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Zimbabwe's Legislative Leader Holds Tight to Power; Rare Access inside Zimbabwe as Protestors Escalate; Oliver Stone's Take on Snowden; Redefining Beauty. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired September 13, 2016 - 14:00   ET



[14:00:00] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And now suddenly this guy is going to be your champion. So, yes, if you oppose raising the

minimum wage, you should vote for Trump. You should also vote for Pat Toomey. You got -- a Trump-Toomey economy will be right up your alley.

But if you are actually concerned about paying your bills, growing the economy, creating opportunity for everybody, keeping the trend of rising

incomes going and rising wages going, and uninsured going down, and poverty going down -- if that's what you're looking for, this shouldn't even be


If you want higher wages, better benefits, a fairer tax code, a bigger voice for workers, stronger regulations on Wall Street, then you should be

voting for Hillary Clinton, and Katie McGinty, and Bob Brady to stand up for you.



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: And that is President Obama campaigning in the key state of Pennsylvania firing up the crowds for Hillary Clinton


Tonight, major protests in Zimbabwe, the most serious challenge in 36 years of Robert Mugabe's iron grip on power, and our David McKenzie gets an

extremely rare inside look. His story, tonight.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We spent days trying to get the trust of this group of activists that we're following and we're

going to secret meetings. Their aim is to unseat the government of Robert Mugabe.


AMANPOUR: Plus, secrets, spies and whistleblowers. Award-winning movie director Oliver Stone on his new film "Snowden." And creating a new normal

on the runway. Beauty is sometimes skin deep and that's a good thing.

Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

Robert Mugabe has been leader of Zimbabwe since 1980 when he won black majority rule for the country after fighting off a century of British

colonialism. He was one of Africa's most successful freedom fighters. And today at 92 years old, he's holding on to power as tightly as ever.

Severe international sanctions are meant to be pushing him towards a Democratic transfer of power. Instead, there are fears of a police state

hardening as today the government announced it's banning protests for a month. Protests that have sprung up as the jobless rate soars and

Zimbabwe's perennial cash shortage is the worst in years.

Mugabe almost never gives interviews, but when I sat down with him seven years ago in New York, I found him as stubborn then as he is today about

the state of his nation.


AMANPOUR: How do you respond to that, first that you've taken the breadbasket of Africa into a basket case?

ROBERT MUGABE, PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE: No, it's not a basket case at all. Last -- last year, we managed to grow enough food for ourselves. We are

not a basket case anymore.

AMANPOUR: One in fourteen people are called malnourished.

MUGABE: No, no, no, no...


AMANPOUR: Your country is practically dependent on humanitarian aid.


AMANPOUR: So severe shortages causing severe disruption inside Zimbabwe. And now CNN has gained very rare access to that beleaguered nation. The

government doesn't want its misery and mismanagement filmed and broadcast around the world which is why what you're about to see from CNN's David

McKenzie along with producer Brent Swails and cameraman Peter Roden (ph) is so important.

And here is their exclusive report.


MCKENZIE (voice-over): The protests now happen every week. The response from Harare's police always brutal.

Here a tear gas canister is lobbed into a packed commuter van. For 36 years, Robert Mugabe has depended on the police to enforce his rule to

crush dissent. But the dissent is now building from within.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER: I think people don't know what's actually happening in Zimbabwe.

MCKENZIE: This veteran police officer has taken an enormous risk just to meet with us. We're concealing his identity for his protection.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER: We were told to beat up everyone who was there. And that's the initial instruction that we have been given. It

came later on.

MCKENZIE (on-camera): So the politicians are ordering the police to beat up protesters? Is that the case?


[14:05:00] MCKENZIE (voice-over): Politicians from a regime that it says will stop at nothing to stay in power.

A government spokesman told CNN that it's not the case. He denies that Mugabe's party is ordering the police to attack protesters. They say the

protesters are out to damage property.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER: The very same people we are beating, some of them are my schoolmates, some of them are my friends, or people

that we live with in the community. It's a job but, hey, there is nothing you can do.

MCKENZIE: Having to go months without pay, he says he and many of his fellow officers sympathize with the activists that they've been ordered to


(on-camera): We spent days trying to get the trust of this group of activists that we're following and we're going to a secret meeting. Their

aim is to unseat the government of Robert Mugabe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can wait inside.

MCKENZIE: Yes, that's fine. No problem. We'll wait inside.

(voice-over): Hidden from view, political gatherings like this are taking place in back yards and houses throughout Zimbabwe. Social media is used

to organize the movement and stay ahead of state security apparatus. They face arrest and say fellow activists have disappeared, but they are


(on-camera): Are you afraid that the police will strike back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They strike back or not, we are not afraid.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): This police officer has seen the orders and he is afraid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER: They talk of the use of tear smoke, they talk of the use of animals like dogs, horses and the like. And the last

one is use of firearms in that order.

MCKENZIE (on-camera): Are you afraid someone is going to get killed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER: Yes, if the momentum of these demonstrations continues, I think eventually they are going to use live

ammunition. That's my worry.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Mugabe says the protesters are playing a dangerous game. But his fate and the fate of Zimbabwe could finally be in their


David McKenzie, CNN, Harare, Zimbabwe.


AMANPOUR: And David McKenzie is back safely in Johannesburg and joins me live from there.

David, that's really important reporting because, you know, for years people have wondered where is the tipping point.

Is it generally considered that this is now the tipping point?

MCKENZIE: Well, one long-time Zimbabwe observer, Christiane, told me that this is the perfect storm. When you look at the way that the opposition is

unifying, even opposition within those who used to be part of the ZANU-PF ruling party and the youth who are rising up using social media and those

economic factors that I describe, it really could be the end game. But Mugabe is destined and says he will push back.

AMANPOUR: And, David, you know, protesters have tried before, opposition politicians have tried before, to work through the system, to work outside

the system.

What is it about these activists that you followed, their use of social media? Is there something new, different and more powerful?

MCKENZIE: It is more powerful, Christiane. Excuse me. It is much more powerful because these opposition protesters are using the social media to

get around the system, to work around, a step ahead of the government of Mugabe and the regime. They are using WhatsApp and other forms of social

media to get together without exactly tipping the hand of the protesters, tipping the hand of the regime, and getting out onto the street.

They are already going up against those police and showing that they have the bravery to show that Mugabe isn't necessarily invulnerable and also

they can work with the traditional opposition parties to try and push the pressure on.

And you also saw from that policeman that there really is a sense that there's division within the state security apparatus, not just that uniform

backing of Mugabe.


AMANPOUR: I'm going to throw to an interview you did with the human rights lawyer. I hope you can get yourself a little relief with some water while

we listen to this and talk about what he's saying.


HARRISON NKOMO, ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: To see a government blatantly violating the constitution, randomly arresting people without

carrying out proper investigations, randomly arresting people and reminding them in custody when there are no real charges against them is totally



AMANPOUR: So the lawyer is telling you that it's unacceptable but, I mean, the government doesn't listen. I mean, how successful are they being in,

you know, collecting people off the street and detaining them?

[14:10:08] MCKENZIE: Well, scores of people have been arrested. And that lawyer, Nkomo has said that he is seeing people tortured in custody,

something that the government denies. But they are insistent on crushing the protest movement and have used any means possible just banning protests

again today for the next month.

But lawyers like Nkomo and human rights activists are saying that is unconstitutional, that they are riding roughshod over the law in Zimbabwe.

And really that the opposition is in the right here at least to try and get some sense of response from the government. And people are hurting,

Christiane, on the street, in Zimbabwe.

They say they have no cash. They aren't able to access capital, depending on money from the Diaspora to survive. And through all of this, Robert

Mugabe is determined to cling on to power.

AMANPOUR: And what about if they come out, the activists are equally determined, according to your reports, to come out in another protest.

They're saying, the security forces, that they'll ban them and the man you spoke to talked about live ammunition as a last resort.

What do you expect? What do they expect if there's another protest on Saturday?

MCKENZIE: The activists are saying they're willing to die for their cause which is obviously very disturbing. And because of what that policeman

said, that their orders, according to him, are coming from politicians, not from the police.

That is something roundly denied by the government spokesman. But it is clear that this kind of street level protest is just one facet in the

pressure. Of course, you've also got the health of Robert Mugabe.

There's been endless speculation about his health. He recently vanished from the country and came back and said that the rumors of his death were

overplayed and he has been resurrected.

So it's unclear who exactly is holding the power behind the scenes as he approaches his 93rd birthday, Christiane, but there is a sense that all

these factors are coming together and something got to give.

AMANPOUR: Really important reporting, David. Thank you so much.

And, of course, Zimbabwe once the breadbasket of that area, such an important country. Thank you very much.

Now, despite the danger, dissent in Zimbabwe comes in all shapes and sizes. As we've seen online critics are trolling this latest monument to their

dictator. Some compare the statue of Mugabe to a character from "The Simpsons."

When we come back, we go to the movies. No, not for "The Simpsons" but for "Snowden."

NSA leaker Edward Snowden is the subject of acclaimed Director Oliver Stone's new movie, always controversial. He joins me live from New York



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

Two prominent advocacy groups are petitioning President Obama to pardon the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden before he leaves office. It may be a long

shot but Snowden does have some high-profile sympathizers including the former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who was in office during the

unprecedented intelligence leak.

Holder now says that Snowden performed, quote, "A public service by starting a debate on America's surveillance state."

Snowden is charged with espionage and theft of government property. He's been sheltering in Moscow since 2013.

His petition for pardon seems time to coincide with the release of Hollywood's take on his story. Here's a clip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most Americans don't want freedom. They want security. It's a simple bargain.

Good girl. Good girl.

If you want to play with all the new toys, be safe. You pay the price of admission.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Except people don't even know they made that bargain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's the modern battlefield, soldier?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the first rule of battle?


AMANPOUR: It is Oliver Stone's latest film, the controversial and very political chronicler of our time whose hits include "Platoon," "JFK," and

"Born on the Fourth of July." And he joins me from New York now.

[14:15:00] Oliver Stone, you have taken on yet another controversial subject, but it's a fascinating film. And I'm wondering how you got to

Edward Snowden? How and where you met him if you did? Where did you shoot the movie?

OLIVER STONE, DIRECTOR, SNOWDEN: That's a long story. But, basically, I met him in January 2014, and I went back nine times total to Moscow. And

we got -- my co-writer and I got a lot of good information from him. How the NSA works. What's inside it? The dialogue. And we shot it in

Germany. Most of it in Germany. We were comfortable shooting it outside the United States.

AMANPOUR: Would you have thought of --


STONE: And we did shoot in front of the White House.

AMANPOUR: So I saw. So I saw.

What about in Moscow? Was that ever a starter? Could you have shot the film in Moscow?

STONE: No, no. The movie is primarily about his life from 2004 to 2013. Those nine years before when he was a soldier, when he was a military

soldier and then he worked for the CIA. He resigned from that. He became a -- worked for a contractor that was connected to the NSA.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And where did you shoot that last sort of reveal? I think it's really Alan Rusbridger -- Alan Rusbridger, the editor of "The

Guardian" at the time and Edward Snowden.

I hope I'm not doing a spoiler but Edward Snowden --

STONE: Yes, it's a bit of a spoiler, but --


AMANPOUR: Oh, I won't say a word anymore. No more.

Where did you shoot it?

STONE: That was a Moscow segment. We shot that in Germany, but we ended up going to Moscow for some extra shooting.

AMANPOUR: So have you received the usual kind of criticism?

We started this by saying Eric holder, who was the man in power of, you know, of justice and law and order in the United States at the time now

says that Edward Snowden performed a public service.

But there are still people obviously in the United States who call him a traitor.

Do you think that he will get a pardon, first and foremost? Does he really think he will?

STONE: Well, I think he deserves one. And I hope he does, but the odds are long with Mr. Obama.

The two central truths that emerged from the movie in my opinion are the fact that the United States government developed and deployed a massive

global surveillance system without Democratic consent.

And there was one person who revealed that. That was Mr. Snowden. And he did so with conviction and with love of country. He made that quite clear.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And, in fact, in his latest interview, he's talked about being a patriotic American and he's talked out against a lot of violations

by President Putin and the Russian state, whether it's human rights, political dissent, et cetera.

What -- you know, people are --


STONE: Remember, he's been --


AMANPOUR: Yes? Sorry, what?

STONE: Remember, he's been very involved -- remember that he's been very involved with Internet reform, too, and developing new forms of encryption

to help the people all over the world to protect themselves as much as possible.

AMANPOUR: I want to move on because, you know, obviously laws change and there was a change in various laws on surveillance after this revelation by

Edward Snowden.

But I want to just move on because it's interesting you are going to -- you may have already shot it. Your next film, I think, is about Putin himself.

Is that correct?

STONE: Well, I am working on a documentary about him for -- which will be released next year. That's not a film. It's a documentary. And it allows

us to talk to him directly and to understand his point of view.

AMANPOUR: And how much access did you get to him? I mean, have you -- have you done all the interviews? Have you done all the shooting?

STONE: No. No, I'm going back but we've got quite a bit so far on film and it's fascinating.

But, you know, with Mr. Snowden, the point is that Mr. Holder has come out and most of the country has, too. You know, he never gave this information

to anybody. He gave it to the newspapers.

To do that indicates that he had a desire for the public good. So it was two newspaper -- three newspaper journalists in Hong Kong. We depict those

scenes, who got the information out.

It was very intense to get the information out. And the whole movie was shot as a tense thriller, frankly, with you know, the whole story of his

life has -- creeping revelations come in. And you see not only massive eavesdropping, but you see cyber warfare and you see drone warfare.

AMANPOUR: All of which is incredibly relevant.

Now I want to just quickly ask you about the U.S. election and Russia. What do you make, for instance, of Donald Trump inviting the Russians to

hack into whatever servers in the United States to try, quote/unquote, "To find Hillary Clinton's missing e-mails?"

You remember when he said that.


AMANPOUR: What do you make of the use of Russia in this election, including Russia being accused and suspected of hacking in to the American

political system and potentially subverting the election process in the United States?

[14:20:14] STONE: I think it's a great fiction and it serves a purpose to disguise what's really going on. The intelligence experts that I've talked

to have indicated to me that it's probably an inside job. And what's very important --


AMANPOUR: An inside job from where?

STONE: From the Democrats, from somebody who has worked at the committee.

AMANPOUR: Hacking themselves?

STONE: Or somebody who knows about it -- well, I'm telling you I can't go into all that information, but the point is, haven't we missed the contents

of what's been revealed?

The Democratic -- the four officials resigned from the DNC. It's very important people including the president and the treasurer. There was

solid information there that should be investigated including, frankly, the murder of a young staffer who was killed along about that time, who was

investigating some of the abuses that were made. But to prevent Bernie Sanders from getting a fair voice in this election.

AMANPOUR: Oliver Stone, I wish I had more time. I had not heard anything about a murder of a young staffer.

STONE: Yes. It deserves more time. You can't rush something --

AMANPOUR: That apparently, many people believe is a conspiracy theory, a robbery. I'm not entirely sure about it, but I wish I could ask you more

about it.


AMANPOUR: Meantime, what effect do you hope that the film will have in America and on Snowden's fate?

STONE: Well, I hope a good one. I think the film humanizes him, shows him as a man, a person like us. And it calls for understanding and empathy,

and that's very important in this.

We lose sight of that with all the political issues and we talk about this and that. But, honestly, he helped our country to come to terms with

something that was very wrong inside our government.

AMANPOUR: And are you nervous --


STONE: He's my definition of a patriot.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Stone, are you nervous about the reception of this film?

STONE: I think the film stands on its own, speaks for itself. I think it has a fair degree of tension. And people will be gripping their seats.

AMANPOUR: Oliver Stone, thank you very much indeed for joining us tonight.

STONE: Thank you, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: And from one whistleblower to another. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is set to face questioning at last inside his refuge at the

Ecuadorian embassy here in London next month on two accusations of sex assault.

Now, Snowden made its debut, the film, that is, at the Toronto Film Festival which is currently under way. But it's not the only film making a

splash up north.

After two years of outspoken criticism of Hollywood's mostly white Academy Award winners, a spike in diversity is mixing up the festival's traditional


Films like "Queen of Katwe" detailing the life of a chess champion in Uganda. And hidden figures, which follow the African-American women behind


When we come back, we follow the path of diversity from the silver screen to the runway as survivors of acid attacks shake up fashion week. That's



[14:25:33] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, we imagine a world where beauty is and isn't skin deep, depending on how you look at it.

As New York fashion week winds down, this 19-year-old Indian acid attack survivor, Reshma Qureshi, rocked the runway, bravely modelling as a call to

ban the acid that's been used to maim thousands of women and girls like her around the world. Well, bravery is indeed in vogue right now.

The trend continues right here in London, where two deeply scarred survivors showed off their faces, their bodies, trying to tell thousands

like them that there is life after acid. And we got a front row seat as they courageously redefined what it is to be beautiful.


LAURA, CAMPAIGNER, STOP ACID ATTACKS (through translator): When I was 16, a 32-year-old man wanted to marry me, and I said no. So he came along with

his younger brother and wife and threw acid on me.

It's important to change mentalities from feeling like you're a victim to actually feeling like you can overcome it and become a fighter. People

should take courage from what I've been through and think. I'm not going to act like a victim. I'm just going to be normal, and this is normal.

RAISHMA, FASHION DESIGNER: As I said, beauty is from within. So I think, you know, it doesn't matter how they look facially -- or at the end of the

day it's all about what you feel inside and what the message is.

RICHARD HAWKES, CEO, BRITISH ASIAN TRUST: We're using this fashion show in the lead up to London Fashion Week to highlight the issue of vulnerable

women so two of the models tonight are victims of acid attacks themselves. And by using fashion as a way of highlighting what women can do when they

overcome vulnerability and they become more empowered, it's a great opportunity to highlight how women can become a real inspiration to other

young girls.

LAURA (through translator): People hurt others with acid because society believes that your beauty is your face. So they hurt you with acid so you

will suffer forever, because you will never think of yourself as beautiful. But what people should really think is that your personality and the work

that you do and everything that comes from within is actually as beautiful, if not more, than outer beauty.


AMANPOUR: The courage to redefine norms.

And that is it for our program tonight.

Remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online at and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for watching and good-bye from London.