President Robert Mugabe was an old man who refused to open his eyes to the reality of his country because politically and economically he was bereft of ideas to rescue it from certain disaster.
This was said 10 years ago by the Daily News on Sunday in an editorial to coincide with United States President George Bush’s visit to Africa.
Bush was not visiting Zimbabwe.
The editorial said Mugabe should step aside and give way to let younger people with 21st century ideas take over.
“Bush must convince South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki that Mugabe must step down if the regime change in Zimbabwe is to be without bloodshed,” the paper said.
The Sunday Mail in contrast accused Bush of becoming so arrogant that he was now giving deadlines on when governments should be set up or deposed.
Viewing cable 03HARARE1379, MEDIA REACTION PRESIDENT BUSH’S VISIT TO AFRICA;
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
080954Z Jul 03
UNCLAS HARARE 001379
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
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION PRESIDENT BUSH’S VISIT TO AFRICA;
¶1. Mainstream newspapers have started dedicating acres of
editorial space to mull over United States President George
¶W. Bush’s visit to Africa. Editorial excerpts follow:
¶2. Under headline “The Bush African trail” the
independent weekly “The Daily News on Sunday” (06/29)
“. . .George W. Bush. . .who begins an historic
journey through a changing Africa next month, has an
opportunity to join that pantheon of conservative
statesmen, by engaging the leaders in a dialogue for
a change in their priorities. . .Understandably,
Bush is not visiting Zimbabwe, because President
Robert Mugabe is (an) old man who refuses to open
his eyes to the reality of his country. Politically
and economically, he is bereft of new ideas to
rescue his country from certain disaster. He should
step aside to let younger people with 21st century
ideas take over. Bush must convince South Africa’s
President Thabo Mbeki that Mugabe must step down if
the regime change in Zimbabwe is to be without
¶3. Under headline “African leaders must ignore Bush’s
antics” the government-controlled weekly “The Sunday
Mail” (06/29) comments:
“The American President, George W. Bush, has grown
so arrogant that he is now giving deadlines on when
governments should be set up or deposed, ahead of
his African visit. The contempt he is showing for
African leadership is as sickening as his attitude
towards the leadership of the people of Afghanistan
and Iraq. . .On what pedestal is he standing? In
fact, he speaks with an air of a god. It was clear
that the weapons of mass destruction that his
country possesses have deluded him into believing
that he is now a divine being who can speak and it
will (be) done. He sees himself as Almighty God. .
.No wonder the revered former South African
president, Nelson Mandela, once remarked that the
Texan `cannot think properly’ anymore. We welcome
the stance that Mr. Mandela has taken in advance of
Bush’s visit that the Texan should be met with a
clear message of how appalled Africans are by the
murderous policies of the Bush and Blair
administrations. African leaders across the
continent must stand firm and refuse to be
patronized. . .Bush is a war-monger and not a
peacemaker and must be made to feel like
one. . .Zimbabwe and Africa should simply ignore
Colin Powell and Bush and look inside and among
themselves for solutions to the challenges that