There are thankfully few genuine hell-holes among the nations of the Earth. One of them is, of course, North Korea. Among the others, Zimbabwe has to be among the worst. After years of horrific misrule that has turned what was once the breadbasket of southern Africa into a Dystopia of starvation and fear, some hope arrived in 2009 when the government of dictator Robert Mugabe was forced to enter a coalition government with Morgan Tsvangirai, a democratic reformer. It was just a glimmer, but it nonetheless held out the possibility of restoring democratic government to Zimbabwe, fixing its trashed economy, and healing its brutalized people.
That is, until WikiLeaks revealed to the world (and Robert Mugabe) the details of a meeting between Tsvangirai and a US/European delegation about sanctions placed on Zimbabwe to encourage reform and Mugabe’s resistance to them:
To overcome this, [Tsvangirai] said that the sanctions on Zimbabwe “must be kept in place” to induce Mugabe into giving up some political power. The prime minister openly admitted the incongruity between his private support for the sanctions and his public statements in opposition. If his political adversaries knew Tsvangirai secretly supported the sanctions, deeply unpopular with Zimbabweans, they would have a powerful weapon to attack and discredit the democratic reformer.
Later that day, the U.S. embassy in Zimbabwe dutifully reported the details of the meeting to Washington in a confidential U.S. State Department diplomatic cable. And slightly less than one year later, WikiLeaks released it to the world.
The reaction in Zimbabwe was swift. Zimbabwe’s Mugabe-appointed attorney general announced he was investigating the Prime Minister on treason charges based exclusively on the contents of the leaked cable. While it’s unlikely Tsvangirai could be convicted on the contents of the cable alone, the political damage has already been done. The cable provides Mugabe the opportunity to portray Tsvangirai as an agent of foreign governments working against the people of Zimbabwe. Furthermore, it could provide Mugabe with the pretense to abandon the coalition government that allowed Tsvangirai to become prime minister in 2009.
Emphasis added. Read the whole thing.
Dear Julian Assange, his craven creature Bradley Manning, and all you who work for WikiLeaks: you in your self-righteous, sanctimonious arrogance may well have cost Morgan Tsvangirai his life. You have certainly badly damaged the cause of democratic reform in a land that desperately needs it.
May you all go to prison, and may you rot there for the rest of your pathetic lives.
RELATED: Other posts on Zimbabwe.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)