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LORD CARRINGTON, FORMER FOREIGN SECRETARY JUNE 25TH, 2000

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

DAVID FROST:
We do have the man behind it all, the man who negotiated the new Zimbabwe back in 1980, Peter Carrington's here. Good morning, how are you today?

LORD CARRINGTON:
Not too bad.

DAVID FROST:
First of all, your reflections on what we just heard.

LORD CARRINGTON:
Well I think he's a very brave man. Obviously he's had the very greatest difficulty in getting himself and his candidates, some of the candidates have not really been able to appear, and to have done that with that intimidation going on is a remarkable feat and I think he has every reason to be satisfied with what he's done so far and good luck to him.

DAVID FROST:
I think we all agree with that. That's right, very impressive performance and the way the people have come out with their message takes one back to those stirring pictures of the first election in South Africa, doesn't it, the long queues of people desperate to vote, prepared to wait until they can.

LORD CARRINGTON:
Well I hope so. But I don't think that necessarily follows because there has been an awful lot of intimidation. There's been a certain amount of electoral crookery in the boundaries of the constituencies and the electoral roll and I think we shall have to wait and see what happens. I think what really concerns one is whatever happens in the election, what's going to happen in the aftermath of the election, whoever wins? And I think that that's going to be a very difficult period for Zimbabwe.

DAVID FROST:
The land issue still being around, when you negotiated all this 20 years ago, did you expect there to have been by now much more redistribution of vital land?

LORD CARRINGTON:
Yes, I think we did, you see, but there was no way that you would have got an agreement at Lancaster House in which they gave up all their land, there as no way in which they could possible do that so the best thing that we could do and the best that everybody would agree to was that we, the British, and the Americans certainly agreed to it as well, would help in the redistribution of land by giving money to those farmers who gave up their property. And this is what we did for the first two or three years after the independence of Zimbabwe. But then of course it because very difficult because what happened was President Mugabe took the land, gave it to his cronies, or didn't do anything with it at all. And after that it became extremely difficult for us to go on paying money to them when they were doing all the wrong things with the land.

DAVID FROST:
What do you think has happened to Robert Mugabe? I know he wasn't necessarily after our preferred choice in 1980, but nevertheless when he came to power he appeared in the first few years to be reasonable, we were wrong about Mugabe, he really seems to be doing his stuff, and so on. What's gone wrong? Has he changed? Is it literally a case of all power corrupts?

LORD CARRINGTON:
Well up to a point. You see, I think when he became prime minister, as he then was in the Zimbabwe in 1980, he'd spent an awful lot of time in Tanzania and in Mozambique and he'd seen in both those two countries what had happened when the whites and the economy disrupted by independence. I mean Tanzania was on its knees, as indeed was Mozambique. And I think although he was a dedicated Marxist he was determined that he wasn't going to be the prime minister of a bankrupt country. So when he took over he, I mean, like Ian Smith stayed on his farm, a member of parliament and he behaved, you know for the first few years, he behaved with great good sense. And I'm afraid what you say is true. I think he's been there too long. I think he's determined to stay there if it's at all possible and I think that anybody who stays for 20 years and presides, over the past few years, of a catastrophic economy, unemployment is running at 6 per cent, it's a toll.

DAVID FROST:
Exactly. And that's what's changing. And so as you look in the future obviously the best thing you would say to Zimbabwe, obviously, this was implied in your earlier good luck, would be if today when the count comes through finally on Tuesday, Mugabe would be defeated. That's a first requirement.

LORD CARRINGTON:
That's a first requirement. But of course one doesn't know what Mugabe will do if he were defeated.

DAVID FROST:
Well that's right. That's the second point that you mentioned. That is the danger, because it's not like someone stepping down in Uttoxeter, is it? He may hold on even to the parliamentary machine by force.

LORD CARRINGTON:
Well of course he's been very good to the army and the police by giving them land and he's given them various advantages and so to some extent they are bound to be loyal to Mugabe. And I think, after all he's entitled to stay as president for another two years. I think there are very difficult times ahead in Zimbabwe.

DAVID FROST:
You're right when you say that about the police and the army. Actually it's interesting there, Morgan Tsvangirai really did speak really diplomatically about the police to us just then and about the army, whatever he feels. I mean those were the words of someone who's rather confident he'll be dealing with them in a few day's time.

LORD CARRINGTON:
Yes it was and it was a very sensible thing to do. I mean he can't say what I think which is that they've been corrupted by Mugabe and it would be very silly of him to say so and he was extremely moderate.

DAVID FROST:
Yes, and looking to the future. Thank you very much, we've enjoyed having you with us, as ever.

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