Did Chiyangwa outburst help Daily News?


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The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Member of Parliament for Chinhoyi Phillip Chiyangwa’s threats to the police in an open court may have influenced Zimbabwe’s decisive players to lift the ban on the Daily News.

A cable released by Wikileaks says Chiyangwa’s outburst led some prominent ZANU-PF members to question the need to follow court orders versus the need for the police to command respect.

This seemed to have influenced a rethinking about the way the Daily News was being treated.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 04HARARE128, DAILY NEWS BACK ON STREETS

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE128

2004-01-22 14:03

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000128

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR SDELISI, LAROIAN, MRAYNOR

AF/PD FOR DFOLEY, CDALTON

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER, DTEITELBAUM

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR CNEARY

NAIROBI FOR TPFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/22/2014

TAGS: PGOV PHUM KPAO PREL SA ZI

SUBJECT: DAILY NEWS BACK ON STREETS

 

REF: (A) HARARE 73 (B) HARARE 61 (C) HARARE 47 (D) 03

HARARE 2454 AND PREVIOUS

 

Classified By: Political Officer Win Dayton Under Section 1.5(b)(d)

 

1. (U) High Court Judge Tendai Uchena on January 21 again

ordered the police to vacate the premises of The Daily News

(TDN) following an admission in court by the Attorney

General’s office that there was no legal basis for police

occupation of the premises. After receiving a call on

January 21 from the police advising that they would no longer

obstruct TDN publication, TDN staff proceeded to publish a

January 22 edition — its first edition of the new year and

only its second since the government shut it down on

September 12.

 

2. (C) COMMENT: After the government had ignored no fewer

than four previous court orders to permit resumption of

publication by TDN and its sister, The Daily News on Sunday,

the sudden police withdrawal was surprising. Why now? The

GOZ is not prone to accidents or acts of kindness and a

number of factors may have converged. Director of Civil

Division Loice Matandamoyo and others in the Attorney

General’s office appear to have played a constructive role.

They have been urging police to vacate TDN premises for weeks

and publicly voiced agreement with earlier court orders.

 

3. (C) COMMENT (CONT’D): TDN editor Sam Nkomo pointed to

evolving dynamics between the police, the judiciary, and

party rivals in the wake of the Philip Chiyangwa affair (ref

A) as a possible factor. Prominent ZANU-PF

politician/businessman Chiyangwa’s continued detention (in

part for threatening police in open court) despite an

explicit court order instructing his release provoked dueling

statements from prominent ruling party figures about the

imperative of following court orders vs. the need for the

police to command respect. The dissonance between such

statements and the treatment of TDN may have influenced

decisive players to soften their stance on TDN.

 

4. (C) COMMENT (CONT’D): Perhaps more significantly, the

closure of TDN in the face of contrary court orders had been

driven by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo — a widely

despised and feared hardliner with many enemies. Many in the

ruling party quietly supported the re-opening of TDN for a

variety of reasons, not the least of which was to stem Moyo’s

growing stranglehold on information in Zimbabwe. In recent

months, Moyo has used his control of The Herald, ZBC and

other GOZ information outlets increasingly to aggrandize his

own stature and power, often at the expense of ruling party

rivals. TDN’s return serves Moyo’s rivals purposes by

keeping GOZ public information more balanced and by making

Moyo appear to lose face.

 

5. (C) COMMENT (CONT’D): South African Government influence

may have played an additional important role. TDN’s

publisher Strive Masiyiwa told Embassy Harare’s USAID

Director in South Africa January 21 that his publishing

associates had strong access to Mbeki’s office. According to

Masiyiwa, Mbeki had met with them for up to three hours at a

time on Zimbabwe and was visibly angry during such meetings

over GOZ prevarications on TDN. We note a possible

connection between TDN’s reappearance and President Mbeki’s

public announcement the same day that the MDC and ZANU-PF had

committed to resume their dialogue. Mbeki’s gesture

reflects well on the GOZ even though MDC officials told us

today that there has been no progress in fixing modalities

for inter-party discussions (ref C).

SULLIVAN

(27 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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