|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
22 JUNE 2005
MR GWETU: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. I would like to know the Government’s policy as regards the welfare of the citizens of this country who have been displaced through the “Operation Murambatsvina.”
A lot of people – men, women and children are living in the open without food, water and no sanitation at all, so I would like to get it from the horse’s mouth. Could the Minister spell out the modalities as to how the Government is going to deal with this situation? It is an SOS situation, a very urgent situation.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker, the welfare of the people is at the heart of the Government. – [MDC HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – the very basis of embarking on Operation Murambatsvina and Operation Restore Order is to advance and promote the broader welfare of the people. The operations are not intended to injure the people. The operations are intended to secure their long-term interests. – [MDC HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]
Mr. Speaker, the people who are displaced are being relocated and sent back to where they come from. Transport and the necessary logistics are being put in place to ensure that people go back to their original homes where the identification and the selection takes time – in the case of Harare, people have been temporarily resettled at the Caledonia Farm to allow for their identification and the needs for those people. Their stay at Caledonia Farm is temporary and during their stay there, their welfare will be attended to in terms of health and social amenities. Those aspects are being attended to.
I want to say this at the heart of these operations is to promote and to advance the long term interests of Zimbabweans in towns and in the rural areas. We are aware and we accept that the dislocation has affected the immediate interests of the people but Government has put into place the necessary logistics to address those immediate concerns such as health, transport and all those needs are being addressed.
MR. SIKHALA: Hon. Minister my constituency of St Mary’s – 95 percent of people I represent in this august House are aliens from Malawi, Zambia and other countries, they do not have any home wherever their origin is. The majority of the people do not know what a rural home looks like.
What is the Government’s plan over these people who do not have any home anywhere except their small dwellings in St Mary’s which they have had for the past 25 years or more during the Ian Smith regime.
MR. CHINAMASA: You are aware that the last parliament, the Fifth Parliament, passed a law which basically facilitated people of Malawian, Mozambican and Zambian origin to gain citizenship in our country. I hope that process is proceeding unimpeded. I accept that there are people from your constituency and also from Mbare, maybe Kambuzuma and also in major towns, those will be relocated to our rural areas. We have got farms which we can relocate them to, into A1 A2 where they can be accommodated, so we see no problem. What is important is that you advise your constituents – when they get to Caledonia Farm or wherever they are temporarily located, you advise them that they can go to A1 farms. Government will put into place the necessary mechanisms to ensure that these people are settled on land. They are our citizens, they are our responsibility and we will discharge that responsibility without any problem.
MR. COLTART: I am sure that the Hon. Minister is aware of the provisions of Article 7 of the Treaty of Rome which suggest that the forcible removal of people is crime against humanity. It is this Government’s policy to breach Article 7 by forcibly removal of people from urban areas where they have lived their entire life to rural areas where they have no desire to go to. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]
MR. SPEAKER: Order, a question has been asked and I expect they will be a reply before we get any further questions.
MR. CHINAMASA: There is no intention on the pert of the Government to breach any laws, any conventions or treaties. What basically faced us as Government and this was rampant throughout the country – people were building where they liked at will without regard to the local authorities, without regard to our by-laws and to the rights of others. Now, we are saying that this is stopped. We will not tolerate it now and into the future. What we want is discipline and the observance of the rule of law.
I am aware that the opposition had been preaching to us about the rule of law and now we are telling them that there were people who build structure out of the rule of law without regard to housing standards and the necessary local authority permits and without regard to compliance to the by-laws – now we are ensuring that from now on they will be compliance with our laws and that is what we are enforcing. In doing that, we are taking steps to ensure that the consequences of the dislocation will be minimized.
We are aware that there is damage, people are homeless and so forth. The Ministry of local Government is now embarking on a massive housing project. Already, as you are aware, we have started publishing names of persons who have been allocated specific stands. Basically, we are ensuring that there is rule law which prevails in our local authorities and through out our country.
MISS STEVENSON: My question is directed to the Minister of Education. What policy has Government put in place for the thousands of children who are now out of school as a result of this operation?
THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION SPORTS AND CULTURE (MR. CHIGWEDERE): These children apart from Caledonia Farm are not assembling at any one centre where we can create one school facilities for them. Caledonia is a transit camp and we belief there will be no body there in two weeks time and therefore we cannot be expected to establish school facilities at a temporary camp which is not likely to last for not more than a month.
If children displaced from Harare to Marondera have homes in Wedza and their parents go to Wedza, we are going to recruit them into schools immediately. If they move from Goromonzi, Tsholotsho or whatever, they will be admitted into schools immediately. That is the position, we cannot be expected to create schools to temporary places such as Caledonia Farm but once a parent in this case is in Domboshawa, with his children, we will take care of these children.
MR. SPEAKER: I observe that it is a convention in this House that can only be three supplementary questions. In any case, this is a matter that is covered by a motion which have been moved, so if you could hold back your fire until you get an opportunity to debate it.
MR. COLTART: I do wish to ask a question which regards the Urban Council Act and it touches on the same issue.
MR. SPEAKER: If it touches on the same issue, could I ask that we look at other matters, then you can raise that tomorrow when the matter comes up on motion.
MR. SIBINDI: My question is directed to the Minister of Environment and Tourism. What is the Government policy on those people who have settled in some national parks?
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM (MR. NHEMA): I wish to thank Hon. Member for his question. The policy of Government is that they will be removed from the protected areas and resettled elsewhere.
MR. MUKAHLERA: My question is directed to the Leader of the House. Last week, two traders were given tickets one for seven million dollars (Z$7 million) and other for eleven million dollars (Z$11 million) respectively. I would like to know whether the police are allowed to give such a fine or these should be handled by the court? [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]
MR. SPEAKER: Order, that is a question which in my view would require the Minister to do some research, if you can please put it in writing.
QUESTIONS RELATING TO MINSTERIAL STATEMENT BY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT (I CHOMBO)
MR. MUTSEKWA: According to the minister’s statement, it is now obvious that the Government has been watching the mushrooming of the so called illegal structures since 1980. What then made the Government come up with un abrupt operation which did not give the affected notice of why they will be moved and where they will be moved to. Secondly, the people who are involved in the removal of the illegal structures and the people from their original places – did they receive specialist training? This is a mammoth exercise which involves the lives of people. What kind of training did these people get? Because what we have got is that the people who are responsible for this exercise has been drawn from various other sectors including the militias that have graduated from Border Gezi Training centers.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Mr. Speaker, I am actually surprised by the questioner. The persons that are affected have been given ample notice by Government and by local authorities. Some of the notices have been in writing form, meetings have been held in areas and every individual concerned knew and know that the structure they were putting up was illegal. This can be proved by the fact that in other areas, all those who have put illegal structures are demolishing them by themselves. It is incorrect to say that it was abrupt. It is also incorrect to say that the people were being displaced from their original places. Those are not original places at all. The teams involved are our local authorities plus our own law enforcement agencies. As you know that our law enforcement agents are some of the best trained law enforcement agents in Africa and have done a professional job. We commend them for the work they have done.
MR. MZILA NDLOVU: The Minister cited hoarding of goods and foreign currency as one of the major causes of Government initiating this exercise and he has also gone further to say that this exercise has made 90 percent progress.
My question to the Minister is whether he would say the commodities that are cited in particular, I am sure he has in mind commodities like cooking oil and fuel. Whether he is prepared to go further and say that these very commodities are now 90 percent available in Zimbabwe because of the exercise? If this does not translate to the availability of these commodities, we then can not go on to justify the exercise on the basis of accusing these people of having been responsible for the shortage of these commodities.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: I am actually getting surprised, I was reciting the litany of crimes – that hoarding was one of the crimes, general lawlessness, thuggery etc were some of the crimes that the police were looking for. Furthermore, and the most important, the structures were all illegal – built without permits, built on street pavements are areas designated for other activities.
Secondly, people were beginning to sell their wares in front of licensed shops without appropriate hawker permits from the appropriate local authorities. So, those are the things we are saying should be stopped – it has nothing to do with whether there is sugar or no sugar but has to be sold from licensed premises. It is pure and simple. I think the gentlemen on the other side should understand such simple law and order.
When we do not do it Mr. Speaker, they complain that we are a lawless Government and when we do it they complain that we are not instituting law and order. So, what do you want us to do? We better do that which is right, to institute law and order in this country – [MR. MZILA NDLOVU: I do not think my question have been answered, we are talking of availability of commodities…]
MR. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Mukahlera.
MR. MUKAHLERA: I understand that the minister has indicated that Murambatsvina is going to wind up. Does it mean that those illegal structures that have not yet been demolished are no longer going to be destroyed or maybe the next Murambatsvina will touch on the illegal structures in the rural areas? Can we expect something as drastic as this in future?
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: I said that the operation is winding up because most of the work has been done. I cited 90 percent because 90 percent of the structures have been destroyed – the remaining 10 percent will be concluded. I do not know whether there are any illegal structures in his home village because there is law and order presided by the chief sand headmen. If you are building your house in an area that is reserved for grazing or fields, the Chief should order the demolition of that house.
MR. CHEBUNDO: My question to the Minister is by his own admission in the statement, that some of the challenges are to do with the people who are now stepping in the open. Why is it Government seems to be selective on who should assist those who are suffering? From the Minister’s list and what is reportedly said outside that the Government is selecting and not allowing certain NGO’s or international NGOs to assist those who are suffering. Can the minister let us know whether there is that kind of approach and why it should be allowed?
My second question is that it is being reported that other Government ministers and Members of Parliament were not consulted when Government embarked on this programme including the Minister himself, why was it like that?
MR. SPEAKER: Order, your second question is called off, ministers have one Government and therefore have collective responsibilities.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Hon. Chebundo is mistaken; Government will welcome anybody who come to help. Those that have come forward have been informed at the issues at hand and the helpers that he is talking about – the NGOs etc have been there since independence.
You do not wait to develop your country on borrowed assistance from NGOs, if they can come and assist – fine. They are coming to assist – to complement Government and not to complete the Government, it is Government which should take the leadership. The NGOs and church organizations that I mentioned are the organizations that have come forward and we have held a meetings with all of them to inform them of our plans. If your church or NGO is willing to assist, it has to come and work within our structures because we can not create parallel structures in order to implement what we need to do.
MISS STEVENSON: This operation was not budgeted for the 2005 budget, I heard you mention a figure of Z$1 trillion that has been sourced so far. I understand that you have announced that it will cost approximately Z$3 trillion to complete this exercise. I would ask you to explain to this House where this money is coming from.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: This is a Government programme which is there to restore dignity to our people, by giving them permanent shelter instead of living in shacks. This is a Government programme whose aim is to provide decent selling points to our people to any cost to Government because our people were selling from unlicensed and undesignated places – [MISS STEVENSON: Answer the question!] – When she was talking, I was quiet, I wanted to be quiet so that I can speak.
MR. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Stevenson, you were heckling and shouting when he was responding, so I thought you had the answer.
MR. SIKHALA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Hon. Minister. Hon. Minister, you threatened the local authority of Chitungwiza Municipality with a Commission after you quarreled with them over illegal structures that have been constructed by Mr. Chigumba on top of graves. Why did you protect those illegal squalors who had constructed their houses on top of graves in Chitungwiza Unit L?
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Mr. Speaker, the issue that he is raising is unknown to me, maybe it should be addressed to the Resident Minister of Harare Metropolitan Province who superintends the activities which are taking place on the ground on a day to day basis. So, I am unaware of Mr. Chigumba’s installations and I am unaware whether they have been destroyed or not. If they are illegal, they will be destroyed.
MR. MGUNI: My question is simple and straightforward. The Hon. Minister has talked of developments at Caledonia. All of us have got eyes and maybe the Minister could take us the Members of Parliament to go and see what is happening in Caledonia.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Mr. Speaker, I did not understand his question and could he repeat his question.
MR. SPEAKER: He said when would you like us to go and see Caledonia Farm?
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Mr. Speaker, these guys have been taking British Member of Parliament there, they have been there before.
MR. MGUNI: May I simplify again because I did not get his answer.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Mr. Speaker, I said these guys have already been there so many times. They are not restricted to go there. The Hon. Members have been there with their visitors to show them around, they have been to so many places. It is only today that they want to seek permission from us and I will direct the Hon. Members to see the Resident Minister, Mr. Karimanzira, who would be so glad to take them there.
MR. CHAMISA: Mr. Speaker, in the past we have had people whose names have been appeared in the newspapers but in actual fact, have not benefited from the programmes which Government have promised them. Can the minister assure this House that indeed the names of the people who are appearing in the newspapers are the names of people who are really going to benefit from the programme and that it is not one of those political gimmicks? Can the minister also assure those people who are going to benefit and are going to be resettled that they are not going to be unceremoniously displaced because political games had been played before and people’s money has been lost. What does the minister say?
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the Hon. Member for such an important question. The names that did appear in the newspapers are names which already had specific stand numbers assigned to them. The individuals who appeared are those who were vetted at Caledonia Farm, who indicated their need for accommodation – either they were displaced during Murambatsvina or were on the housing waiting list. It is exactly for such persons that the Government has created this programme.
The individuals have been invited to come to Remembrance Drive to pay Z$500 000 to indicate that they are interested in this programme. Some are doing it and we expect more to be doing in the next few weeks. I can assure the Hon. Member of Parliament that unless the individual wishes to withdraw, I do not see why they should not benefit from the stands that have been allocated to them. The majority are members of various co-operatives and names who were taken from their co-operative registers.
MR. MUSHORIWA: I wan to find out from the Minister whether he acknowledges that for the past 25 years the Government has actually failed to keep abreast with the migration of people from rural areas to urban centers and that the infrastructure at the urban set up was only meant for a few individuals. The first question that I have for the Minister is that given the failure by the Government to come up with structures for the housing programme for the past 25 years, what gives us the leaf that the so called “Operation Garikai” is going to succeed, more so in view of the fact that the pay for your housing scheme – the flats in Dzivaresekwa and Chitungwiza are all lying idle and have not yet been completed and yet the Minister is already talking of coming up with a new programme when there are other programmes which are not yet completed.
The other question is that he has been talking of vetting, saying that they are vetting people at Caledonia Farm. We want the Minister to tell us what he means by vetting when all those people are victims of the barbaric act by Government to remove people who are now homeless and are now at Caledonia Farm. What vetting are you talking g about? The last question is that in the past months or so, the very Minister who stands up in this House has been seen at various co-operatives, officially breaking grounds at those co-operatives when those people where building the houses. Is the Minster saying that he is now a different minister or a born again Minister when he is actually the Minister who has been commissioning all those illegal structures.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMEMT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Mr. Speaker, I will do my best to explain so that the Hon. Member may understand. First and foremost, there is no single country in the world which has built houses for all its citizens – that is a fact. Secondly, at independence, we inherited a situation whereby all the northern suburbs were white and the other suburbs near the industrial areas where for blacks. The 250 000 whites who were in this country owned 350 000 homes nationwide. The entirety of Zimbabwe owned fewer houses than the number of houses the whites owned. When this Government came into power in 1980, houses have been built at such a rate that we have so many housing units built in the last 25 years far much more than houses built in the last hundred years by our colonial masters. So, that fact ought to be known. On vetting, it is important to vet who the beneficiary is. It is critical that we vet. You read in the paper today that a lot of illegal alies were also flooding our city centers and we have to vet who the beneficiary is.
MR. MZILA NDLOVU: Mr. Speaker, members of this side when debating were asked to resume their seats because they have nothing to say. We will also ask the same to be done to the Minister because he has nothing to say.
MR. SPEAKER: He is answering questions, If the Hon. Member has nothing to say, I might ask him to leave the House.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: About vetting, it is a necessary exercise to carry out. If the Hon. Members were complaining that the vetting is discriminating against certain community, then we would look at the issue.
Coming to Operation Garikai/hlalanikuhle, it is to make sure that as many to our people as possible have accommodation given to them by Government. Government is going to build a core house, two rooms, a bath and a toilet. Then the individual member will then move in and build at his or her own pace. The reason we did that is simply because we do not want a member building his own house and at the time paying rent because they will have very little money left to built the house. It is Government money which is going to be used and people will be paying back slowly for about twenty to thirty years to pay back what Government is assisting them with.
The issue of co-operatives, issuing of a cooperative certificate is not a permit to build those are two different things. The majority of cooperatives were given certificates to say that their articles of cooperation are in order by the relevant Ministry. The moment you built without your plan being approved by local authority, you are wrong. When we talk about ground breaking, the cooperatives that we went for ground breaking are the cooperatives which were in the correct.
MR. SPEAKER: I believe that this motion will remain in the Order Paper and hope that Hon. Members who wish to debate will therefore have a chance to do so.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: I move that the debate to now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
MR. MHASHU: My question is directed to the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture. As a result of operation Murambatsvina accommodation has been demolished for some of our teachers, pupils and there are in the open and there are not going to school because they are guarding their belongings. My question is, what is the Ministry’s policy in terms of addressing this problem?
THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION, SPORTS AND CULTURE (MR. CHIGWEDERE): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking that question. We do not know of such a situation existing, that teachers are failing to go to school to teach because they are guarding their properties or that children are at home guarding the properties of their parents and therefore are not going to school. What we know is that some families has been disrupted, teachers have done for a day or two without proper accommodation and they spend a day or two running around looking for alternative accommodation.
We are aware too that some children have been disrupted for a day or two whilst parents hunted for alternative accommodation. We are not aware of children who spend more than a week out of school. We are aware that children have been disrupted but they are back at their old schools. Teachers are back at their old schools.
Maybe for the information of the Hon. Member, he would like to know how we check. We check at two ends. There is no child who lives school to be accommodated at another school without a transfer letter. There is no child who leaves school and is admitted into another school without a transfer letter. So by checking how many transfer letters have been issued, we know how many children left school. By checking how many admissions have been made, we know these children who have been transferred have all been accommodated into some other schools.
The evidence before us is that parents are making temporary arrangements and if anything permanent is going to emerge, it will emerge by the end of the term or at the beginning of next term. So at the beginning of next term we will know. So, we are not aware of teachers who are not teaching because they are guarding their properties. We are not aware of the existence of children who are not attending school because they are guarding the properties of their parents.
MR. MHASHU: I am pleased that the Minister has admitted tacitly that there is problem of displacement and so forth. My question is, what are the measures being taken to rehabilitate the teachers, students and their mental trauma and psychological state?
MR. CHIGWEDERE: The psychological side should be directed to the Minister of Health because we do not cure. We have a school Psychological Department and they are in the field but they do not cure. They advise, counsel, then they refer to the Ministry of Health should it be necessary. That is what we are doing.
As for alternative accommodation, that is not our responsibility. I can refer the member to the Minister of Local Government, Mr. Chombo, who is responsible for providing alternative accommodation.
MR. CHIBAYA: My question is directed to the Leader of the House, as I can see the Minister of Home Affairs is not in this House. I want to know whether it is a policy that the police officers when destroying the illegal structures, are allowed to take people’s assets? I am saying this because in my constituency, the police officers were actually taking people’s assets when they were destroying the so called illegal structures.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. CHINAMASA): I would ask that a specific question be put in writing and be addressed to the relevant Ministry.
MR. MUTSEKWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Defence, and I see he has just walked in now. We understand the Zimbabwe Defence Forces are actively involved in the construction exercise after the destructions under operation Murambatsvina. Why did your Ministry not recognize the expertise in the Defence Forces and construct accommodation for the troops as it is one area which is affecting moral severely?
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (DR. SEKERAMAYI): The Ministry of Defence is in the process of constructing accommodation so that all members of the Defence Forces have institutional housing. That programme is on course and is progressing.
MR. GWETU: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. With reference to the demolishing of the illegal structures, is there any policy provision for punitive measures? The information I have from my members of my constituency is that certain police officers have alleged that if members of the public do not pull down their structures and by the time the police do so, they will be subjected to a fine of not less that half a million dollars.
MR. CHINAMASA: Again, I will ask the Hon. Member to put that question in writing so that he could get a specific response from the Minister – [Mr. Mutsekwa; Where are the ministers?] – The ministers are out pushing the reconstruction programme. As a matter of fact, they are launching the Whitecliffe operation Garikai.
MR. CHAMISA: My question is directed to the Leader of the House. As a Member of Parliament concerned with the ubiquitous presence of police officers on the roads in our suburbs, at various market places, can you just clarify to this House whether this country has degenerated into a police state.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. CHINAMASA): The police have the responsibility to maintain law and order. They have a responsibility to ensure that safety is maintained on our roads. They are obviously involved in the current Operation Murambatsvina and Operation Restore order. Where you find them, they are performing those duties which are their constitutional responsibilities.
MR. GABBUZA: I would like to raise an issue relating to the laws to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Policemen are confiscating goods if they are perceived to be overpriced. Which laws are they using to justify the confiscation of goods, as well as issuing of tickets for fines?
MR. CHINAMASA: It is a very important question which deserves a very detailed answer from the Minister of Industry and International Trade who is responsible for the control of prices and ensuring that tradesmen and businessmen charge the prices that are determined in terms of the Control of Goods Act. I would ask the Hon. Member to put this question in writing to the responsible Minister.
If you have friends who would like to subscribe to our regular email newsletters, please get them to email us at email@example.com
The spirit of democracy cannot be established in the midst of terrorism, whether governmental or popular. Mohandas K Gandhi
We have the following videos available:
All three videos have been produced by the Solidarity Peace Trust. The videos are free. Please telephone Kubatana.net on 776008 and speak to Dennis to find out availability as well as when and where you can collect these resources (fuel permitting!). We ask you to organise screenings and discussions within your organisation and to share them with colleagues and friends.
For more information please email Joyce Kazembe: Joyce@sapes.org.zw
Hot Property COOL STEEL, the Children's Performing Arts Workshop (CHIPAWO) steel band - now available for performances. The first and only steel band in Zimbabwe. A new sound. A different sound. Ideal for your corporate functions, launches, celebrations, any special event where you want something completely different. Please contact Chipo on 04-309730 or 091-968685 for bookings and more information.
Stupid Black Men (SBM*)
The SBM in my life come in two broad categories. SBM Archetype #1 includes presidents and general ruling party power mongers. SBM Archetype #2 includes the many and varied general male harasser found on the streets of Harare. These include motorists, vendors, cyclists, pedestrians, sidewalk lurkers, various shopkeepers and some selected waiters. Read more from Amanda Atwood or email us for a copy of this submission by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Zimbabwean Crisis and the Challenges for the Left For some on the African left this resurgent nationalism represents a necessary defensive stance in the face of the New Imperialism, an abrasive face towards the global bully. Unfortunately much of the anger of this embattled nationalism is channelled against the citizens of our states, and the nationalism that presents itself as the nation's shield is often the suffocating embrace of murderous regimes. We need to find new collective discourses that build on a broad participation, and a deep commitment to critical discussion and debate. African intellectuals have intermittently engaged in an examination of the theoretical presumptions of their politics, as part of the challenge of confronting the obstacles of post-colonial development. For Zimbabwean intellectuals this is clearly a good time to engage in such a debate. It is hoped that this contribution will develop such a debate. Brian Raftopoulos, Associate Professor, Institute of Development Studies, University of Zimbabwe: Public Lecture delivered at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, sponsored by the Forum Lecture Series and Centre for Civil Society, 23rd June 2005 Click here to read the paper or email email@example.com for a copy.
Dangerous pity The millions donated to Ethiopia in 1985 thanks to Live Aid were supposed to go towards relieving a natural disaster. In reality, donors became participants in a civil war. Many lives were saved, but even more may have been lost in Live Aid's unwitting support of a Stalinist-style resettlement project … With the exception of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), what neither the relief world in general, nor the UN, nor Geldof and his Live Aid team have ever come to terms with is that the Mengistu regime—finally ousted in 1991—also committed mass murder in the resettlement programme in which Live Aid monies were used and in which NGOs that benefited from Live Aid funding were active. The Dergue was in control, and it did with the UN and the NGOs what the Nazis did with the International Committee of the Red Cross: it made them unwilling collaborators. Read this interesting article by David Rieff who asks whether it’s better to do something rather than give in to despair or cynicism and do nothing? If you cannot access the internet and would like a copy of this document email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Cruel To Be Kind The best way for aid groups to help Zimbabwe is to halt donations until after Mugabe's gone. Many despots who have wreaked havoc across Africa over the past few decades have sought to control who receives aid. Donations have repeatedly been stolen and used to support armed conflict in Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Using international donations as a political weapon to retain power is a blatant abuse of donors' resources. While no one wants to see hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans starve, in this situation, it may be more ethical for NGOs to withhold aid if they know it is being used to further the goals of the ruling regime. Allowing food and shelter to be distributed selectively only prolongs the tyranny under which all Zimbabweans live. Read more from Bill Corcoran
To The Diplomatic Community, Donor Countries, All Civil Society Groups And All Stakeholders In The Agricultural Sector In Zimbabwe The local office of New York based World Bank gave Justice for Agriculture a copy of Agriculture Growth And Land Reform In Zimbabwe: Assessment And Recovery Options, (World Bank Report No 3199 ZW). The World Bank requested that we study this document and return to them our verbal and written response. Read the JAG review of the World Bank Report No 3199 ZW Visit the JAG Zimbabwe fact sheet
Nobel Peace Prize Winner Addresses African Diaspora 'One of the worst outcomes of injustices is poverty,' says Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner. 'It robs human beings of their dignity.' In one of those curiously poignant moments of history, Professor Maathai spoke at the Africa Diaspora and Development Day in London on 2 July 2005 where thousands of Africans met to discuss their own future, while across the other side of London in Hyde Park, a largely white, apolitical road show known as Live8 was busy telling Africans what they really needed. 'When people are poor and when they are reduced to beggars, they feel weak, humiliated, disrespected and undignified,' said Maathai. ' They hide alone in corners and dare not raise their voices. They are therefore, neither heard nor seen. They do not organize but often suffer in isolation and in desperation. Yet all human beings deserve respect and dignity. Indeed it should be unacceptable to push other human beings to such levels of indignity. Even before any other rights, perhaps it may be time to campaign for all human beings to have the right to a life of dignity: a life devoid of poverty in the midst of plenty because such poverty demonstrates gross inequalities. As long as millions of people live in poverty and indignity, humanity should feel diminished. A time such as this gives all of us, and especially those in leadership, the opportunity to reduce poverty. There is a lot of poverty in Africa. This is largely due to economic injustices, which must be addressed not only by the rich industrialized countries but also by leaders in Africa.' http://www.pambazuka.org/
Opportunities . . . World Youth Development and ICT (WYDI 2005) Conference (Aug 11-12 2005) This conference is being organised with a theme of "Young People Creating Global Culture". The conference aims to bring together more than 250 young professionals, community leaders, non-governmental organisation (NGO) leaders, university students, information and communication technology (ICT) professionals, among others. Write email@example.com for more details and application form.
Jobs . . . Project Officer (Advocacy, Information And Training) Department: Child Rights Deadline for applications is 15th July 2005 A suitable candidate is being sought to fill in the above vacancy that has occurred in the Child Rights Department. This position is most suited to a highly motivated person with a passion for human rights generally and children’s rights in particular. The person will be expected to work with children from both rural and urban communities and will be expected to be a good communicator. Email Human Rights Trust of Southern Africa firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on this vacancy. Training and Information Officer and Agriculture and Nutrition Officer The deadline for applications is 20th July 2005. Zimbabwe Women’s Bureau is inviting applications for these posts. Please write to the Director at email@example.com for more information. Training Coordinator The deadline for the application is the 18th of July The Centre is a non-governmental organization that provides a holistic approach to the national management of HIV/AIDS, to both the infected and affected, to enable them to live positively with HIV/AIDS. This is done through counselling and support, nutritional guidance, information gathering and dissemination, home based care, advocacy and lobbying, and training. The Centre’s is currently looking at filling the recently fallen vacant position for a Training Coordinator. Individuals interested and have the necessary qualifications to fill this post are requested to submit their applications. Please email Deputy Director or the Organizational Development Advisor for a job description firstname.lastname@example.org. Programme Development and Coordination Manager: Malawi The deadline is 22nd July 2005 The Story Workshop Educational Trust is Malawi’s leading edutainment media NGO which seeks to be a catalyst for development through a unique approach using entertainment linking Malawian oral traditions to influence positive change. Through a mix of advocacy, edutainment (radio soaps), and social mobilisation Story Workshop seeks to promote human rights and good governance, gender equity, improved family health and nutrition, food security, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, and the prevention and mitigation of HIV/AIDS. Story Workshop is seeking to recruit a to join a small team of professionals that leads the management and development of Story Workshop. Please email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Resources . . . Inclusive Security, Sustainable Peace: A Toolkit for Advocacy and Action This is a resource for women peace builders and practitioners to effectively promote peace and security. Inclusive Security: Women Waging Peace and International Alert collaborated to produce the Toolkit, which outlines the components of peace building from conflict prevention to post-conflict reconstruction, highlights the role that women play in each phase, and is directed to women peace builders and the policy community. If you would like a hard copy, please email email@example.com
The Kubatana Trust of Zimbabwe and The NGO Network Alliance Project PO Box GD 376 Greendale Harare Zimbabwe Tel: +263-4-776008/746448 Fax: +263-4-746418 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.kubatana.net Visit www.kubatana.net Zimbabwe's civic and human rights web site incorporating an online directory for the non-profit sector
Demonstrating outside the Dungavel refugee detention centre during the G8 protests (Pic: Ray Smith)
Zimbabweans protesting at the British government’s decision to deport refugees have called a major protest for Thursday 4 August.
This is the day when a judge will decide whether or not it is legal for the government to continue its policy of returning Zimbabwean asylum seekers to Robert Mugabe’s regime.
Noble Sibanda is coordinator for the United Network of Detained Zimbabweans in the UK (UNDZ). He told Socialist Worker, “We urge everyone who supports this cause, and the cause of all those who are unjustly denied asylum, to join us on this day.
“Our hunger strikes were suspended this week because detainees felt they had made their point and we should now throw the focus on to the 4 August decision. There were 60 people on hunger strike at the start of this week, including one person who had taken no food for 38 days.
“Their action showed how desperate the situation has become. People are being returned to terrible danger, even though the government admits that the Mugabe regime is carrying out atrocities.
“The home office has treated Zimbabwean asylum seekers in a very poor manner. In around 50 cases we have been told that key evidence has been ‘lost’ from the files.
“We believe that the majority of British people want deportations to Zimbabwe halted. Now that feeling has to be turned into pressure on the government.”
Edward Kambarami, who fled Zimbabwe after being persecuted as a supporter of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said, “I was held for three weeks in Harmondsworth detention centre and was shocked at the number of people from Africa and Jamaica held there.
“There was one Zimbabwean who had been held there for eight months and still had no legal representation.”
The British government says it has no evidence of ill treatment of refugees deported to Zimbabwe. But Edward had his own account of a 30 year old man who was sent back to the country earlier this year. “He was arrested at the airport, beaten, and then taken to hospital — but is not receiving any treatment,” he says. “This could be fatal.”
UNDZ is calling on trade unions, community groups and individuals to back their campaign. Among the ideas for campaigning are intensifying pressure on MPs and “twinning” detainees with groups who will keep in contact with them and support their campaign.
© Copyright Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original and leave this notice in place.