Robert Mugabe Wikileaks cables – Part Five



Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe continues to defy odds as he trudges on as the Southern African nation’s head of state, now well into his 38th year.

The Daily News was probably right when it said that leaders like Mugabe “believe their destiny is to rule their countries until they drop dead”.

Mugabe is the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front candidate for next year’s presidential elections which means he will be 99 if he survives his term.

Though it was commenting on Madagascar President Didier Ratsiraka, the Daily News’ sentiments were also relevant to Zimbabwe.

“Didier Rastiraka if Madagascar is a typical caricature of an African leader: he refuses to accept change and seem to believe that without him at the helm Madagascar would sink without trace into the Indian Ocean. . . He and other leaders cling to the outrageous notion that African democracy is not necessarily compatible with the Western variety. They seem to suggest African democracy must include a strong dash of totalitarianism to function effectively. . ,” the paper said.

“Africa is the poorest continent primarily because the  freedom in which spectacular economic development and unfettered political activity can thrive does not exist in many African countries. The rulers, most of them old men of the ilk of Madagascar’s Didier Rastiraka and our own Mugabe, believe their destiny is to rule their countries until they drop dead.”

But the Financial Gazette got it all wrong. It predicted that Mugabe and his government will face the same ignominious exit as former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith did, adding that it could even be worse.

This was after the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Mugabe who had just won another term as President.

“As Smith now knows only too well, a vain attempt to defy the world over a clear injustice has its price, and Rhodesia and Smith himself eventually learnt this lesson to their grief. It won’t be different now for Mugabe. . .” the paper said.

“As Zimbabwe today marks its 22 years of independence, is it not an irony that the country is once again under international sanctions for government-sponsored anarchy, as it was for several years up to 1980?

“Instead of withdrawing into a cul-de-sac and hoping that normalcy will eventually return to Zimbabwe, Mugabe and his advisers must get real and do so quickly. They need to acknowledge the deep-seated grievances that their actions have caused and correct these before it is too late.

“Not even the half-backed economic reforms led by agriculture, which the government is toying around with, will ever work in a climate of mayhem and international sanctions. The alternative to doing the right thing now is clear: Mugabe and his government will face the same ignominiousexit as Smith did. It could even be worse.”

Mugabe still stands today, ready to contest another election.

Below are the first 100 of 626 cables on Mugabe.

Continued next page


1-How Mugabe balanced his cabinet after the 1987 unity with ZAPU

2-Tutu says Mugabe is making a cartoon of himself

3-Only a call to Mugabe by US president can stop violence- ambassador

4-Mugabe says farm invasions are “practical self-help”

5-US embassy says Mugabe is using land as a smokescreen

6-Mugabe wanted out of DRC but was not prepared to abandon Kabila

7-US embassy expected MDC to win 30 seats in 2000

8-Mugabe shifts focus from real issues to land

9-MDC expected to win at least 80 seats in 2000

10-SADC leaders pile pressure on Kabila to accept Masire as mediator

11-Mugabe, Dos Santos key to peace in DRC

12-Government shuts down private radio station

13-Chindori-Chininga says Mugabe is obsessed with land question

14-Chiwewe asks US to drop case against Mugabe

15-SADC ministers bulldoze Zimbabwe to reform troika

16-US embassy says Mugabe will not be pushed off the scene

17-Mugabe’s presidential succession race down to two runners

18-Mugabe retains troika chair

19-How Mugabe will hang on to power

20-Mudenge says Mugabe has never refused to go

Continued next page


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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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