Zimbabwe: Deluge of Online Reactions to Latest WikiLeaks

This post is part of our special coverage WikiLeaks and the World.

Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks cables are raising an online storm among Zimbabwe’s netizens with the latest public release of diplomatic cables from the United States Embassy in Harare upping the political temperatures among the ruling elite amid denials and rebuttals. Dubbed Cablegate, the cables show how fragile political loyalties can be as allies are quoted disparing one another.

Zimbabwean netizens are responding to the WikiLeaks cables. Most of them wonder what would be the possible implications to the country’s political scene.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor says Mugabe will die of prostate cancer before 2013. Photo source: dodmedia.osd.mil/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor says Mugabe will die of prostate cancer before 2013. Photo source: dodmedia.osd.mil/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

On Facebook, Ntungamili Nkomo wrote:

Now that the political backbiting has been exposed thanks to WikiLeaks, it is time for desperate rebuttals and recriminations. Talk of Gono [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor] saying Mugabe will die of prostate cancer before 2013, Gutu and Chamisa disparaging Tsvangirai is weak, Saviour Kasukuwere trashing Zanu Pf old-guard, Mujuru meeting Westerners outside protocol, Gono wanting Chinamasa wounded, and the two Generals who berated Chiwenga. Let the fallout begin, and may the double-faced, hobnobbing hypocrites fall!

Responding to Ntungamili’s wall post, Fambai Ngirande wrote:

I hate the way the State is held at ransom by dysfunctional politics and juvenile politicians.

Vusumuzi made the following observation:

If only politicians could also say in public some of the things we only got to know through WikiLeaks.

Nqaba Matshazi tweeted:

Its Tsvangirai corrupt, wikileaks reveals his Gono [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor], these cables are pretty damning.

He continued:

Most weekend newspapers sold out, wikileaks is a seller, but there will be backlash.

Mduduzi Mathuthu considers Julian Assange a legend:

Cde Julian Assange. What a legend! He is causing alarm, fear and despondancy across the world.

@Mathuthu wrote again:

Up next on NewZimbabwe.com. Devastating. “Tsvangirai does what last person says,” Roy Bennet #WikiLeaks.

Lance Guma commented on Twitter:

so now we know why Zanu PF want early election. According to Gideon Gono doctors told Mugabe he has prostate cancer and will be dead by 2013.

Newsman, publisher and government critic Trevor Ncube whose ownership of a daily paper is brought into question in the WikiLeaks cables reacted:

WikiLeaks become just another channel for eeckless proganda and misinformation. The real tragedy about WikiLeaks is journalist who take gossip by US Diplomats as gospel truth. No effort to check facts in most instances.

The Bearded Man did not take lightly the news that Mugabe is sick:

I sometimes am concerned at what WikiLeaks has to say and why they should say it – but when it comes to Mugabe, I do believe that the idea that he is very poorly and close to death should be considered.

There has also been a deluge of comments from readers of Zimbabwe's online media. Zimbabweans increasingly rely on online news outlets. At Newzimbabwe.com, reader Wilberforce Majaji wrote:

I am shocked and stumped by these WikiLeaks revelations. After all the suffering we go through to support political leaders to present us the go at night and present themselves to the Americans. This is pathetic leadeership from our cur[rent] leadership. There should now be a resolution among young Zimbabweans to take over leadership of the country because the current leadership has failed Zimbabwe for personal gain. A revolution to uproot all of Zimbabwe's leadership should follow behind these WikiLeaks.

Another Newzimbabwe.com reader commented“:

WikiLeaks is the best resource ever for ZANU. Not only can the party now know the MDC schemes with the americans, it get the bonus revelations on who within the organisation was betraying the party. Going forward, the party can now ascertain who genuinly believes in its policies or who is in it for power and can easily stich on the party to advance their interests. This is a blessing that rarely manifests itself ever. Also there shall be more revelations on the role African ambassadors have been playing in helping destabilise our country, even as they publicly declared themselves aligned to our cause. Lindiwe Zuluis about to be exposed big time!

Newsday.co.zw readers such as Shepherd Sithole also had their say. Sithole used the online reader comments platform to express his views and wrote:

I love WikiLeaks for bringing out the fact that every Zimbabwean want Bob to go. Those in Zanu PF are not brave enough to say it out.

At herald.co.zw, reader Chamboko posted:

WikiLeaks tells the truth everytime!!!!!!!!!!! Remember when Zi PF wanted Tsvangison tried for treason? I wonder what will become of this guy!!!!

Another reader at herald.co.zw, Simbaregono, thought that Wikileaks reports are causing a lot of harm to individuals:

WikiLeaks may want to get at USA, but they are doing a lot of harm to individuals, friendships, parties e.t.c. Anything that was said confidentially, under the cover of darkness should stay that way.

Samubvuta, however, pointed out that people should say things they are prepared to stand by:

No-more secrets, trust nobody. The solution is to always say things you are prepared to stand by when they WIKILEAK one day. no matter how true.

Takura Zhangazha said that Wikileaks saga would make for a good script for comedy:

if it was not a demonstration of the quality of some of our political leaders, the WikiLeaks saga would make for a good script for a theatrical satire or comedy. When political party leaders or government ministers were meeting American diplomats and giving their mostly unmitigated opinions on our country’s politics they must have taken themselves and their American counterparts very seriously. In fact more seriously than they would take their own party meetings, Parliamentary hearings or even cabinet sessions. Judging by the content of the cables, those who were meeting with the American diplomats were under the obvious illusion of secrecy. Never in their minds did it occur to them that these discussions would see the light of day. And for that we have WikiLeaks to thank or chastise depending on your viewpoint.

Zimtweets tweeted:

Wikileaks somehow reminds me of that wierdo postman aiba tsamba dzedu dzabva kuLondon, [postman who used to steal our letters from London] snooping on my family's juicy gossip.

This post is part of our special coverage WikiLeaks and the World.


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