugabe to go after U. S. Senator Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Sub-Committee on Africa, called for a regime change in Zimbabwe two weeks ago."

Viewing cable 03HARARE1317, MEDIA REACTION POWELL ON ZIM CRISIS; HARARE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1317

2003-06-27 08:50

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.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001317

 

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 POWELL ON ZIM CRISIS; HARARE

 

1.   The op-ed column by United States Secretary of State

Colin Powell in the "New York Times" has made

front-page headlines in the mainstream print media.

While the independent newspapers welcomed Secretary

Powell's commentary and recommendations, the

state-controlled newspapers and electronic media

have used the op-ed to attack the United States

Government, accusing it of wanting to bring about

"regime change" in Zimbabwe. Apart from writing

drawn-out articles concentrating on Secretary

Powell's clear-cut and straight-talk article, the

June 26 editions of the independent daily "The Daily

News" and the government-controlled daily "The

Herald" reproduced Secretary Powell's op-ed on their

leader pages with full credit. The "Daily News"

carried the op-ed on page 8 under headline "Freeing

a nation from tyrant's grip," while "The Herald"

carried the article - also on page 8 - under

headline "U. S. revives anti-Zim campaign: Powell

calls for coup." The paper also carried two letters

on the same page - one was critical of Secretary

Powell's position on Zimbabwe and the other labelled

him as "a House Negro," under headlines "African

Americans oppose action" and "Powell a House Negro."

The letters were signed Queens, New York, and

Friends of Zimbabwe, New York City, New York,

respectively. Article excerpts follow:

 

2.   Under headline "ZANU-PF blasts Powell: U. S. should

stop interfering in Zim's internal affairs, says SA

minister" the "Herald" (06/26) reports:

 

"ZANU-PF yesterday said it was unfortunate that

U. S. Secretary of State Mr. Colin Powell, who

should be balanced as a diplomat and soldier, was

willing and ready to utter blatant falsehoods that

reduce him to an ordinary liar proffering ludicrous

scenarios which make him a crude international

outlaw. The party's deputy national secretary for

information and publicity, Professor Jonathan Moyo,

said Mr. Powell's falsehoods exonerated Americans

who viewed him as a disgraceful Uncle Tom who always

sang his master's voice to the detriment of social

justice and the rights of the people of color.

`Nobody in ZANU-PF will ever join Powell and his

kind in selling out. The use of lies and deception

by Powell and Bush has not worked in Iraq where he

wanted to mix it with oil. It will never ever work

anywhere else and will certainly not mix with land

in Zimbabwe,' said Professor Moyo, who is also the

(junior) Minister of State for Information and

Publicity. . .What is worse is that his source of

information is Pius Ncube who is busy preaching

tribalism in Zimbabwe. . .' South African Foreign

Affairs spokesman Mr. Ronnie Mamoepa said the U. S.

should stop interfering in the internal affairs of

Zimbabwe because Zimbabweans were capable of solving

their own problems. Mr. Mamaoepa told `The Herald'

that not amount of pressure would force his country

to change its stance on Zimbabwe. . . ."

 

3.   Under headline "U. S. announces plans to oust

Zimbabwean Govt." the government-controlled Bulawayo-based

daily "Chronicle" (06/25) carried the following front-page

article by Innocent Madonko, Special Projects Editor:

 

"The U. S. Government yesterday announced its

intention to foment an uprising in Zimbabwe through

supporting opposition elements bent on ousting

President Mugabe. . .In a thinly veiled threat to

the government of Zimbabwe, Mr. Powell, using

hawkish and bellicose language, said South Africa

and other African countries should have `greater

engagement' with Harare. . .Mr. Powell

said . . .Mugabe should be overthrown so that a

transitional government is put in place. . .His

diatribe, coming just tow weeks before President

George Bush's inaugural visit to Africa since he

assumed power, is reportedly aimed at arm-twisting

African states into isolating Zimbabwe in return for

favors from Washington. . .The U. S. used similar

hawkish language before invading Iraq and toppling

President Saddam Hussein, claiming that he had

weapons of mass destruction and was `cruel' to his

people. . . . ."

 

4.   Back to back issues of the independent daily "The

Daily News" incorporated excerpts of Secretary Powell's op-

ed in the lead stories carried in the June 25 and 26

editions under the following headlines: "Zimbabwe tops

Bush's agenda"(06/25) and "No objections to unity

government: ZANU PF" (06/26), respectively.

 

5.   Under headline "No objections to unity government:

ZANU PF" the "Daily News" (06/26) reports:

 

"The ruling ZANU PF party yesterday said it had no

objections to a government of national unity with

the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)

as the U. S. A. this week mounted fresh pressure on

the government to negotiate with the MDC a solution

to Zimbabwe's crisis. In an apparent climb-down,

ZANU-PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira told `The Daily

News' that his party was ready for a government of

national unity with the MDC. Shamuyarira said: `We

have had such governments in the 1970s and in 1987

with ZAPU. It is a tradition that we have always

had and we are ready for that (with the MDC).' But

Shamuyarira, who also sits in the ruling party's

powerful Politburo, vehemently rejected demands by

Washington for a transitional government that would

be tasked to prepare for free and fair elections

before American aid could be given to Harare. . . ."

 

6.   Under headline "Zimbabwe tops Bush's agenda" the

"Daily News" (06/25) carried the following article by

Sydney Masamvu, Assistant Editor:

 

"A quick resolution of the political impasse in

Zimbabwe and the implementation of the New

Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the

continent's economic blueprint, will top the agenda

of U. S. President George Bush's first ever visit to

Southern Africa on 9 July, diplomats disclosed

yesterday. The diplomats spoke as American

Secretary of State Colin Powell pledged Washington's

full support for a transitional government in crisis-

weary Zimbabwe, ratcheting up pressure on President

Robert Mugabe to go after U. S. Senator Lamar

Alexander, the chairman of the Sub-Committee on

Africa, called for a regime change in Zimbabwe two

weeks ago. . . ."

 

7.   We are sending full articles to Washington via fax.

 

SULLIVAN

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