Return to Transcripts main page


Discussion with Zimbabwe`s Opposition Party Leader Morgan Tsvangirai; Discussion with Tina Brown, Author of Vanity Fair Diaries; China`s Secret Prisons. Aired 2-2:30p ET.

Aired November 23, 2017 - 14:00:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, as Zimbabwe prepares to swear in a new president, the former Prime Minister and the main opposition leader,

Morgan Tsvangirai joins me. Is he hopeful to Zimbabwe`s future? Also ahead, the most prominent woman in magazine history Tina Brown, the first

female editor of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker. She joins us with her diaries, reflections of her long career saying the sexual abuse tsunami

will finally tumble the patriarchy and that will be for the good of all men and women.


TINA BROWN, AUTHOR: Women are so frustrated frankly with being bestowed and so annoyed with just being dissed and mainly shut down. That is what

they`re so angry about.


AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone and welcome to the program. I`m Christiane Amanpour in London. Now they call him the crocodile and he was

Robert Mugabe`s right hand man for nearly 40 years until he turned on him and forced his resignation. Now, the former Vice President, Emmerson

Mnangagwa is about to take over with the promise that he has made to his long suffering nation.


EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE: Today we are witnessing the beginning of a new and in forwarding democracy. Why thank

you. Once you brought our economy, we want to peace in our country, we want to jobs.

AMANPOUR: Like Mugabe, Mnangagwa is a former freedom fighter. He`ll be sworn in on Friday and he`s expected to see the nation into elections next

year. But he has a dark side too, hence his nickname, having allegedly being implicated in the massacre of thousands of civilians in the 1980s

when Zimbabwe`s army ruthless suppressed decent in the north of the country.

SO, if the country in for real change or for more of the same? Joining me now from the capitol Harare is the leader of the country`s opposition

party, the movement for democratic change, Morgan Tsvangirai. Welcome to the program Mr. Tsvangirai.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, ZIMBABWE`S OPPOSITION PARTY LEADER: Thank you, Christiane. Thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: SO I just need to ask you, are you happy? Is this the day that you hoped for - that you were waiting for? Is it going according to plan?

TSVANGIRAI: Not according to plan, I`m afraid but circumstances have dictated that getting Mugabe to retire has always been the empty Sumatra.

That we knew that he was an albatross to the country, but the methods that have now been used have coincided with the people`s expectations in hands

of course the overwhelming support this action has received.

AMANPOUR: SO, Mr. Tsvangirai, everybody`s being very careful not to call it a coo, what do you describe as what happened? What did the military do

that suddenly saw Mugabe step down? Not elections, not anything else but get him to step down?

TSVANGIRAI: Well one could say, you can`t avoid committee intervention because they did intervene. But the question is the method that`s been

used was smart enough to avoid the characteristic who mantra in Africa or elsewhere. So if allowed Mugabe to go and officiate at the graduation

ceremony, they`ve allowed him to attend his position so at the end of the day, they`ve given some form of Valerie of respectability to the action.

AMANPOUR: OK. What do you think then, of Emmerson Mnangagwa? He`s a former military, he`s a former loyal Mugabe acolyte. Yes, he turned on him

and precipitated this but do you believe that this man they call the crocodile will, as he promised, bring proper democracy to the country,

restore the economy, bring jobs?

TSVANGIRAI: Let me say that knowing Emmerson Mnangagwa, his character you will have to work very hard to change his character so that he can define

the future of the country and define his future as a democrat, as a reformer.

[14:05:00] That I doubt, but at the same time he knows that he can not continue on the same path Mugabe`s traveled, and as to they expect their

nation to respect him.

AMANPOUR: So, where do you think the constraints will be then? He`s obviously going to be sworn in, and he - we understand is going to lead the

nation into elections next year. Are you convinced and confident that these promised elections will happen on time, and as regular

internationally accepted Democratic election?

TSVANGIRAI: The MGC has already stated that constitutionally elections can be held no later then August. And I hope that Emerson Mnangagwa completing

the take of Mugabe will stick to this constitutional path. However, there are risks to extending the time and also shortening it without reforms. So

we are caught up in a case where there is two situations, but one hopes that we stick to the constitutional path which is to go for elections.

Now in this phase, in the phase of military (INAUDIBLE) and without defining the reforms for the militant it will be very difficult to

undertake such an exercise where the militaries confined to balance where they`re not involved in the electoral process.

AMANPOUR: And it`s gonna be difficult isn`t it? Because isn`t the military portraying itself as the saviors of the country right now?

TSVANGIRAI: Well, as elsewhere one - the military always intervenes or so called un-baffle the people, but in this case we hope as once they say they

will do in the respect as to defend the people, to defend the constitution, and to uphold a new disposition or materialize. We - you all know that the

visitor intervenes to impose Emerson Mnangagwa as candidate of a fascist regime here. That creates problem because what will happen to that of

fascist (INAUDIBLE).

So it creates a real problem that the military has to step aside and allow the civilians to sort out their own differences.

AMANPOUR: So tell me how you will try to lead the charge politically to that end? Do you have to get the international community to step in - not

I don`t mean step in physically but to help. What will the roles to you and the opposition be to try to set the tables for a pluralistic Democracy?

TSVANGIRAI: First of all we have to commit ourselves to an irreversible process of Democratization. It means that we have to engage a number of

sectors - the over-trades, the civics aside. And even the military to say how do we define the future? And I think it will be important for

President Mnangagwa to appreciate that the opposition wants the best for the country, and not undermine it. What if some sort of agreement around

the benchmarks, and the road map to the next elections.

Especially around the reforms that are necessary. Then the country can be assured that the next election will be free as well.

AMANPOUR: So just sum up your personal feelings right now.

TSVANGIRAI: I`m not - I`ve got a conflict to conflict - I`m involved in a conflicting emotion. I`m satisfied that the process that has lead to

Mugabe`s impeachment has been done legally, but I`m also hesitant to embrace especially comments about the preoccupation with the retention of

(INAUDIBLE). I`m really concerned about that. So President Mnangagwa has a national duty to define the future, in which there are no threats, to

define a future which gives hope to the millions who came out on Saturday to support this process.

AMANPOUR: Morgan Tsvangirai leader of the MBC thank you so much for joining us at this really important historic time for your country, and as

you heard Zimbabwe still on the edge as regime change there comes to an end another regime is coming down all over the Western world, the one where

inequality in the workplace has lead to unchecked sexual harassment and abuse, when we come back, Tina Brown, female pioneer and magazine

sensation, dishes in her diary, that is in a moment.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. There`s me too, me at fourteen, me too congress. The social media hashtag that have become a community for

women encouraged to speak up against sexual abuse that they suffered. Now as the youngest ever editor of Vanity Fair and the first female to boot,

Tina Brown, relaunched the magazine after a fifty year hiatus.

And since the dawn of 1980`s she`s witnessed upheavals in culture, politics and the women`s movement. Rubbing shoulders with celebrities and media

moguls like Harvey Weinstein who she briefly worked for at Talk Magazine. Now she`s published her very reveling memoir, called the Vanity Fair

Diaries, and it couldn`t have come at a more opportune moment. Tina Brown, welcome to the program.

BROWN: Thank you, Christiane

AMANAPOUR: Before I get to your diary, I need to ask you about the latest revelations of media figures. It is extraordinary to think you have had

professional partnerships with, Charlie Rose, who has just been pulled from all his TV appearances, and of course, Harvey Weinstein. What does that

say to you about the prevalence of this that was going on and the fact that not everybody knew it? Did you know it?

BROWN: I did not, you know, I did not. I knew that Harvey Weinstein was an explosive (ph) individual. Charlie`s simply a friend over the years who

I`ve been on his show a lot and always enjoyed doing so, but what we`re seeing is this great sort of huge toppling of a patriarch of culture in a


I mean in a way sexual harassment has become the vehicle for sort of exiting a whole generation in a sense and (ph) a way of life that we have

seen in the male executive figures for such a long time. And I think that women are so frustrated the fact that we`re being stalked (ph) and so

annoyed for just being disses and mainly being shut down.

That`s what they`re so angry about. This sexual harassment, in a sense, now the me too movement has allowed them all to say, enough is enough. I

think it`s extremely important and refreshing.

AMANPOUR: You don`t worry at all, I don`t really worry I wonder if you do that there will be an excess. You know, some people have called it a witch

hunt. I don`t see that at the movement, do you?

BROWN: Look, I think there`s a danger of lumping the clueless fumbling, sort of, annoying, pesky guys in with the rapist and the assaulters, and

the really physically aggressive people.

AMANPOUR: And the people who use their power.

BROWN: Yeah, and the people who use and abuse their power. That I think is a pity, I think we`ve got to distinguish from that, other wise, in a

funny way we give the really aggressive ones a pass almost.

You know, I don`t want Harvey Weinstein`s predation, which was so physically violent really, to some how get all mixed up with a guy who made

an inappropriate comment, for putting his leg on, you know, his hand on someone`s leg. We`ve got to make sure we keep the gradations, otherwise

that will be a problem.

AMANPOUR: You said that you believe women are just fed up with being shut down, and not being heard, and not being listened to. I mean, you say that

as one of the most prominent women in the media in the last forty years.

[14:15:00] Did you find yourself almost being marginalized, ignored despite what you brought to the table?

BROWN: What I found, I think, was just that women have to be so golden to be in a silver situation. You just get worn out with having that either

(ph) you feel that the men are always have safety nets waiting for them. When men fail, they wind up that somebody takes - picks them up and puts

them into another calensric (ph) job. Whereas as women did have a setback - I`ve had setbacks - you don`t find that there`s this sort of - some huge

thing awaiting for you. You end up having to kind of make it yourself, and I know countless women who have setback and who feel nothing much has been

awaiting them and men who have simply failed up.

AMANPOUR: There`s a great actress, Meryl Streep has blurbbed the front of your book. I want to ask you what you think of this, again, as a former

boss, editor, person in charge. She said to me recently that this stuff will only really end if there are more women in charge whether in politics,

whether in journalism, wherever it might be. The more women are at the top of the pyramid, the less this kind of stuff will happen. Do you agree?

BROWN: Absolutely. I mean I think it is not a coincidence that there were no women at all on the Wienstein Company board. None. I think it`s 10 men

on that board. I do believe that if there`d been four women on that board, they would`ve said "wait a minute. This cost (ph) - this paying off of all

these girls, what are we going to do about it? We don`t want to have a situation where this is going on." So I think that`s absolutely the case.

And I mean, Justin Trudeau has a gender 30 percent cabinet. It`s working. And actually the great thing is when we can stop talking about it. I mean

it`s like "please, can we just do it, and then we don`t have to talk about it any more." And that`s what`s frustrating women. I think that is really

what the anger really is all about which is like "come on. We`ve played nice. It`s not happening."

AMANPOUR: And clearly, as Jane Fonda said to me - I don`t know why I`m dropping all these names, but that not all men are predators. That we

actually have to have mens` help with this because otherwise it`ll never get fixed. It`ll never get cleaned up.

BROWN: Now I couldn`t agree more, and I love the fact that men are kind of stepping in, and Judd Apatow seemed very vocal about it. As I mentioned,

Justin Trudeau has been a manly leader saying - he`s not a weenie guy. He`s a manly man. We the manly men to say "we don`t like this either.

It`s gross stuff." It`s really gross stuff, and all of the stuff we`re reading is really deeply unsettling that it`s been going on completely

unchecked, ramped in opening bath robes with young assistances. What is this about? I mean it`s completely out of control.

AMANPOUR: Let`s just get to these diaries because, again, Vanity Fair, that you revived from sort of the ashes, was something incredibly

important, and I wonder, despite all the wonderful stories about the glossy and the glitzy people and the great writing, actual, that you brought to

the magazine. Do you think it`s still relevant for people in today` anti- establishment, we hate the elite, populist times?

BROWN: There are many levels of this book because obviously it`s set in the 80s which was a wild ride time, which was a very excessive time, which

was Wall Street, Michael Douglas, bonfire, the Vanity (ph), that was the era of the back off (ph).

AMANPOUR: Greed is good.

BROWN: Yes. Greed is good. That`s the backdrop of Vanity Fair in the 80s. However, there`s also the back story - the back stage story in the

diaries which is really the shiny surfaces. But backstage, it`s really about, frankly, it`s a kind of love affair about a career. It`s about the

joy of the strive. It`s about the young ambition, being a young woman negotiating power, trying to manage up, trying to learn how to sort of

compete and to manage a staff and to battle the media skepticism out there, and put out a magazine that was the best of my ability. So it`s really a

joy ride about a career and book about a struggle, and it`s also about, I think, juggling then (ph) having kids. I mean, I had two children, one of

whom was premature, and what it was like to also try to kind of faith in one`s career and one`s dreams while actually also being a mother and

getting home on time and trying to be as best as I could be, and wondering "am I the best I can be," while all of this was going on.

AMANPOUR: I think a lost of reviewers have picked up on what they see as a rare admission of vulnerability by Tina Brown and about your son, and were

you home enough, were you attentive enough, et cetera.

BROWN: Absolutely.

AMANPOUR: Do you feel - I mean he has Aspergers Sydrome -


AMANPOUR: He`s a perfectly functioning young man.

BROWN: Yes, he`s wonderful now. Thank God. I mean he came three to one and he`s done wonderfully, and works at a small (inaudible) in New York and

he drives his car and he`s got his own apartment. He`s really turn up (ph) extremely what what. I think it`s a constant agony really for any mother

who is wildly busy. Am I keeping faith with my children, and if that would - Nichole Kidman got her Emmy and she said "this is for the times when I

wasn`t there to say goodnight. I want you to know, darling, I didn`t say goodnight." It actually I thought was very poignant because I thought

women always feel that way, "am I there enough?" And there are times when I probably wasn`t, but thank god he turned all right. We love each other.

My daughter is - we`re the best of friends, so it did work out in the end.

[14:20:00] AMANPOUR: So when you look to the future, first of all, is there another bug chapter for Tina Brown professionally, and how do women

of your profile, of those who want to run for president et cetera, how do we used this moment to actually yank equality and rights?

BROWN: Well I - for one think I think we have to battle actually is tremendous ages of - I mean there are - that is one of the great things,

the digital disruption has made being older even more of a challenge, right? Because everybody`s younger ---

AMANPOUR: Only if you let it. Only if you let it.

BROWN: Only if you let it, exactly right. So that`s exactly how I feel. I want to keep reinventing because I`ve always have and I feel that I`ve

got plenty of more captures of reinvention in me and I`m not going to let that change it.

AMANPOUR: Good for you, Tine Brown. Thank you very much in deed. An important perspective right now and after a break, it is Thanksgiving day

in America today. Families are gathering to express gratitude for all that they have but in California, one woman is alone. Her husband is thousands

of miles away in China locked up. That story when we return.


AMANPOUR: Imagine a world of secret prisons and questionable confessions. China`s communist party has elevated Jean Ping`s thoughts and words to a

level not seen since (INAUDIBLE). But it`s come with a ferocious crackdown on decent and our Matt Rivers bravely follows the trail of decent in this

dangerous story.


MATT RIVERS, CNN RESPONDENT: He looks tired on the cusp of defeat. Broadcast on state media respected human rights lawyer, Jiang Tianyong,

confesses to in sighting subversion of state power. On Tuesday, a court sentenced him to two years in prison.

Half a world away, living I political asylum in California, his wife, Jin Bianling watch in disbelief. He must have been horribly tortured she told

CNN. Tortured because there is no way, Jin says that his confession is real. He used to tell me if I ever admit to a crime like this, it means

I`ve been tortured.

In custody for nearly a year now, Jiang Tianyong`s story is not unique in today`s China. Activist say President Xi Jinping has overseen a campaign

of increased suppression on human rights advocates and those lawyers who represent them in court of cases that range from defending labor rights to

religious freedom.

Since July 2015, hundreds of lawyers and activists in the small tight nit human rights community have been arrested in what`s been know as the

largest such crackdown in decades. Among those arrested, Sui Muqing. We met him in secret at a Beijing apartment.

They arrested me at midnight before dawn he says, for me, this is kidnapping. Picked up on charges of quote endangering state security, he

says he was held in a windowless room of nearly five months. No TV, no books, no contact with the outside world, the guars in the room watching

him 24 hours a day.


SUI MUQING, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER (through translator): Picked up on charges of quote endangering state security. He says he was held in a windowless

room for nearly five months. No TVs, no books, no contact with the outside world. There were guards in the room watching him 24 hours a day,

including when he used the bathroom. Daily interrogation sessions lasted hours he said.

After one month they forbid me from sleeping for four days and nights, by the fifth day I felt like I was going to die.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDANT: He says he only confessed after he was threatened with being chained from the ceiling with a strobe light hung in

front of his eyes. Famous Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei says he was held in similar conditions for 81 days in 2011. He detailed his experience

in this music video. The Chinese government can hold people for up to six months in what activists call legalized black jails. Completely cut off

from their families and lawyers.

Activists argue that because these facilities exist outside the regular prison system, abuse and torture is more rampant. We asked the Chinese

government about these specific allegations in our story, but they did not reply to our request for comment. The government has regularly said in the

past that it does not torture prisoners. Beijing maintains these activists are criminals dealt with under the law.

One activist pointed us to one so called black jail where he was held in a South Western city of Guilin. And to be honest we didn`t know what to

expect when we were walking up here, but around here it is relatively quiet, that`s an unassuming building, but it does belie what activists say

goes on inside.

The activist said he was kept here for weeks with little sleep and no access to the outside world and his family had no idea where she was. The

government denied that this was a detention facility. Foreign activists have been subjected to this crack down too. Swedish human rights advocate

Peter Dahlin was held for three weeks in a different facility and says he only confessed to inciting opposition to the government after authorities

targeted his Chinese girlfriend.

Dahlin`s confession was broadcast across China, just like (Jeong Ken Jong). Dahlin was let go after his video was released, (Jeong) however remains

imprisoned. In California with her young daughter (Jeong)`s wife (Jean) knows the reality of fighting for human rights in Xi Jinping`s China.

JIN BIANLING, WIFE OF CHINESE HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER (through translator): It`s so hard, but there is no way out. I don`t know how many more years it

will be before we can reunite. I have no idea how long this nightmare will continue.

RIVERS: Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: So on this day we give thanks that we live in the free world, and our wish is that basic rights comes to people all

over the world. That is it for our program tonight, remember you can listen to our podcast at anytime and see us online at and

follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching, and goodbye from London.