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Two sides to the Abuja agreement

The Sunday Mail called in a major breakthrough and a victory for Zimbabwe and Africa. The Daily News said it was a demonstration that Commonwealth nations were against the lawlessness promoted by President Robert Mugabe.

That was how the independent and the state-owned media saw the Abuja Agreement that was brokered by the Commonwealth to find a solution to Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform programme.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 01HARARE2660, MEDIA REPORT LAND REFORM IN ZIMBABWE; HARARE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2660

2001-09-10 12:18

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.

 

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTO4575

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02660 101233Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   A-00    ACQ-00   CIAE-00 USNW-00 DODE-00

DS-00   EUR-00   UTED-00 VC-00   TEDE-00 INR-00   LAB-01

VCE-00   NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00 IIP-00   DSCC-00

DRL-02   NFAT-00 SAS-00     /003W

——————1CDF32 101233Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9675

INFO NSC WASHDC

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS HARARE 002660

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/PD FOR COX, ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR KRAFT, AF/P, INR/R/MR,

NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM

SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT LAND REFORM IN ZIMBABWE; HARARE

 

1.   SEPTEMBER 9 AND 10 EDITORIALS IN THE GOVERNMENT-

CONTROLLED WEEKLY “THE SUNDAY MAIL” AND THE INDEPENDENT

DAILY “THE DAILY NEWS” FOCUS ON THE NIGERIAN-BROKERED

AGREEMENT COVERING THE CONTROVERSIAL LAND REFORM PROGRAM

IN ZIMBABWE. EDITORIAL EXCERPTS FOLLOW:

 

2.   UNDER HEADLINE “AFTER ABUJA, TIME TO PUT WAR VETS IN

THEIR PLACE,” THE SEPTEMBER 10 EDITION OF THE “DAILY

NEWS” COMMENTS:

 

“THE AGREEMENT REACHED BETWEEN ZIMBABWE AND BRITAIN

AT THE ABUJA TALKS ON LAND WAS POSSIBLE ONLY BECAUSE

THE COMMONWEALTH NATIONS STOOD SOLIDLY AGAINST THE

LAWLESSNESS PROMOTED BY THE MUGABE REGIME THROUGH

THE SO-CALLED WAR VETERANS. NONE OF THEM WERE EVER

IN DOUBT THAT THE LAND ISSUE HAD TO BE RESOLVED.

THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE HAD NEVER DISPUTED THE NEED

FOR A LAND REFORM PROGRAM THAT WOULD REDISTRIBUTE

LAND SO THAT THE MAJORITY, NOW CONFINED TO

OVERCROWDED COMMUNAL AREAS, COULD OWN MOST OF IT.

WHAT MOST CRITICS WOULD NOT ACCEPT WAS THE VIOLENCE

ACCOMPANYING LAND

REFORM. . .ALTHOUGH THE AGREEMENT IN ABUJA HAS BEEN

TOUTED AS A BREAKTHROUGH, MUCH REMAINS TO BE DONE.

THE BALL IS NOW FIRMLY IN MUGABE’S COURT. THE

FUTURE OF THE WAR VETERANS’ ROLE IN THE LAND

SEIZURES HAS TO BE ADDRESSED FAIRLY URGENTLY IF THE

PRESIDENT IS TO SIGNIFY HIS COMMITMENT TO THE ABUJA

ACCORDS. . . .”

 

3.   UNDER HEADLINE “MILESTONE REACHED IN LAND PROGRAMME

(SIC),” THE SEPTEMBER 9 EDITION OF “THE SUNDAY MAIL”

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02660 101233Z

COMMENTS:

 

“THE BREAKTHROUGH IN THE ABUJA LAND TALKS IS A

VICTORY FOR ZIMBABWE AND AFRICA. FIRST, IT IS AN

AFFIRMATION OF THE POSITION THAT ZIMBABWE HAS ALWAYS

HELD ON THE LAND QUESTION. AND SECOND, IT CONFIRMS

OUR BELIEF ALL ALONG THAT SOLUTIONS TO AFRICA’S

PROBLEMS WILL ONLY COME FROM AFRICANS THEMSELVES. .

.BRITAIN HAS UNDERTAKEN ALONGSIDE THE OTHER WESTERN

COUNTRIES REPRESENTED AT THE ABUJA MEETING. . .TO

MOBILIZE OTHER COUNTRIES AND DONORS TO SUPPORT LAND

REFORM IN ZIMBABWE. SURELY THE BRITISH WILL

MOBILIZE NOBODY IF THEY DON’T MOBILIZE THEIR MAJOR

ALLAY THE UNITED STATES, AND ALONG WITH IT, THE

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AND THE WORLD BANK. AND

FOR THE AMERICANS THE FIRST THING TO DO WOULD BE TO

FLUSH DOWN THE TOILET THEIR ILL-CONCEIVED SANCTIONS

BILL. . . .”

 

ROTH

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

 

 

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