Cablegate: Media Reaction Powell On Zim Crisis; Harare

Published: Fri 27 Jun 2003 08:50 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
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.
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