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Lee Rotherham: the blogosphere should help Zimbabwe

Whatever your take on the underlying morality of the current Wikileaks affair, some of the documents can be read without feeling too many guilty pangs about risks to frontline sources.

A few items put modern circumstances into context. Forget the “Children of Thatcher” quote famously supplied by Hague to an American diplomat (in 08LONDON930 – for now to be found here). Is the real story that Hague was predicting power sharing issues way back in 2008;

Hague said the polls showed the British public is “less hostile” to the Conservative Party and, while he is optimistic about Cameron’s chances, said it is also likely the Conservatives will come to power as a minority government.

Well, perhaps. But I would suggest that much more worthy of review is this diplomatic telegram: 07HARARE638. It reviews the state of Zimbabwe three years ago.

Of course, it has been significantly overtaken by events (though worryingly as some more knowledgeable commentators on this site might explore, perhaps far less than we might hope). Yet the diplomat raises some fascinating avenues on the long term prospects for the country after Mugabe, and the key role that the expat community may yet play in developing future direction.

This raises a crucial question. If as the telegram suggests Britain’s role is politically limited in helping the country forward, is there not something that we – including ConHome – can achieve through providing support to reformers developing the policies of the future?

Can we better help Zimbabwe’s current embattled ministers and also its future returning expats prep for rescuing the country’s economy and society?

Can mechanisms be created to support professionals in the diaspora suggesting ways out after the elections there next year?

In short, after Wikileaks exposed the flaws, is there an opportunity for Wikipolicy to play a part in suggesting ways to mend them?


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