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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
01HARARE1815 2001-06-06 14:28:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

ANDREW YOUNG VISITS ZIMBABWE, DEFENDS PRESIDENT MUGABE'S

Tags:   PREL KPAO PGOV EAGR ZI 
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061428Z Jun 01


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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9038
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001815 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/S (KRAFT, RENDER), AF/PD (COX, SANDERS), AF/RA, NSC FOR
JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/06/11
TAGS: PREL KPAO PGOV EAGR ZI
SUBJECT: ANDREW YOUNG VISITS ZIMBABWE, DEFENDS PRESIDENT MUGABE'S
LAND REFORM PROGRAM


CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES EARL M. IRVING. REASONS: 1.5(B) AND (D)

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PAGE 02 HARARE 01815 061504Z


1. (U) FORMER US AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS ANDREW YOUNG PAID A
BRIEF VISIT TO ZIMBABWE JUNE 4-6, 2001, MEETING WITH PRESIDENT MUGABE
AND GOVERNMENT MINISTERS ON JUNE 5. AFTER MEETING PRESIDENT MUGABE,
FORMER AMBASSADOR YOUNG GRANTED A LENGTHY INTERVIEW TO THE GOVERNMENT-
CONTROLLED ZIMBABWE BROADCASTING CORPORATION (ZBC). EXCERPTS OF THAT
INTERVIEW RECEIVED PROMINENT PLAY ON ZBC'S PRIME TIME EVENING
TELEVISION NEWS PROGRAM ON JUNE 5. ZBC RADIO ALSO CARRIED REPORTS OF
FORMER AMBASSADOR YOUNG'S COMMENTS, AND THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED DAILY

"THE HERALD" GAVE THE STORY FRONT-PAGE PLAY. INDEPENDENT DAILY "THE
DAILY NEWS" RAN THE STORY ON PAGE 2.



2. (U) THE GIST OF YOUNG'S COMMENTS TO THE MEDIA WAS THAT PRESIDENT
MUGABE WAS DOING A GOOD JOB OF MANAGING AN INITIATIVE (THE LAND REFORM
PROGRAM) TO CORRECT HISTORIC INJUSTICES. YOUNG SAID THAT, "PRESIDENT
MUGABE IS DOING A MUCH BETTER JOB HERE THAN THE BRITISH ARE DOING IN
MANAGING IRELAND" (SIC). YOUNG SET OUT THE HISTORICAL REASONS FOR
ZIMBABWE'S SITUATION BY SAYING THAT GOVERNMENTS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND
THE UNITED STATES HAD FAILED TO LIVE UP TO COMMITMENTS TO SUPPORT LAND
REFORM IN ZIMBABWE MADE DURING THE LANCASTER HOUSE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS
IN 1979.



3. (U) YOUNG SAID THAT ZIMBABWE WAS BEING UNFAIRLY VICTIMIZED BY
"PROPAGANDA AGAINST THE COUNTRY." HE ALSO SAID THAT "MUGABE'S CRITICS
ACT AS IF MUGABE HAS NOT BEEN ELECTED AND THEY FORGET THAT WHO RULES
THE COUNTRY IS THE PREROGATIVE OF ZIMBABWEANS - AFTER ALL, MUGABE HAS A

BETTER MANDATE THAN PRESIDENT BUSH." YOUNG CALLED ON THE WORLD TO "TAKE

A HARD LOOK AT ZIMBABWE AND TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE SITUATION BETTER."
SPEAKING ABOUT RECENT POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN ZIMBABWE, YOUNG SAID THAT
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PAGE 03 HARARE 01815 061504Z
IT WAS MINIMAL COMPARED TO THE VIOLENCE CURRENTLY AFFECTING THE MIDDLE
EAST.



4. (U) YOUNG ALSO SPOKE ABOUT THE MORALITY OF THE LAND ISSUE IN
ZIMBABWE. HE SAID IT WAS NOT MORALLY JUSTIFIABLE FOR 1 PERCENT OF THE
POPULATION TO OWN 70 PERCENT OF THE LAND. "A LOT OF THE WHITE FOLKS
HERE WILL GO TO HELL FOR THEIR LACK OF MORAL JUSTIFICATION ON THE LAND
ISSUE," YOUNG SAID.



5. (C) COMMENT: FORMER AMBASSADOR YOUNG HAS A LONG ASSOCIATION WITH
PRESIDENT MUGABE AND IS WELL KNOWN IN ZIMBABWE. IN ADDITION TO HIS TIME

AS U.S. PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UN, YOUNG IS ALSO KNOWN LOCALLY

AS THE LONG-TIME MAYOR OF ATLANTA AND ONE OF THE KEY MEMBERS OF THE
ATLANTA OLYMPIC COMMITTEE. THE GENERAL PERCEPTION OF YOUNG IS THAT,
ALTHOUGH HE NO LONGER HOLDS PUBLIC OFFICE, HE STILL HAS SIGNIFICANT
POLITICAL AND SOCIAL INFLUENCE IN THE GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS AND THE
MEDIA. YOUNG'S MESSAGE OF SUPPORT FOR PRESIDENT MUGABE'S LAND REFORM
EFFORT WAS CERTAINLY APPRECIATED WITHIN THE RULING PARTY. OTHER SECTORS

OF ZIMBABWEAN SOCIETY MAY BE PUZZLED THAT YOUNG SEEMED UNAWARE OF THE
BREAKDOWN OF THE RULE OF LAW IN ZIMBABWE, OR OF ASSAULTS ON THE MEDIA,
THE JUDICIARY AND OPPOSITION POLITICAL ACTIVISTS. AFTER THE NEWS
BROADCAST, OPPOSITION POLITICIANS CALLED EMBASSY OFFICERS TO EXPRESS
THEIR CONCERNS ABOUT YOUNG'S REMARKS. THEY WERE ASSURED THAT YOUNG HAD
EXPRESSED HIS PERSONAL VIEWS, WHICH IN NO WAY REFLECTED THE POSITION OF

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. END COMMENT

IRVING
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