Why Wikileaks


For the past month, or nearly two months, The Insider has been concentrating on publishing Wikileaks cables. The reason is simple. They are the talk of the town in Zimbabwe.

The issue has never been whether what the cables say is true or not. It is that the cables were released. The issue is why are there so many cables about Zimbabwe that were leaked?

Only two other African countries have more cables than Zimbabwe. The country with the most cables is Sudan with 3 078, followed by Nigeria with 3 025 and Zimbabwe with 2 998.

The United States has major strategic interests in Sudan. It has oil. The country has been divided into North and South. In terms of area, Sudan was, before the split, the largest country in Africa.

The US also has strategic interests in Nigeria. Nigeria has oil. It is also the most populous country in Africa and therefore is a vast market.

But what are the interests of the US in Zimbabwe? It does not have oil. It does not have vast unused land. The only thing that it can boast of is its human resources because it has the highest literacy rate in Africa. It also has vast mineral resources. Could this be what the US is interested in?

By publishing and reading every leaked cable, we are hoping that we might get an answer as to why the US is so interested in Zimbabwe. Even London-based think tanks were at one time baffled about the US interest in Zimbabwe because Zimbabwe is a former British colony.

We are therefore determined to publish every cable on Zimbabwe that was leaked so that we can have a database on American thinking about Zimbabwe and what Zimbabweans think about themselves.

We are not going to be judgmental because some people had every right to talk to the embassy officials, but others had no business talking to embassy officials at all.

But even for those who had the right to talk to officials, we have to look at reasons why they wanted their meetings to be secret if they were indeed doing official business.

It is only when we have read all the cables that we can get a clear picture of who was doing what and when or why? So for once let history speak for itself.

We should not start labelling each other, this or that. That is not our aim in publishing the cables. Our aim is to make history- true or false- available to our readers.


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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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