Smith was not as vindictive as ZANU-PF


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A daily newspaper said even former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith was not as vindictive as the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

The paper was commenting after police arrested vendors for allegedly blocking public thoroughfares.

“The crackdown on newspaper vendors by the police is part of a strategy to ensure the government’s mouthpieces, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and Zimbabwe Newspapers are the only ones Zimbabweans will listen to and read.

“Only they will be allowed to reflect the Zimbabwean reality, according to ZANU-PF. Even Ian Smith was not as vindictive as ZANU-PF sometimes shows itself to be. The suggestion that the police are arresting newspaper vendors for their own safety is as bizarre as it is absurd,” the paper said.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE3197, PAPER CRIES FOUL AS POLICE ARREST VENDORS

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

01HARARE3197

2001-10-25 05:16

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

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

 

250516Z Oct 01

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTO9816

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03197 250547Z

ACTION INR-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AF-00   A-00     ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00

DS-00   EUR-00   UTED-00 VC-00   TEDE-00 VCE-00   NSAE-00

TEST-00 USIE-00 IIP-00   DSCC-00 DRL-02   NFAT-00 SAS-00

/002W

——————350314 250547Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0105

INFO NSC WASHDC

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

AMEMBASSY LUSAKA

AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK

AMEMBASSY GABORONE

AMEMBASSY LILONGWE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS HARARE 003197

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/PD FOR COX, ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR KRAFT, AF/P,

INR/R/MR, NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM

SUBJECT: PAPER CRIES FOUL AS POLICE ARREST VENDORS

 

 

¶1.   IN THE LAST WEEK ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE HAVE

ARRESTED A NUMBER OF NEWSPAPER VENDORS ON WORKING

HARARE’S STREETS. POLICE CLAIM THEY ARE ARRESTING

PEOPLE FOR “BLOCKING PUBLIC THOROUGHFARES.” A COMMON

SIGHT IN THE MORNING RUSH HOUR, NEWSPAPER VENDORS STAND

IN THE MIDDLE OF STREETS NEAR MAJOR INTERSECTIONS,

DARTING INTO TRAFFIC TO SELL PAPERS TO PASSING

COMMUTERS. OFFICIALS AT THE PRIVATELY OWNED “DAILY

NEWS” TELL US THAT THEIR SALES HAVE BEEN HURT BY THE

ARRESTS. EDITORS AND PUBLISHERS OF PRIVATELY OWNED

MEDIA SEE THE CRACKDOWN AS PART OF A GOVERNMENT PLAN TO

RESTRICT THE DISTRIBUTION OF NEWS, ALTHOUGH OUR

ANECDOTAL INFORMATION INDICATES THAT ALL NEWSPAPER

VENDORS, NOT JUST THOSE SELLING PRIVATELY OWNED

NEWSPAPERS, WERE AFFECTED. AS OF OCT. 24, MOST VENDORS

APPEAR TO HAVE RETREATED TO THE RELATIVE SAFETY OF

CURBS AND TRAFFIC ISLANDS.

 

¶2.   IN RESPONSE TO THE POLICE EFFORTS TO GET VENDORS

OFF THE STREETS, THE INDEPENDENT DAILY “THE DAILY NEWS”

DEDICATED ITS OCTOBER 23 EDITION TO PROTEST AGAINST THE

HARASSMENT OF NEWSPAPER VENDORS BY THE POLICE. UNDER

HEADLINE “ZIMBABWE SLOWLY SLIDING INTO AUTHORITARIAN

RULE,” THE PAPER COMMENTS:

 

¶3.   “THE CRACKDOWN ON NEWSPAPER VENDORS BY THE POLICE

IS

PART OF A STRATEGY TO ENSURE THE GOVERNMENT’S

MOUTHPIECES, THE ZIMBABWE BROADCASTING CORPORATION

(THE SOLE BROADCASTER IN THE COUNTRY) AND ZIMBABWE

NEWSPAPERS (PUBLISHERS OF “THE HERALD,” THE SUNDAY

MAIL,” “THE CHRONICLE,” AND THREE OTHER TITLES), ARE

THE ONLY ONES ZIMBABWEANS WILL LISTEN TO AND READ.

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03197 250547Z

ONLY THEY WILL BE ALLOWED TO REFLECT THE ZIMBABWEAN

REALITY, ACCORDING TO ZANU PF. EVEN IAN SMITH WAS

NOT AS VINDICTIVE AS ZANU PF SOMETIMES SHOWS ITSELF

TO BE. THE SUGGESTION THAT THE POLICE ARE ARRESTING

NEWSPAPER VENDORS FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY IS AS BIZARRE

AS IT IS ABSURD. . .

 

THE PRACTICE ALL OVER THE WORLD IS THAT NEWSPAPER

VENDORS SELL THEIR PRODUCTS ON STREET CORNERS. . .

THAT VENDORS THREATEN THE SAFETY OF MOTORISTS IS A

LIE. NEWSPAPERS THREATEN THE GOVERNMENT’S DESIRE TO

CLING TO POWER. THE SELLING OF NEWSPAPERS HAS NOT

CREATED A CRISIS ON THE STREETS. NO ACCIDENTS HAVE

BEEN REPORTED. . .

 

OBVIOUSLY, THE STRATEGY IS NOT JUST TO DISRUPT THE

SALES OF NEWSPAPERS. IT SEEKS TO LIMIT THE

INFLUENCE OF NEWSPAPERS IN INFORMING ZIMBABWEANS

ABOUT THE UNFOLDING TRAGEDY IN THEIR COUNTRY. THIS

IS A DECLARATION OF A NEWS BLACKOUT. . .”

 

SULLIVAN

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

 

(12 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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