INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Media Report -- Goz "Fighting Terrorism"

Published: Tue 27 Nov 2001 05:02 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
270502Z Nov 01
UNCLASSIFIED PTO1014
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ACTION INR-00
INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AID-00 A-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00
INL-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EUR-00 UTED-00 VC-00
TEDE-00 LAB-01 VCE-00 DCP-01 NSAE-00 SCT-00 TEST-00
USIE-00 IIP-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /004W
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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0378
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY LONDON
UNCLAS HARARE 003547
SIPDIS
AF/PD (COX, ROBERTSON), AF/S FOR SCHLACHTER, AF/RA
(SWANN), INR/R/MR, NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT -- GOZ "FIGHTING TERRORISM"
1. GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ) OFFICIALS ARE
ATTEMPTING TO PORTRAY THE POLITICAL OPPOSITION AND
INDEPENDENT MEDIA AS "TERRORISTS." GOZ OFFICIALS,
INCLUDING PRESIDENT MUGABE AND INFORMATION MINISTER
MOYO, HAVE RECENTLY DESCRIBED THE MOVEMENT FOR
DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC), ITS LEADERS AND SUPPORTERS,
AND FOREIGN AND LOCAL JOURNALISTS AS "TERRORISTS."
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS' USE OF THE WORDS "TERRORISM" AND
"TERRORIST" BEGAN WITH CHARACTERIZATIONS OF THE PEOPLE
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ABDUCTION AND MURDER OF WAR VETERAN
CAIN NKALA IN BULAWAYO IN EARLY NOVEMBER. IN THE LAST
THREE WEEKS, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HAVE USED THOSE TERMS
MORE BROADLY TO DESCRIBE THE OPPOSITION AND THE
INDEPENDENT MEDIA.
2. PRESIDENT MUGABE, DELIVERING A EULOGY AT THE
BURIAL OF WAR VETERAN CAIN NKALA, WARNED: ".THE
OPPOSITION MDC WILL BE CRUSHED VIOLENTLY FOR SPONSORING
TERRORISTS."
3. PICKING UP FROM WHERE PRESIDENT MUGABE LEFT OFF,
INFORMATION MINISTER JONATHAN MOYO HAS EXPANDED ON THE
GOZ'S "FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM." UNDER MOYO'S CONTROL,
THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED PRINT AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA MAKE
EXTREMELY FREQUENT USE OF THE WORDS "TERRORIST" AND
"TERRORISM" IN THEIR REPORTING ON THE NKALA CASE. MOYO
HAS ALSO USED THE TERMS "TERRORIST" AND "TERRORISM" TO
DESCRIBE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS. HE HAS THREATENED
"TO GO AFTER" FOREIGN AND LOCAL JOURNALISTS WHOM HE
ACCUSED OF "GROSS AND OBSCENE MISREPRESENTATION OF
FACTS" IN THEIR REPORTING ON EVENTS IN ZIMBABWE. IN
THE NOVEMBER 23 EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED DAILY
"THE HERALD," MOYO OFFERS THE FOLLOWING THOUGHTS ON
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 03 HARARE 03547 270550Z
FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS AND THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA: "AS
FOR THE CORRESPONDENTS WE WOULD LIKE THEM TO KNOW THAT
WE AGREE WITH PRESIDENT BUSH THAT ANYONE WHO IN ANY WAY
FINANCES, HARBORS OR DEFENDS TERRORISTS IS HIMSELF A
TERRORIST. WE TOO WILL NOT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
TERRORISTS AND THEIR FRIENDS OR SUPPORTERS. . . THIS
KIND OF MEDIA TERRORISM WILL NOT BE ALLOWED . . ."
4. MINISTER MOYO ALSO WROTE AN OP-ED PIECE ON THIS
TOPIC FOR THE NOVEMBER 25 EDITION OF THE GOVERNMENT-
OWNED WEEKLY "SUNDAY MAIL." THE ARTICLE OFFERED
FURTHER INSIGHT INTO MINISTER MOYO'S ATTITUDE TOWARD
THE OPPOSITION AND THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA. UNDER THE
TITLE "MDC 'CLEAN-UP' STRATEGY EXPOSED" MOYO WROTE: ".
. .DOES THE MDC, WITH THE SUPPORT OF SOME DIPLOMATIC
INTERESTS AND MEDIA HOUSES, REALLY THINK THAT IT CAN
HOODWINK ZIMBABWEANS AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
ABOUT ITS COWARDLY TERRORISM UNDERTAKEN UNDER COVER OF
DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RULE OF LAW. . .? THE
TIME HAS COME FOR THE MDC TERRORISTS AND THEIR MEDIA
AND DIPLOMATIC SUPPORTERS TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THAT
THE ONLY WEAPON THAT CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST THEM
WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR IS THE LAW THROUGH THE COURTS.
NOTHING ELSE. SO THE MDC TERRORISTS AND THEIR MEDIA
AND DIPLOMATIC SUPPORTERS CAN RUN, RAVE AND RANT FOR
ALL THEY WANT, BUT THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HIDE.
JUSTICE WILL CATCH UP WITH THEM. THE LAW WILL SMOKE
THEM OUT. . ."
SULLIVAN
UNCLASSIFIED
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UNCLASSIFIED
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