The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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The Scotsman

Zimbabwe General Strike has Limited Success


A two-day general strike called to protest a government crackdown on the
urban poor began slowly today with a heavy police presence on the streets of

A broad alliance of civic society groups, churches, opposition parties,
unions and a women's group called for the general strike today and tomorrow
to protest what the government calls a campaign to improve the cities, but
which the UN says has left at least 200,000 urban poor homeless and more
than 30,000 under arrest.

 Police have warned for days that they will "deal ruthlessly" with anyone
participating in the strike.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions said three of its employees in
Bulawayo were arrested at their homes before dawn today for allegedly
organising the strike.

The stay-away appeared to be starting slowly. Main roads were only slightly
less busy this morning as people reported to work. There also were major
traffic jams in downtown Harare after police sealed off a huge area ahead of
President Robert Mugabe's appearance to open Parliament.

Trudy Stevenson, an opposition member of Parliament, said police began
rounding up residents of one Harare township this morning.

"Police are now in Hatcliffe ... rounding everyone up and piling them onto
lorries. Their belongings are being put on separate lorries, so they fear
they will lose everything," Stevenson said.

"They are not being told where they are being taken, but they have the
impression it is far away and they might be kept in a holding camp under
guard," she added.

Opposition politicians and civic society groups accuse the government of
burning or demolishing the homes of urban poor to punish them for voting for
the opposition.

They also allege the government is trying force people to leave the cities,
which are opposition strongholds, and return to ruling party controlled
rural areas so that they can be more tightly controlled politically.

The government said the crackdown was a campaign to clean up cities and stop
street traders, which it calls economic saboteurs. The UN has accused the
government of gross human rights abuses with the campaign.

Six Roman Catholic bishops issued a statement today condemning the crackdown
known as Operation Murambatsvina, which means 'drive out trash'.

"A grave crime has been committed against poor and helpless people. We warn
the perpetrators ... history will hold you individually accountable," the
bishops said in the statement.

The Protestant Evangelical Christian Fellowship also condemned the
crackdown, saying police were "wantonly destroying property" and giving no
consideration to vulnerable children, disabled or HIV positive people.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party urged the people to
take part in the strike.

"We call upon all the people of Zimbabwe to organise themselves and protest
against the actions of ... this criminal regime," the party said.

Economists, however, said it would be difficult to make a general strike
effective because only about 800,000 of Zimbabwe's 12 million people had
jobs in the formal sector. More than 4 million people had emigrated and
500,000 had lost their jobs during five years of unprecedented economic

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Mail and Guardian

      Harare quiet on first day of strike

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      09 June 2005 11:27

            The streets of the Zimbabwe capital, Harare, were quiet early on
Thursday after civil rights groups and the opposition called for a two-day
strike to protest growing social and economic hardships and a crackdown by
police against the urban poor.

            Few people could be seen on the normally bustling shopping areas
at the start of business. While most banks and shops appeared to be open,
customers were scarce and many people appeared to have heeded calls for a

            Southern industrial areas of the capital were also quiet.

            Police and army trucks were spotted in some areas, but there was
no sign of a major police clampdown. The police had threatened to come down
hard on any street protests by civil and democratic rights activists.

            The first day of the strike came as President Robert Mugabe was
due to open Parliament, the first session by the 150-seat Assembly since his
ruling Zanu-PF won disputed elections on March 31.

            The 81-year-old head of state told a reception at his official
residence in Harare on Wednesday evening that the Southern African country
will "never collapse".

            "We will never collapse. We may have our droughts, but as a
people we will never collapse," Thursday's edition of the state-controlled
Herald quoted him as saying.

            The strike has been called for by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), civil rights groups and workers' and students'
unions to protest shortages of basic commodities, including the staple maize
meal, and biting transport problems.

            The organisers are also protesting a three-week-old police blitz
on "illegal" flea markets and shack homes.

            The action has left an estimated 200 000 people without shelter,
while more than 22 000 people have so far been arrested for a variety of
alleged crimes, including hoarding basic commodities and dealing on the
black market.

            Police and members of the army could be seen outside Harare's
Parliament building on Thursday morning. Mugabe was due to make a major
policy statement when he opened Parliament at midday.

            There have been calls for opposition lawmakers to boycott the
ceremony, usually done with pomp and fanfare, in solidarity with Thursday's

            The MDC won only 41 seats to Zanu-PF's 78-seat majority in polls
in March, but the opposition claims there was rigging and it is due to mount
court challenges to 16 seats won by Mugabe's party. -- Sapa-DPA

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Zimbabwe strike: Your reaction
Orphans in Zimbabwe affected by the evictions (photo taken by a BBC News website user)
Are you taking part in the strike in Zimbabwe? Are strikes the right option?

A two-day general strike is under way across Zimbabwe, in protest at a government crackdown on informal traders and shantytowns.

Church groups and opposition parties have heavily criticised the sweep and called the strike, which coincides with the state opening of parliament.

Do you live in Zimbabwe? What are your thoughts on the current situation in the country? What do you think is the future for the country? Send us your experiences comments.

You can also send your pictures and video to:

If you are willing to talk to the BBC News website about your experiences, please include your telephone number. It will not be published. If you would like to remain anonymous please ask.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

This topic was suggested by Glenn, Luxembourg:
What should the world's leaders do to end the violent repression in Zimbabwe?

Something has to be done! I cannot believe that our government has done nothing about the poor and starving people of Zimbabwe. So many reports of the truth and still no action. How can the people win without our help? I believe that the UK must stand up and take the lead. It's no longer about politics but basic human rights. How can we stand by and watch?
Dave Seward, UK

How much longer can neighbouring African countries, in particular, South Africa continue to condone this horror through their silence and blatant support for a ruthless and corrupt government?
Briony Cobban, London, UK

If invading Iraq was a human rights issue, as some supporters of the invasion are now claiming, why haven't those same forces invaded Zimbabwe for the same reason? Could it be because there's no oil in Zimbabwe, or am I just being cynical?
Peter, London, UK

The biggest problem Zimbabwe has today is poor leadership coming from Mugabe and opposition. The behaviour of Mugabe has shown that he is prepared to serve another master (China) rather than Zimbabweans. The difference between China and white Zimbabweans is that the whites had Zimbabwe at heart and contributed to its development. Now Zimbabwe has become another example of the norms of African governments. Unless Africa gets rid of poor leadership such as that of Thabo Mbeki, Mkapa, Museveni etc. we are going to be a laughing stock in the 21st century.
Duran Rapozo, Manchester, UK

The employee is caught in a tight spot
Zobha, Harare

The business is so strained by the current economic problems that the employers can no longer afford to miss a day due to the stay away. The employee is caught in a tight spot - whether to take part in the industrial action and risk losing their jobs or go to work and betray the general populace who protest against the repressive regime. It makes more sense to go to work because you never know what may happen to your job if you don't. I think everyone is waiting for some spontaneous protest and we do hope it will happen some day.
Zobha, Harare, Zimbabwe

We the people of Zimbabwe must stand up for ourselves! With very few options available, a stay-away is the right way to get things started. We cannot blame anyone but ourselves if we don't make the effort to bring about change. Every single one of us must begin to defy tyranny even if it is in the smallest way. No-one is coming to help us!
James, Ruwa, Zimbabwe

I feel the United Nations should be granted the power to act in a really positive way to bring dictators to heel. Words and oral warnings do nothing to rid an oppressed people of a despot dictator. Any action taken would have to be ordered and directed by the United Nations and not the president of the United States of America and any of his cohorts
Edward Seyforth, Halifax, Canada

I am ashamed to be part of this docile lot
Ali Ali, Harare

We Zimbabweans deserve what the regime is doing to us. We want change but cannot raise a finger to join the stay-aways or any other form of protest. I am ashamed to be part of this docile lot. Let us keep on toiling and suffering until Robert passes away, because that is what everyone is waiting for. Shame!
Ali Ali, Harare, Zimbabwe

Mass protest is the only solution left for the suffering citizens of Zimbabwe. They must remove the dictator and make the country free again. Mugabe has a home but after the recent atrocities against the informal traders and shanty towns there are thousands who have been made homeless. Mugabe must go and must be brought to court and made to answer. Democracy has gone, long time ago, in Zimbabwe but what is happening now is a step too far.
Pravin Mistry, Coventry, UK

Strikes are not the answer. The opposition should not use people to further their selfish agendas. What the government is doing is as right as it can be. These strikes will not save anything but to put Tsvangirai on the spotlight. This MDC thing has brought suffering among us, only because they want to rule our beautiful Zimbabwe. Tsvangi please leave us alone.
Zvimbo, Harare, Zimbabwe

There are no strikes here! I am really surprised by these misleading reports. Such clear lies and misleading information will not help the MDC. The UK certainly has a hostile position on Zimbabwe and it is very clear to everyone in Zimbabwe.
Farirai Mutema, Gweru, Zimbabwe

When living in Kenya thirty years ago, we were told that, although Kenya was gorgeous, Uganda was even better and Zimbabwe was the most beautiful African country of all. Unfortunately I never had a chance to see for myself - and one man's delusions have now wrecked this once lovely country. I consider their future very grim.
Diane Laasner, Seuzach, Switzerland

I am on stay away but I think mass protests in the streets are the best idea in order to remove Mugabe's regime. The MDC leader should lead the people.
Moses, Harare, Zimbabwe

The UK and USA are quiet, don't they see this tsunami? People are deprived of their rights. Shelters and means of fundraising have been demolished. Zimbabweans need to stand up and speak up, not only anticipating a change from one man Dr Tsvangirai. These strikes bring a change only after a long run.
Cool, Harare, Zimbabwe

It is time that the world stood up and did something to stop Mugabe from destroying what's left of Zimbabwe
Christopher, Manchester, England
I think it is time that the world stood up and did something to stop Mugabe from destroying what's left of Zimbabwe. This country up until recently was a thriving African nation. Now it is at the point of anarchy and mass starvation. The world is talking about helping Africa, the perfect way to show it would be helping to free Zimbabwe from this nightmare.
Christopher Thompson, Manchester, England

What other option do the poor suffering Zimbabweans have? The rest of the world appears to have turned their backs on the tragedy of Zimbabwe, concentrating more on the Iraq issue among other issues. What are the UN and Commonwealth doing?
Phyllis Wheeler, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, UK

Mugabe's inappropriate economic policies forced desperate citizens to the slums and streets. Forceful evictions are not a sustainable solution. He must accept the blame and reconcile with the opposition for a better future.
Edward Ssemakula, Kampala, Uganda

Peaceful disobedience has to be the way for the population to show that despite the intense intimidation and persecution the spirit is strong. God be with these brave people - they deserve better.
Matt, Chelmsford

The situation in Zimbabwe - with the deafening silence from its neighbours - comes at an ironic time, with Sir Bob and Co gearing up for Live 8. I believe the Government should not give a brass farthing of debt relief until the African countries show real delivery of the fine words in the Nepad agreement.
David, London N1

Mugabe must step down whether by his own choice or through international pressure being placed upon the country. Zimbabwe is already a country in ruin with many people already dying of Aids and possibly starvation. Just like the world answered the call for democracy and freedom in South Africa it should also do the same for Zimbabwe or isn't Zimbabwe rich enough in minerals etc?
Susan Cutler, Alberton, South Africa

It's high time someone knocked some sense into the leaders of Zimbabwe, both ruling and opposition
Nash, Harare, Zimbabwe
Strikes only make things worse than what they are already. If we remember well, the then Mayor of Harare Eng Mudzuri and his council wanted the proposed demolition of these illegal structures but was denied by the Minister of Local Government. Is it a matter now of who is doing it or trying to get a cheap political mileage?

People get beaten up during these strikes while the champions of the events are drinking tea in their luxurious homes. Why influence people to commit such suicide? It's high time someone knocked some sense into the leaders of Zimbabwe, both ruling and opposition, and start working together as a nation. Constructive dialogue is required, no hatred but love for a change. We pray for our beloved country everyday that peace and not confrontations prevail. I know God has not forgotten us and it's not far before we get back to the sunshine country again.
Nash, Harare, Zimbabwe

I am in Harare right now. We are all at work in a new look like Sunshine City. The demolitions have of course been long over due. If you have any journalists in our city right now call them to confirm. I am not a politician but I love my country. I say no to propaganda.
Shephard Matongo, Harare, Zimbabwe

Where are the masses who protested the invasion of Iraq now. All those crying out against the invasion in the name of democracy and human rights. I don't see too many of them outside any of the Zimbabwean Embassy's around the world. There are not too many of them outside the Sudanese Embassy's either. Or is it acceptable when regimes kill and abuse their own people (as long as America is not involved that is). It's sickening.
Ackerman, Copenhagen, Denmark

I know the strike will crumble the already dithering economy. But going forward is now as bad as going backwards.
Sebastian Nyamhangambiri, Harare

I am neither a Zimbabwean nor do I know anyone on strike in Zimbabwe but I have a lot of friends in Zimbabwe. I am therefore concerned with what is happening. I strongly condemn the evictions as they are abusing rights of innocent and helpless people. I however, think strikes will not be a right option as this will lead to even more victims. With what the Zimbabwean government has done already, nothing will stop them from using an 'iron fist' on the strikers. In my opinion, this combined with the land saga, spell a bleak future for Zimbabwe. I sympathise with Zimbabweans.
Thabbie Chilongo, Lilongwe, Malawi

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----- Original Message -----
From: Trudy Stevenson
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005 6:10 PM
Subject: Police roundup in Hatcliffe Extension

Police are now in Hatcliffe Extension New Stands, rounding everyone up and
piling them onto lorries.  Their belongings are being put on separate
lorries, so they fear they will lose everything.  They are not being told
where they are being taken, but they have the impression it is far away, and
that they might be kept in a "Holding Camp" under guard.
Please get the word out, and encourage powerful people to take whatever
action they can to protect and assist these innocent people.
Thank you.
Trudy Stevenson MP
Harare North Constituency
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Sent: Friday, June 10, 2005 2:04 AM
Subject: CHRA Press Statement - CHRA takes Minister to court over failure to
hold Harare council elections

Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
Press Release
9 June 2005

CHRA is again taking the Minister of Local Government to the High Court for
yet again violating the same law as in 2001, together with the Chairman of
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the several Commissioners
appointed by the Minister to the Harare Commission. Papers have been served
on all the respondents and we are hoping to have an urgent chamber hearing
within the next day or two.

We should not be repeatedly forced to seek judicial enforcement of the clear
requirements of the Urban Council Act. By law, elections for six vacant
council seats in Harare should have been held in 2003 while the election for
an Executive Mayor was due by June 2004. Further elections for another 30 to
34 council seats should have been held by November 2004. The Registrar
General simply ignored and broke these laws and held no elections in Harare.
The ZEC has assumed the responsibility for holding elections but done
nothing to remedy these violations of the law in regard to Harare while
holding local government elections in other urban centres.

On 9 December 2004, the Minister appointed his Commission for 24 months when
the Act clearly only permits him to appoint such Commissions for a maximum
of 6 months. He simply ignored that law. The Commissioners' term of office
expired today.  By law, the Commissioners were also obliged to ensure the
lawbreaking by the electoral authorities was remedied before then and
elections held. They have simply ignored that law. The Supreme Court has
already ruled that a Commission is illegal after 6 months and that the
Minister can not reappoint; so it seems from 10 June 2005, Harare will cease
to have lawful local government. The Minister's unlawful reappointment of
the Commission today is a clear admission that he erred in his initial

Given the failure of the ZEC, the Commissioners and the Minister to obey the
laws of Zimbabwe, CHRA has asked the Court to order ZEC to immediately give
its notice for elections to be held as quickly as possible, with polling by
9 July 2005. The High Court and Supreme Court have come to the residents'
assistance in the same situation before and acted quickly against
Commissioners behaving illegally. As the law has not been changed, we hope
that the Court will do so again now. Without its urgent intervention or
immediate action by ZEC, it seems the City will again face a protracted
period of illegal government.

It is ironic and hypocritical that those Commissioners who have authorised a
brutal assault upon residents in a supposed clean-up are failing to ensure
that the electoral authorities act according to the requirements of the law
and are themselves breaking the law through this neglect.

It is also distressing to note that while the mugabe regime has incorporated
many of the SADC electoral principles into recent legislation and in theory
accepts that local authorities derive their legitimacy through elections by
citizens, it did so in full knowledge that Harare's elections were already
overdue. Rather than implementing the principles and ensuring these overdue
elections were held, it appointed a Commission instead for what is very
clearly an illegal period and the Commissioners [which includes 2 lawyers]
seem to accept that illegality.

Harare's residents have enjoyed only one year of elected local government in
the past 6 years. The mugabe regime has demonstrated a complete contempt for
democratic principles and seems intent on perpetuating an illegality in
Harare. We therefore hope that the courts will hear our urgent application
and compel the regime to comply with its legal duty. In the interim, we
would point out that the reappointment of the Commission is clearly illegal
and that it has no mandate either from the law or from residents. Any
decisions it makes or instructions it may issue to municipal staff are null
and void and no resident or employee is obliged to obey such unlawful
regulations as may be made by the illegal Commission.

For further information, contact:
Combined Harare Residents Association
Mike Davies
Chairman <>
tel: 498792
mobile: 263 4 [0]91 249 430
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      Hard times for Zimbabwe's new homeless

      The UN says some 200, 000 Zimbabweans have been made homeless in a
two-week police operation to demolish houses and markets, which the
authorities say are illegal.
      The opposition says it is punishment for areas which voted against
President Robert Mugabe in elections but the government says the operation
is needed to rid Zimbabwe's cities of criminal elements.

      A Catholic priest, who did not want to be identified, described the
scenes of devastation in the capital, Harare, to the BBC News website:

      "Open areas are full of people living rough. Whole families are
huddled together around a pile of possessions, surrounded by the wreckage of
their homes.

      They are just waiting. Many have nowhere to go.

      They are being encouraged to go to their rural homes. Some are going
back - you can see a lot of trucks leaving Harare loaded up with what people
have managed to save.

      But many have not been there for a long time. They don't have houses
there anymore and are squatting with relatives for the moment.

      June is one of the coldest months of the year - it can get down to
0C - and I know of four people who have died after spending two weeks
sleeping in the open.

      Some are burning their possessions to keep warm and because they
cannot afford to pay to transport them to rural areas.

      Some people are starting to show signs of malnutrition, as they cannot
cook, or they have no money to buy food.

      Churches invaded

      There is also nowhere to wash and I am worried about an outbreak of

      Some children have had to be pulled out of school.

      In some parts of Harare, people have gone to spend the nights in their
local churches.

      But in my area, there are too many people to fit in our church.

      We are assisting people by giving them food and blankets and bus fares
to those who have somewhere to go.

      Just this morning, I have paid out 10m Zimbabwe dollars (US$500) in
bus fares.

      Those living rough are afraid that the police might come back and
"discipline" them.


      In many parts of Harare, such as where I grew up, the houses were
initially "matchbox" houses, with four rooms, surrounded by gardens.

      But as the population grew, people built extensions without planning
permission. With all the extensions, you could have as many as 14 rooms,
housing up to 30 people, in what was originally a four-room house.

      So now, all these extensions have been demolished. In some cases, this
means three-quarters of the living space.

      Some families were ordered to knock down their own homes.

      People are trying to cram into the four, original rooms but it is

      Still going on

      Those areas of Harare which have not been directly affected by the
demolitions are now becoming overcrowded, as people go to stay with their
friends and relatives.

      The demolitions and evictions started in Mbare in the city centre,
then they moved to the western townships such as Kambazuma, and then Tafara
in the east.

      And they are still going on. Houses are being knocked down as we

      The whole city has been hit, as well as cities across the country.

      But outside Harare, only illegal market stalls have been affected, not

      There is a holding camp on the outskirts of Harare, with maybe 200

      The police are guarding them but no-one knows what to do with the

      They have nowhere to wash, except for local streams. "

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Mugabe says Zimbabwe to fight graft
Thu Jun 9, 2005 3:07 PM BST

By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Thursday defended the
recent razing of shantytowns and a crackdown on small traders as part of a
government push to curb corruption and raise the black majority's stake in
the economy.

Mugabe spoke at the official opening of a new parliament, which the main
opposition boycotted as part of a two-day strike to protest the crackdown
that critics say has deprived tens of thousands of people of homes and

"The current chaotic state of affairs where (small businesses) operated
outside the regulatory framework and in undesignated and crime-ridden areas
could not be countenanced for much longer," Mugabe told parliament, meeting
for the first time since March elections critics say were rigged.

Thousands of people have been arrested and thousands more have seen informal
business premises razed and goods confiscated in what the government calls a
clean-up campaign to root out crime, including illegal trade in scant
foreign currency and basic commodities like sugar.

Mugabe said the government would introduce mandatory penalties for illegal
trade in foreign currency and precious metals, which authorities say have
thrived in shantytowns.

He made no direct reference to the two-day "stayaway" called by civic groups
with the backing of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
which appeared to draw little popular support as it began on Thursday.

Mugabe said new bills to be tabled in parliament included amendments to
mining laws to rationalise issuing of prospecting orders and to open up the
foreign-dominated sector to locals.

"The Empowerment Bill to provide a legal and institutional framework to
drive the national indigenisation (black empowerment) programme shall also
be brought up for consideration," Mugabe said.


Parliament would also amend the constitution which would provide for the
reintroduction of a senate, the creation of a single electoral commission
and streamlining procedures to complete the government's controversial land
reforms, he said.

Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party can change the constitution at will thanks to
a two-thirds parliamentary majority clinched in March 31 elections that the
MDC says were rigged. ZANU-PF says the election was fair.

Critics say agricultural disruption caused by the government's seizure of
white-owned farms for blacks is largely to blame for chronic food shortages
over the last five years, worsening the woes of Zimbabweans already
grappling with erratic supplies of fuel, record inflation and unemployment.

Mugabe says the land reforms were necessary to restore land stolen from
blacks during colonialism and denies responsibility for the country's
economic crisis. Instead he blames sabotage by local and foreign opponents
of the land grab.

Civic groups, backed belatedly by the MDC, called for a strike to protest
the recent government crackdown which critics say has worsened the plight of
already stricken Zimbabweans.

The strike made a slow start on Thursday and analysts said the MDC's
decision to wait until Wednesday to back it smacked of indecision within the
MDC leadership, and may have undermined the public's willingness to take

While early morning traffic appeared lighter than usual in the capital
Harare, most major industrial sites and firms in the central business
district were open and employees at work.

Reports painted a similar picture around the country.

Police have warned against the protests and set up roadblocks along most
highways leading into Harare, searching cars at random. There were no early
reports of trouble.

The main labour federation, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU),
said police had arrested three of its activists for organising the strike in
the second city Bulawayo. Police denied the arrests, dismissing the strike
as a "non-event".

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, laughed off
rumours earlier this week that he had died of heart failure, and showed no
obvious signs of ill-health during his delivery to parliament on Thursday.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.
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African Protestant leader urges Zimbabwe to uphold 'rule of law'
NAIROBI, June 9 (AFP) - The leader of Africa's largest Protestant Church
group called Thursday on authorities in Zimbabwe to uphold the rights of
citizens amid mounting anger over a "clean-up" operation that has left tens
of thousands of people homeless.

Reverend Mvume Dandala, the secretary general of the Nairobi-based
All-Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), said his group was increasingly
concerned at the implications of the campaign in which police have razed
thousands of shanty homes and roadside kiosks over the past three weeks.

"We trust that the government of Zimbabwe will ensure that her citizens are
protected fully and the rule of law is upheld fully in every action taken,"
Dandala said in a statement that urged dialogue to end the chaos.

He urged all sides -- President Robert Mugabe's government, the opposition,
critics who claim the operation is politically motivated and ordinary
Zimbabweans -- to embrace "reason together and solve these problems through

"At times like this (when) the air is filled with cries and desperation from
citizens of Zimbabwe, it is imperative that the opposition, the government
and the citizens give peace and dialogue a chance," the statement said.

The AACC represents 169 Protestant Churches in 39 countries across Africa
and the statement was released as Mugabe opened parliament in Harare with a
call for "greater cohesion and unity" amid an uproar over the operation.

The parliament opening was boycotted by the opposition, which joined a
national strike to protest the unpopular urban clean-up drive that a UN
expert said last week was creating a "new kind of apartheid."

Since last month, armed police have been demolishing and torching backyard
shacks and makeshift shop stalls in the campaign forcing tens of thousands
of people to sleep in the open in slums and townships around the capital.

Dandala said the human costs of the operation -- including leaving
vulnerable people at risk of a myriad of ills -- had to be weighed carefully
against any possible benefit.

"The cost of these actions runs into millions of Zimbabwe dollars," he said.
"Furthermore, a number of families are now exposed to untold harsh winter
conditions, also lack water, shelter and food.

"Besides, many of these people, particularly women and children, are now
threatened with possibilities of an outbreak of diseases," Dandala added,
appealing to the international community to assist those in need.


Copyright (c) 2005 Agence France-Presse

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Africa: Uncertainty Over Mugabe Brings New Doubts

Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

June 9, 2005
Posted to the web June 9, 2005

Stefania Bianchi

The international community must ensure that the situation in Zimbabwe after
President Robert Mugabe does not become explosive, a study says.

Rumours arose over the state of Mugabe's health this week following media
reports that he had sought medical attention from a cardiologist. He has
said that he will in any case stand down in 2008.

The study 'Post-Election Zimbabwe: What Next?' by the Brussels-based
International Crisis Group (ICG) warns that Zimbabwe faces greater chaos and
violence as President Robert Mugabe's era draws to a close unless the
international community starts planning together for a peaceful transition
to democracy.

"The post-election situation may seem like business as usual, but Mugabe's
era is ending. Both ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) now face existential challenges," Peter Kagwanja, South Africa
project director of the group says in the report.

"The ageing of the old and the conflicting ambitions of the would-be new
ZANU-PF chieftains, as well as the growing frustration of what until now has
been a remarkably non-violent opposition ensure that change of some kind is
coming soon. Unless Zimbabwe's friends get busy and get together, it is all
too possible it will be violent and chaotic," he says.

Mugabe, 81, and his ZANU-PF party won parliamentary elections earlier this
year. But they were widely condemned by the international community as being

The Crisis Group, which tracks and analyses developments in trouble spots
says Mugabe and ZANU-PF "again manipulated the electoral process through a
range of legal and extra-legal means to ensure that the election was
basically decided well before the first voters reached the polls."

Mugabe's party now holds the two-thirds majority required to amend the
constitution. Many experts believe that ZANU-PF will use that power to
prepare a safe retirement for its leader.

But the think-tank warns that a peaceful transfer of power from the Mugabe
to a successor is far from guaranteed.

ZANU-PF, which has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain 25 years
ago, is bitterly divided over Mugabe's succession, with powerful figures in
the party positioning themselves for what could turn out to be a vicious
fight for power, the Crisis Group says.

"ZANU-PF is beset with factionalism, spurred by the desire of powerful
figures to position themselves for the succession fight. The main factions
substantially represent still unreconciled ethnic interests, suggesting that
holding the party together may be difficult," the report says.

The ICG insists that the only route with a realistic chance of resolving
Zimbabwe's interlinked crises is Mugabe's exit from office at the earliest
possible time, while the international community, ZANU-PF and the MDC should
begin planning now for the post-Mugabe era.

The Crisis Group is urging the United States, the European Union (EU) and
the international financial institutions to make it clear there will be no
end to targeted sanctions, no prospect of substantial aid, and no resumption
of normal relations unless there are real changes, "not only in the names at
the top of government structures but in governance."

It also urges the Zimbabwean government to set a date for the President's
retirement before 2008 and to show restraint in amending the constitution
without taking opposition views into account.

For the MDC, the Crisis Group says the party must decide fundamental
questions, including whether to pursue more confrontational and
extra-parliamentary opposition despite the risks.

The group adds that it is particularly important for South Africa to
undertake an "urgent review" of its unsuccessful policy to explore new
options such as cooperation with the Commonwealth and the G8 countries (the
United States, Canada, Japan, Russia, Britain, France, Germany and Italy) to
urge its neighbour back on the path to more moderate political and economic

"The policy of 'quiet diplomacy' has failed. The international community
must act now to ensure that a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe will not be explosive,"
warns Nancy Soderberg, Crisis Group vice-president and acting director of
the Africa programme.
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Zim Online

Mugabe to crack down on internet use
Fri 10 June 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe plans to outlaw the dissemination through the
internet of information and material it deems offensive, President Robert
Mugabe said during a ceremony to mark the opening of Parliament boycotted by
the opposition yesterday.

      Mugabe said his government, which enjoys an absolute parliamentary
majority, shall also table before the House legislation to curtail
corruption and white collar crime such as money laundering and illegal
electronic transfer of money outside Zimbabwe.

      The 81-year old leader, for long accused of standing by while military
generals and cronies in his ruling ZANU PF party loot national wealth, said:
"In order to deal with the emergence of more sophisticated forms of
corruption and crimes such as electronic money laundering, (fraudulent)
electronic transfer of funds, dissemination of offensive materials and even
cyber-terrorism, the necessary legislation will be tabled before the House
during this Session."

      Mugabe's statement is the first time ever the government has publicly
confirmed it wants to monitor and control the use of the internet in

      ZimOnline broke the story last year that Harare had sought help and
equipment from China to bug into people's emails and monitor exchange of
information between both private and public citizens.

      After the government closed down newspapers and severely clamped down
on all alternative voices, Zimbabweans have had to resort to the internet to
communicate and share ideas on subjects considered politically sensitive.

      ZimOnline, available on the internet, was specifically set up to
provide a free platform for the free exchange and sharing of ideas and
information on and about Zimbabwe following the clampdown on newspapers.

      Some Zimbabwean journalists have also set up several radio stations
outside the country to beam broadcasts into the country.

      Information technology experts say neither Harare nor its Beijing
friends have the know-how to block or monitor every internet-based
communication. But ZimOnline understands the new legislation promised by
Mugabe will require internet service providers and owners of internet shops
to physically monitor people using their services and report those
communicating information deemed offensive.

      Zimbabwe's sixth Parliament is also expected to debate and pass
several key legislation including amending the constitution to bring the
Senate abolished more than 10 years ago.

      The House will also enact new laws liquidating the rights of private
land owners by making all farmland, except conservancies, state property.

      The controversial Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Bill, passed
by the Fifth Parliament but which Mugabe refused to sign, shall also be
brought before the House.

      The NGO Bill proposes banning all civic bodies from voter education
while those focusing on governance issues will be barred from receiving
foreign funding. Civic society experts have warned that up to 90 percent of
NGOs could close down if the law is enacted.

      ZANU PF won 78 of the 120 contested parliamentary seats. The MDC won
41 while former government propaganda chief, Jonathan Moyo, who stood as an
independent, won one seat. Mugabe is constitutionally empowered to appoint
12 unelected people to Parliament and also appoint eight governors who also
seat in the House and have voting rights.

      Another 10 seats are reserved for traditional chiefs. The chiefs have
since independence in 1980 always voted with the government and are not
expected to change their stance. This leaves Mugabe and ZANU PF able to
marshal a total 108 votes, which is more than two thirds of the 150-member
House and enough for the government to pass any legislation including
amending the constitution.

      Meanwhile, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa accused the MDC of
immaturity after the opposition party boycotted the opening of Parliament in
support of a two-day mass job stayaway called by a coalition comprising the
party, labour unions and other civic groups.

      The coalition says it called the stayaway, which kicked off on a low
note yesterday, to protest against a government blitz against informal
traders and shanty dwellers that has left thousands of families without
income or shelter.

      The group bringing together the MDC, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
and the National Constitutional Assembly civic alliance says the job
stayaway that ends today was also to register Zimbabweans' anger at
deepening economic hardships. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Residents take eviction case to Supreme Court
Fri 10 June 2005
  HARARE - Residents of a squatter settlement established by the government
in the 90s have taken their fight to stop the police from demolishing their
makeshift houses to the Supreme Court in a test case that could limit or
advance the rights of homeless people in Zimbabwe.
      The 54 residents, part of a group of several hundred families settled
by the government at Hatcliffe Extension on Harare's northern boundary, want
Zimbabwe's highest court to overturn a High Court ruling last week that the
Harare city and government authorities were justified in ordering police to
destroy the camp.

      Heavily armed police about two weeks ago used bulldozers and fire to
destroy Hatcliffe as part of an ongoing blitz against informal traders and
homeless people which President Robert Mugabe says is necessary to restore
the beauty of Zimbabwe's cities and towns.

      At least 22 000 people have been arrested during the campaign for
selling goods without licences while hundreds of thousands of poor families
have been left without shelter after their makeshift homes were razed down
by the police.

      Although the Hatcliffe residents were settled at the camp by the
government which also publicly told them they could build houses at the
site, the High Court ruled against the families saying they had breached
council by-laws after they failed to submit plans to and seeking formal
approval from Town House.

      In throwing out the residents' application, the court also said that
public policy considerations were far more important than the interests of a
few individuals.

      In their application lodged with the Supreme Court, the Hatcliffe
group, represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), argues:
"The High Court erred in finding that the public policy considerations far
outweighed the interests of a few individuals.

      "In this regard it desisted from taking into consideration the
submissions of counsel with regard to the principles of proportionality,
suitability and necessity of the conduct of respondents."

      They also argue that the High Court, which is the upper guardian of
all minors at law, erred when it did not use its discretion to protect the
rights of hundreds of children at the camp who no longer have shelter,
health facilities and are unable to go to school since the squatter camp was

      The court should have taken into account whether alternative
accommodation was provided before upholding the government and city council's
decision to destroy the camp, the appellants argue.

      No date has been set yet for the hearing of the matter.

      Meanwhile, the police yesterday threatened to take the blitz against
illegal structures and informal rading markets into more affluent suburbs
where many top government officials and their relatives live.

      The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party - which
together with labour unions and civic bodies called a mass job boycott
yesterday and today to protest the government's clean-up operation - says
the campaign is meant to punish urban residents for rejecting Mugabe and his
ZANU PF party in a disputed general election two months ago. - ZimOnline

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      Rights Group: Zimbabwe Evictions Violate International Law
      By Lisa Schlein
      09 June 2005

The human rights group, the Center on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
says Zimbabwe's mass evictions campaign could amount to a crime against

The group adds that the pattern of violations in Zimbabwe's mass eviction
campaign horrendous and undeniable.  It says the government of Robert Mugabe
is in flagrant breach of the right to housing enshrined in several
international human rights conventions ratified by Zimbabwe.

COHRE's Deputy Director, Jean du Plessis, says the continued demolition of
slum dwellings may constitute a crime against humanity.  He notes the
statute of the International Criminal Court clearly prohibits the
deportation and forcible transfer of populations under certain conditions.

"Even if a case could have been made that these communities are living
illegally and they should not be there and in terms of national law they
need to be removed, the procedures followed at the most basic level are
totally incorrect and unjust," he said.  "In terms of no advance notice
given, no alternatives being considered for where people are going to stay
and simply breaking down peoples' houses.  And, this is internationally
recognized as the way not to do it."

Since the campaign started three weeks ago, COHRE estimates more than
200,000 people have been forcibly and brutally evicted from their homes.
More than 22,000 people have been arrested for so-called illegal trading.

It says thousands of homeless people, many of them children, are forced to
sleep on the streets in bitterly cold weather.  It notes winter temperatures
have dropped to below five degrees celsius at night.

The government of Zimbabwe says Operation Restore Order, as it is called, is
necessary to prevent illegal trading in commodities and foreign currency.

Mr. du Plessis notes Zimbabwe's economy is in crisis, with 70 percent of the
population out of work.  He says the informal economy is the only way poor
people can survive.  He says President Mugabe's eviction campaign has
deprived these people of their only remaining sources of income and shelter.

"If you then take a community that has organized itself to survive and you
take away their housing and you destroy the place where they stay and where
they are secure and their networks, you set them back by a very long
period," he said.  "They have to redo all of that again in order to survive.
So, we have absolutely no doubt that people are going to die.  Many people
are going to die as a consequence of these particular evictions."

COHRE has sent an urgent letter to President Mugabe and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs.  Among its requests, the organization calls on the
government to stop the evictions, to provide emergency relief supplies to
those displaced and to provide alternative and adequate accommodation to
those who have been made homeless.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Govt to establish irrigation authority

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jun-10

ZIMBABWE is soon to establish an Irrigation Development Authority (IDA) to
exploit the country's vast water reserves for irrigation and mitigate
persistent droughts, President Robert Mugabe said yesterday.
Officially opening the first session of the Sixth Parliament, President
Mugabe said IDA would superintend a programme to develop 595 645 hectares of
identified irrigable land consisting of 277 978 hectares under existing dams
and 18 165 on farm dams.
"A further 299 502 hectares will be developed on dams under construction,"
the Head of State said.
In fulfilling the State undertaking, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) had
since availed $1 trillion for rehabilitation of the country's irrigation
network under the central bank's $5 trillion Agricultural Sector Revival
Farmers would access the funds at concessionary interest rates of between 5
and 20 percent.
"To stimulate development of the horticultural sector, the country's third
largest agricultural foreign currency earner after tobacco and cotton, a
Bill for the establishment of a Horticultural Production Authority (HPA)
shall be tabled in this august house," President Mugabe added.
Further, he said, micro-level community based projects such as dip tanks,
nutritional gardens, small irrigation schemes, and access roads would be
undertaken through a Rural Development Fund in support of the country's
agrarian reforms.
"With the broader aims of the land reform programme now fulfilled,
government is correcting residual irregularities thereof and addressing the
issue of properties falling under Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement
(BIPA)," President Mugabe said.
He said the government would soon establish an independent National Incomes
and Pricing Commission to coordinate the harmonisation of incomes and
pricing issues and advice the State intermittently.
Turning to both internal and external investment, President Mugabe said the
government this year is geared for  investment and development.
He said an Investment Authority Bill, which seeks to merge the Zimbabwe
Investment Centre and the Export Processing Zones Authority to become the
Zimbabwe Investment Authority would be tabled in parliament.
"Negotiations aimed at improving the flow of Zimbabwe's exports to countries
in the region and the Far East will continue. At the multi-lateral level,
the government will use the platform of the Africa, Caribbean,
Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU) cooperation framework to negotiate the
establishment of new trading arrangements with the European Union by 2008,"
the President added.
In order to realise the envisioned levels of development, President Mugabe
said there was need to unlock the potential of the energy and power sector.
To this end, he added, several initiatives - to attract investors in the
development of both existing and new power generation projects as well as
alternative forms of energy - were being pursued especially within the
context of the 'Look East' policy.
"Indeed, the search for such alternative energy sources as the extraction of
liquid fuel from coal and the exploitation of coalbed methane should assume
greater seriousness.
"The Petroleum Bill, which seeks to establish a legal framework for the
effective exploitation and regulation of the petroleum sub-sector, shall be
brought up for consideration during the session," the president said.
He bemoaned the decline in quality service provision of local government
authorities, and vowed that the government would press ahead with its
current clean up operation in cities and towns.
"The general state of infrastructure and level of capitalisation in all
local authorities require the urgent attention of all stakeholders.More
immediately, government has, in liaison with municipal authorities,
instituted a vigorous clean-up campaign to restore sanity and order in urban
and other areas.
"Amendments to the Urban Councils Act, the Rural District Councils Act and
the Provincial Councils and Administration Act, shall be tabled in the House
to help address some of the problems afflicting this sector," President
Mugabe added.
He said the government remained committed to the development of small and
medium scale enterprises, albeit in an orderly manner.
The current chaotic state of affairs, President Mugabe added, where SMEs
operated outside the regulatory framework and in undesignated and
crime-ridden areas could not be countenanced for much longer.
"In tandem with the on-going clean-up campaign, government is in the process
of reorganising the sector's operations, a process which will include the
provision of essential and dignified infrastructure, vendor marts, technical
and management skills training, and clustering the enterprises in designated
 These and other regulatory measures will boost the vertical and horizontal
integration so crucial to the sector's competitiveness," the President said.
In this session, Parliament is expected to also debate the Empowerment Bill,
the Education Amendment Bill, the Labour Relations Amendment Bill, the
Attorney General's Office Bill and the Domestic Violence (Prevention and
Protection of Victims) Bill.
Soon after the house's official opening, Parliament was adjourned to June 21
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The Zimbabwean

Zims march in Dallas
TEXAS - Members of the Zimbabwe Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in
Texas and many other supportive democratic organizations this week mounted a
protest procession in to North Dallas district office to hand a petition to
a representative of Congressman JEB Hensarling.
The ruling party of Robert Mugabe has been in power for the last 25 years
through rigging of the elections. A week ago, houses built by the poor after
having been granted permits by Mugabe's government, have been burnt to ashes
by police and military personnel.

We stand in protest against this and many other oppressive acts perpetrated
by the regime since coming to power. Life in Zimbabwe is on the brink of
total collapse.

The regime does not accept the people's voice through the electoral
processes. It does not tolerate opposition political parties. It does not
allow freedom of expression. We walk in protest and in solidarity with
country folk who are now reduced to a level of animals by Mugabe and his

We call on the international community to put pressure on this dictatorship;
to facilitate a democratic election when people can participate without fear
of punishment, torture, denial of food or any other type of harassment.

We urge President George Bush to by-pass people like Thabo Mbeki of South
Africa and address the SADC community with hard facts of their inept
political will to deal with the massive problem of refugees in their states
and the disintegration of economic progress. The world stands to lose
through ignoring such acts of barbarism taking place under its very nose.

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The Zimbabwean

Please help us save SWRadio Africa
LONDON - The situation facing SWRadio Africa is deeper than it appears on
the surface. It has ramifications for freedom of the press not only in
Zimbabwe, but also in the region and the continent at large.
African leaders, led by Thabo Mbeki, have been selling democracy, good
governance and respect for human rights to the international community as a
basis for investing in Africa. If they do not censure leaders like Robert
Mugabe and insist on every country respecting democratic principles,
including freedom of the press, they should be isolated and made an example
of what bad governance is about.

Mugabe has extended his evil tentacles beyond his borders by creating a
newspaper with Namibia's cooperation late last year and, more recently, it's
reported that a new internet radio station in the United States is promoting
his agenda. He is also reportedly planning to open a radio station and an
edition of The Herald in South Africa to force his propaganda on the
millions who have fled from his abuses back home.

Yet SWRadio Africa has been denied a platform by neighbouring countries who
say we cannot beam our signal from within their territories because they
deem it politically incorrect to speak against their brother - even though
it would be the right thing to do.

On a personal level, we speak to Zimbabweans on a daily basis and hear
tragic stories from individuals who are only too glad to be able to share
their suffering with anyone prepared to listen. Zimbabweans have never
enjoyed freedom of expression. We went straight from the oppressive Ian
Smith regime into the arms of our even more oppressive brother - Mugabe.

Donors who gave Zimbabweans the opportunity to address the rest of the world
through radio stations like ours had the right idea. But now, when the "shit
has hit the fan" and they are needed most, they are turning their backs due
to "fatigue". Imagine how tired Zimbabweans are, who are not eating, who are
sleeping outside and spending days on end in queues for just about
anything - from food to fuel.

The country is burning and this is its deepest hour of need. Where is the
rest of the world now? A station that gives a voice to the voiceless is the
ideal project for those organisations that promote global democracy. We
challenge them to put their money where their mouths are. Mugabe is
certainly investing in what he believes in. And the voices of reason can
defeat him with very little effort.

A woman committed suicide in Gweru this week after two shops she had slaved
to open were razed to the ground. If her story stays does not reach the rest
of the world then Mugabe has won. This cannot be allowed to happen. The time
for dictators is over. We appeal to pro-democracy groups to SAVE SW Radio
Africa on behalf of the suffering people Zimbabwe. Gonda and Karimakwenda
are reporters with SWRadio.

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The Zimbabwean

Parallels between 80s and present
This excerpt from the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe
report on violence and human rights violations in the 1980s could have been
written this week! The parallels are as uncanny as they are tragic. Lest we
"Peace is not the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice" -
Martin Luther King

This report is not just a history. It tells the story of continued suffering
for thousands of people. It may appear on the surface that there is peace in
Zimbabwe and that people have forgotten and forgiven the past but people
still feel deep-rooted fear, anger, and distrust.

Their wounds have not healed: indeed they are festering and need to be
acknowledged and cured if peace is to be guaranteed in the future.

To allow this process, the report makes the following recommendations:

1. National acknowledgement

We need the truth of what happened to be revealed, so that reconciliation
can begin. There are large numbers of Zimbabweans who have no idea of what
happened in the western part of the country, while they were enjoying the
early fruits of Independence. We therefore recommend that this report be
published and be made available to the public; the Chihambakwe Commission
report be made available to the public and that the Government appoints a
fact-finding committee if it disputes the truth of this report.

2. Human rights violators

All those who committed human rights violations are immune from prosecution
because of the amnesty of 1988. However, we recommend that known human
rights violators should be removed from positions of authority which may
enable them to violate human rights again in the future.

3. Legal amendments

There are currently no legal mechanisms through which those who suffered
from damage in the 1980s can claim compensation. The victims of the 1980s
are therefore in a different position to those of the 1970s, who can claim
through the War Victims Compensation Act. However, the Government undertook
in its report to the United Nations in 1996 that it would pay compensation
to families of persons who disappeared during the 1980s, but has yet to do
so. We therefore recommend that the Government should devise mechanisms to
process claims by victims; that the War Victims Compensation Act should be
amended to include those who suffered during the 1980s; that there should be
an inquiry into the Births and Deaths Act to find a policy making it easier
to register births and deaths for those families affected by the
disturbances; that the Government should amend the Agricultural Finance
Corporation Act to cancel debts incurred by farmers during the years of
disturbance, where it can be shown that such debts were the result of human
rights violations which occurred before December 22, 1987.

4. Human remains

Communities need to be consulted to find out what their wishes are in
respect to this issue. We therefore recommend that a neutral team of
anthropologists and psychologists conduct research to determine the desires
of communities affected by such graves and human remains and that Government
undertakes to protect such grave sites pending the outcome of this research

5. Health

Entire communities have suffered and are still suffering severe
psychological trauma. Psychological healing is an essential component of
reconciliation. We therefore recommend that Government and donors provide
the necessary financial and logistic support to enable professional teams of
counsellors/psychologists/health practitioners to work in affected areas.

6. Communal reparation

Reconciliation / Uxolelwano Trust
Individual compensation for everyone is now an impossible task, although
some could be eligible if certain laws were altered as recommended above.
Government cannot afford to compensate all individually. In any case, entire
communities were targeted and entire communities could begin healing if
Government acknowledged their role in the suffering. Reparation to whole
communities could take the form of development in strategic areas. We
recommend that a trust be formed called the "Reconciliation/ Uxoleiwano
Trust" to facilitate the process of communal reparation.

7. Constitutional safe-guards

Zimbabweans need guarantees that human rights violations on such a massive
scale can never take place again. Citizens of Zimbabwe and the Government
begin a debate to consider what safeguards we need to add to the
constitution to prevent human rights violations ever occurring again.

8. The future

This report is a starting point in what should become a serious debate
surrounding what happened in Zimbabwe in the 1980s. This will require
sensitivity and restraint from all parties concerned. We therefore recommend
that Government, universities, churches, non-Governmental organisations and
others do not make inflammatory comments and instead promote sensible
dialogue among all Zimbabweans.

Next week - we look at events that have taken place since the report was

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The Zimbabwean

Latest Zim prices
Have a look at how much basic commodities cost now.
Bread loaf - $5 000.00
Toothpaste - $ 40 000.00
Mealie meal - $ 30 000.00 (10kg)
Milk - $5 500.00 (chimombe)
Jade - $ 10 000.00 (bath soap)
Toilet paper - $ 5 000.00 / roll
Dishwasher - $ 38 000.00/2 lt
Perfection - $ 10 000.00 on a good day
Cooking oil - $70 000.00 for 2 lt
School fees Petra - $ 5 000 000.00 per child per term
Government - $ 300 000.00 per term

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The Zimbabwean

United we stand . Forum hears

LONDON - ZIMBABWEANS in the Diaspora should not be armchair critics of the
deteriorating situation in their country, nor cry-babies - a meeting held in
London at the weekend was told.
Addressing nearly 300 people at the Open Forum 2005 on Zimbabwe, South
Africa and the Region speakers implored the largely Zimbabwean crowd to use
whatever media they possibly could to blow away the smokescreen that
criticism of the Mugabe regime was "imperialist" or "colonial".

Citing The Zimbabwean as "useful weapon" speakers and members of the
audience urged people to create and maintain a stong and united front in the
face of the Zanu (PF)'s atrocities against the people of Zimbabwe.

Prominent Zimbabwean human rights lawyer, Gugulethu Moyo, chaired the first
panel on human rights instruments as tools for civil society while Shula
Marks, Emeritus Professor, SOAS, chaired the second panel, which sought to
draw an anti-imperialist framework for understanding Zimbabwe.

The African Regional human rights system, for long criticised for its
failure to respond effectively to gross human rights violations by States
parties to the African Charter, came under the spotlight. One speaker
bemoaned the fact that the African Commission on Human and People's Rights'
decisions were not legally binding but recommendations with which member
states rarely complied.

Gabriel Shumba, a Zimbabwean lawyer now living in exile in South Africa,
called the system "a useless club of dictators" but believed there was value
in bringing cases before it for advocacy and lobby purposes. "The world will
know of the evils happening in Zimbabwe", he said.

The so-called "Operation Restore Order" had left an estimated 200 000 people
homeless and with no source of income - a clear violation of Zimbabwe's
obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (ICESCR), said Shumba.

Ahmed Motala, a South African lawyer and human rights activist, observed:
"the violation of socio-economic rights by the government of Zimbabwe
deserves attention. Zimbabwean civics should bring cases of this nature
before the African human rights system."

Brian Raftopoulos, a renowned Zimbabwean academic and human rights activist
said "Operation Restore Order" was both an attack of the source base of the
political opposition and the breaking of the urban source of critique of the
authoritarian rule.

He argued that the Zimbabwean government would remain in power, oppressing
the nation, until civic society built new democratic solidarities and
adopted an anti-imperialist strategy that did not border on essentialism but
dealt with rights at both national and international levels.

"At the heart of Mugabe's offensive against the array of forces opposed to
his rule are repeated attempts to place the Zimbabwe problem at the centre
of a larger anti-imperialist and Pan-African position," he said.

Elinor Sisulu, of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition's South Africa desk, agreed.
She called for the demystification of the liberation struggle saying it was
time people stopped idolising African leaders. "If the democratic movement
in Zimbabwe wants to make any headway in breaking the Mugabe regime's
ideological stranglehold within the region, it has to highlight the
appropriation of an anti-imperialist discourse to serve narrow political
interests. It has to invoke African instruments such as the Constitutive Act
of the African Union and the African Charter for Human and People's Rights",
she said.

Wilf Mbanga, the publisher and editor of The Zimbabwean, lamented the
closure of media space in Zimbabwe. He dismissed claims that Zimbabwe was
under economic sanctions as "a figment of Zanu (PF)'s imagination" and
called for a vigorous stand against Mugabe's monopolisation of the
anti-imperialist banner.

Among the audience were people who felt the discussion should have been
placed in the context of violations of human rights by the US, while one
participant from the DRC expressed disappointment that none of the speakers
had talked about his country - where he said more lives had been and
continued to be lost in comparison with Zimbabwe.

The writer is a Zimbabwean journalist currently studying in the UK

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The Zimbabwean

Govt targets private education
JOHANNESBURG - I got a wonderful email from an old friend today, which had
me doing flick flacks (ok, not REAL ones!) in my flat. She said she had seen
a bit of the world, saved up some pounds and was returning home to get on
with her life. This is not the first of my South African friends who have
come home after doing time overseas - but it is significant for me because I
am a Zimbabwean and I can't see myself going home anytime soon, if ever.
Travel broadens the mind and swells the coffers somewhat (for us Southern
Africans in general and especially for us third - or should that be fifth
world? - residents from Zimbabwe. Just look at how many Zimbos in the
diaspora are keeping folk back home alive- when packages and money reach
them courtesy of the Department of Customs and Excise that is!

And yet it was not always this way - even I can remember a time when the
Zimbabwe dollar was on a par with the Rand and competitive with both the US$
and the Pound.

Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono announced sweeping changes in monetary
policy in Zimbabwe recently, which economists, businessmen and the few
intelligentsia left in Zimbabwe have been recommending for years. Perhaps
the penny has finally dropped among our great leaders? Or is this a case of
desperate times call for desperate measures? (I mean, if Bob can admit to
mass starvation and ask for food aid from the UN, albeit secretly, who knows
what other possibilities exist?) One can only live in hope!

On a rather less hopeful note, it seems our illustrious government is
targeting private education again. Sadly, the big chiefs in the party are
able to afford to send their children to private schools and Universities in
the UK, USA and South Africa, while honest and hard-working citizens are
being forced to leave the country so that they can educate their children in
a free world!

Saddest of all is the destruction of one of Africa's best education systems
and the displacement of one of the most highly qualified and effective
teaching staff, as well as gifted young Zimbabweans who will be lost to our
sporting, cultural, social and economic future as a nation.

On a more personal note, I am happy to report that the weather in Joburg has
been very kind and I haven't had to turn up at work wrapped in my duvet yet.
(Should this become necessary, I will do it!)

There have been some interesting articles on global warming and climate
changes in Southern Africa recently (a geography teacher's delight I am
sure!) which may go a long way to explaining this weather phenomenon.

I always try to impress a certain learned gentleman I know well, who read
Latin at school (and deems this fact sufficient proof that he had a superior
education!) with my knowledge, wide range of topics read and general
intelligence, thus I leave you with a Latin phrase dedicated to ALL
Zimbabweans and friends of Zimbabwe- "SPERO MELIORA". I hope for better

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The Zimbabwean

Fight poverty, not the poor
HARARE - Ministers who ignore the law and court decisions when it suits them
and vote for laws in Parliament that any fair-minded Supreme Court would
declare unconstitutional (Public Order and Security Act, Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act) insist that the law must be
obeyed absolutely even if it deprives people of shelter and endangers their
health, both basic human rights.
Mbare and other high-density townships look like battle fields:
heavily-armed riot police and soldiers fighting unarmed civilians, the
unemployed, the elderly, women and children.

Let us get this clear: no human-made law must be obeyed at all costs.

The law is made for people, and must serve their common good; the people are
not made for the law and to be sacrificed for it. ("The Sabbath was made for
man, not man for the Sabbath" Mark 2: 27. Jesus "looked around at them with
anger" when his opponents refused to acknowledge this).

Nobody likes slums. "Housing for all" was the great promise of the 1990s. It
is the great failure of most Third World economies that they do not provide
housing for low income families (but western countries have their homeless
people too!).

There is no profit in building homes for poor families. Zimbabwe never
provided "housing for all" because you do not get rich quick building low
cost houses. Which would require massive state subsidies provided by a
well-functioning, productive economy. Which Zimbabwe hasn't got.

Now someone has to take the blame for this failure. So they blame illegal
currency dealers, hoarders and unlicensed traders. But prosperity will not
rise out of the rubble left by the riot police, only even greater misery. In
Touch - Jesuit Communications.

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The Zimbabwean

Imagining all the people.
LONDON - Every time I sit down to write this column, I try my to think of
something hopeful and uplifting to say about the outlook for my fellow
Zimbabweans - but each week brings another dreadful downturn in the fortunes
of all but the fat cats of the ruling party.
This week I am so angry, so disgusted, so sick with the hopelessness of it
all, and so filled with compassion for what is happening to a beloved people
that I am positively 'all shook up' and can hardly put words together.

I close my eyes and try to imagine what it must be like to have been driven
on to the roadside from Churu Farm, all those years ago when the Rev.
Ndabaningi Sithole was slapped down for opening up plots of land to
encourage support from urban, landless people. 'Illegal' was the excuse
given by the authorities. What hypocrisy! Illegal to distribute land to the
landless! Funny how 'illegal' distribution of land suddenly became okay when
the ruling party was doing it.

Porta Farm, on the outskirts of Harare was the first reprieve, but a
'temporary' settlement made up of plastic sheets, rough logs, stones and tin
shacks for those victims of political spite soon grew out of control and
became an eyesore. Bulldoze it down! Then, miraculously, there came new
hopes for a better life.

A sincere effort was made by local authorities to house people with a
semblance of decency in wooden cabins in the new Hatcliffe extension on the
Borrowdale Road, within walking distance of the plush Sam Levy village. The
people who joined a housing co-operative unwittingly put their small savings
into the pockets of thieves but still have a roof over their heads. If you
were originally a Churu farm victim, relief was short-lived; you faced new
obstacles: impossible price rises, the deterioration of services, the
absence of means of transport and unbearable job losses as the economy
spiralled downwards.

And now, two months after a general election, you are sitting out in the
cold night air, your pots and pans, your bedding and few possessions piled
around you.

You don't know what you have done wrong. If you supported the ruling party
or the opposition in the elections, it made no difference. You voted
peacefully and as an elder, you don't want another war; you are still
carrying the memory of the dreadful violence of the liberation war years
when your rural family was hounded by both the Rhodesian forces and the
guerrilla insurgents. This year of 2005, you were allowed to attend
opposition rallies, even getting the protection of the police. Democracy
beckoned. But it was all a bluff. You are a powerless piece of human junk.
The police have kicked you out and destroyed your shelter. You are homeless.

You light a little fire after gathering a few twigs and some chips from
broken boxes and you huddle on the ground with your family, your blankets
held tightly around your shoulders. Children and grandchildren are hungry
and crying in the cold night air. You see the look of utter desperation on
the beautiful faces, golden brown in the flickering firelight, and your
heart wants to burst with sorrow and pain.

You look up at a cloudy sky and see a quiet silver moon misted and then
clearly visible as a soft breath of wind moves the heavens along. A bright
star appears. Is this what you were once told was a wonderful sign, a sign
of the coming of a great God who would bring joy to all mankind? You are
swaying a little and your eyes are closing with weariness. You are tired of
this world, which is still waiting for joy, and you begin to wish you were

I can't go on. Please tell me Mr President, Mr John Nkomo, Mr Msika, Mr
Mutasa, Mrs Mujuru and all the rest of you - is this really what you wanted
for your fellow Zimbabweans? Is this what you call liberation from your old

When you drift off to sleep in your comfortable bed at night and think of
how rich you have become, how pleased you are to be out of prison and exile,
out of the privations you suffered in a bush war, do your spare a thought
for the poor souls, your own brothers and sisters whom you have tortured,
harassed and made homeless these past weeks? Better not think. You might get
that cold, uncomfortable feeling that they are beginning to wish that you,
the cause of all their suffering, were dead.
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The Zimbabwean

Who is my neighbour?
HARARE - 'I have given up on this generation . I have given up on the people
who were my friends, with whom I played basketball. It seems that they will
never reckon with what they have done. But what I want is for their children
to have a chance to make up their own minds. I want them to know and think
about what happened, and learn from it.'
Rwanda? Ivory Coast? Sudan? Actually, Bosnia. But it could have been any of
them. And it could be Zimbabwe too. It expresses the utter helplessness and
frustration of people who have been victims of overwhelming force and who
yet do not give up, but look to the future. The speaker was Emir Suljagic, a
Bosnian Muslim who survived the massacre of his people in Srebrenica ten
years ago. But he could have been anyone of the countless victims in
countries like our own where the government uses violence against its own

We come once again to the age-old question. 'Who is my neighbour?' A simple
harmless question? It is one that humanity refuses to face up to. The priest
and the Levite in the story (Luke 10: 25-37) have a briefcase full of
reasons why they can't help. They are rushing to a meeting. It's not their
job to look after such people. The victim could be a bait to trap a passer
by and rob them too. Anyway, it is probably the victim's own fault. He is
probably a totem-less vagrant and not one of us.

The Samaritan just sees a human being in need. He is moved. The Greek word
is esplanchnisthe, which means his whole insides turned over in compassion
for the suffering person, so much so that he overcomes all the prejudices he
has inherited, all the baggage of history he has heard from his elders, all
the fears that he could have listened to and acted on.

It is an amazing story of breakthrough. It represents a huge step forward
for humanity. But the story of the Good Samaritan remains the best-known
gospel story precisely because it is so shocking, so attainable and yet at
the same time so unattainable.

We are still dazed by the cruelty of our government in Zimbabwe who 'make
war on the poor instead of on poverty.' People are very angry and many are
in tears. They cannot believe that a government could do this and go on
doing it when they see the suffering it causes.

We continue to hope for a 'breakthrough' and this keeps us going. We wonder
if we will ever see it from the tired old faces that haunt our screens?
Perhaps we too have to give up on this generation and look to the young.

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The Zimbabwean

"People shouldn't live in shacks"
Didymus Mutasa, the minister in charge of the secret police, recently told
the BBC in an interview that "our people shouldn't live in shacks in
modern-day Zimbabwe". We agree with him!
However, we strongly disagree with the "solution" adopted by Mutasa and the
Zanu (PF) government. The widespread destruction of "their" people's shacks
with absolutely no thought or provision of alternative accommodation is
nothing short of criminal.

Where something is not adequate, the approach should surely be to build and
develop and improve on the basis that exists. Not simply to destroy it all.

The latest orgy of destruction in Zimbabwe brings into sharp focus the Zanu
(PF) penchant for destruction. This government has a history of destroying
things. It has destroyed an entire economy, a once-proud nation, the future
of millions.

The tragedy is that the basic premise from which the government is operating
is correct. Yes the economy needed to be indigenised. Yes a transfer of
wealth, technology, land, expertise and everything else was necessary -given
our colonial heritage.

But the way in which those in power have gone about righting the imbalances
of the past has made a complete mockery of majority rule and brought the
dignity and sovereignty of Zimbabwe into disrepute.

By becoming the most vicious, true-life caricatures of greedy and inhuman
African despots, Mugabe and his cronies have shamed us all. Everything they
have touched has turned to ashes.

The government's cruelty to the people they purport to care about has been
mind-boggling. Not only are our rulers bankrupt of ideas on how to solve
Zimbabwe's problems, but they have shown themselves cruel almost beyond

They continue to deny people food, and instead are buying arms of war with
which to suppress their citizens. We say: food before bullets.

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The Zimbabwean

Why do our neighbours comply?
An extremely disturbing development is the way some SADC countries are
colluding with the Mugabe regime to break the international arms embargo.
ews reports from Pretoria this week indicated that Armscor had sold spare
parts worth R1m to the Zimbabwean government and that the South African
government had donated equipment to the value of more than R3m to enable
Zimbabwe to get its fleet of Alouette helicopters in the air again.

Malawi recently bought tear gas from the British worth half a million
pounds. This has sent alarm bells ringing in the UK - Malawi is a country at
peace, with no rioting populace. Why on earth would they need such
quantities of tear gas? The obvious deduction is that it is being sold on to

We condemn this complicity by our neighbours in the suppression of the
people of Zimbabwe. It is particularly despicable given the latest rampage
by government forces in the cities.

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The Zimbabwean

WOZA joins call for action
Last week WOZA, Women of Zimbabwe Arise, issued a call to Zimbabweans in the
diaspora to organize protests outside their Zimbabwean Embassies on 18th
June to highlight the plight of their kith and kin back home and to mark
World Refugee Day. `We are refugees in our own land` say the women, many of
them street vendors, and following the destruction of homes in urban areas
of Zimbabwe over the last few weeks their words ring truer than ever.
WOZA is a cross party civic group in Zimbabwe formed to lobby on bread and
butter issues affecting women and their families. Since 2003 they have put
up a constant protest against injustice and eroded rights, knowingly
exposing themselves to beatings, imprisonment and worse. They don`t miss an
opportunity to put their case: Valentine`s Day, Mother`s Day, International
Women`s Day and this year they were the first to take to the streets in the
aftermath of the elections. One hundred and forty eight were arrested and
beaten but they have not given up. The choice is now simple`, the WOZA women
say `Mass Action or Mass Starvation`.

While the brave WOZA women in Zimbabwe risk imprisonment and beatings to
make a stand for all our rights, we in the UK need only to sacrifice a
Saturday afternoon and the cost of a ticket into central London. Members of
the WOZA Solidarity group will be joining the Vigil outside the Embassy at
429 the Strand from 2pm on Saturday 18th to show their solidarity with WOZA
. All genders are welcome at the London event and organisers hope to see a
large and lively crowd so that a strong message of support can be sent to
our sisters back home.

For more information contact

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The Zimbabwean

Zim's lost son - Christopher Giwa
When Christopher Giwa asked most courteously for an apology for an
undeserved insult to a white Zimbabwean, fellow Forum Party member, David
Coltart, and unexpectedly received one, there followed some excited speeches
from the floor.
People were keen to see this well-organized attempt at mounting a
respectable and respected opposition to the one-party-state-ism that had a
grip on the country. We were a little wary of trustee, Ernest Bulle. Was he
a 'plant'? He had thrown money about, providing the liquid refreshment -
crates of beers, for an early celebration, trays of sandwiches,

He talked grandly of 'millions' that were just waiting out there to be
accessed by the new Party. But when he was not elected to the prime position
of party Treasurer, he left. He stormed off. Because he had shouted abuse at
us, saying he was "taking his boys out of the Forum Trust" we threw him out
of the steering committee. He clearly could not control his temper. His
judges on the steering committee were in wonderful solidarity, a mix of
whites, old and young, and aspiring black democrats, both old and recently

Over the weekend when Christopher died, there was no news of the 'accident'
that had killed him. On Friday night, I chanced to see a ZTV news interview,
given in the glare of an army truck's headlights, with a soldier. There was
a white estate car in the picture, its hood twisted upwards and some damage
to its left fender clearly visible. The camera panned to an army vehicle
tilted over in the ditch.

The soldier was saying, "Unfortunately, the pump in our engine broke down
and we stopped in the road. This car, in which the passenger died, was
blinded by an oncoming car and it hit our vehicle". I imagined that this was
yet another tragic 'accident', a fairly common event at the hands of army
drivers. I thought it distinctly odd that an estate car had hit an army
vehicle and suffered so little damage in the process. Also odd was the
presence of television cameras - a rare phenomenon at the scene of
night-time road accidents. There was no mention of the name of the victim.

On Monday, Chris Giwa's photo appeared in the Herald with a brief report of
the death in a road accident of a former leader of the University of
Zimbabwe's SRC. This was the accident I had seen on television.

A shock - and all the questions came back: Why TV cameras? Why the delayed
announcement? Why so little damage to the car? More questions came after the
funeral. Even before that. In the car driven to the funeral by Eddie
Monteiro with Alois Masepe and with the late Marsipula Sithole traveling to
Ruwa as mourners, I raved noisily, uninhibitedly about my suspicions.
Sithole, beside me in the back seat, rolled his eyes and put his finger to
his lips.

More questions after the funeral: What about Chris's driver? I heard that
Chris's parents had tracked him down to Marondera hospital. He was in bed,
unmarked by the crash. Why did he refuse to speak to the parents when he
heard who they were and why was this man a different driver from the trusted
one who had set off with Chris in the morning.

Why were there red floor polish marks on the back of Chris's shoes,
evidence, it seems, of his having been dragged along a polished floor? Why
did the policeman who attended the crash, hand over blood-soaked bank notes?
"From the pocket of the deceased," he said. There was no blood on the
pocket, a family member noticed. Why was no family representative invited to
the correct court to attend an autopsy?

And finally, why was Chris, the victim of a crash - which appeared to have
pitched him on to the floor of the front seat - not wearing a safety belt?
And why was his face uninjured? I once saw the face of a man who hit the
windscreen in a car crash. It was bloated and terribly bruised.

And now, burned into my memory forever, is the unmarked face of Christopher
Giwa, forever at peace. His prophetic words echo in my mind: "We shall have
no future unless we are prepared to stand up against this violent regime."
For him, this prophesy was tragically and violently fulfilled.
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The Zimbabwean

Things fall apart - now what?
A collection of quotations about the horrific events in Harare and Bulawayo
during the past few weeks:
"Our nation is falling apart. The bonds that used to hold us together are
cracking. The gulf between those with a vision to see a new beginning and
those keen to maintain the status quo is widening every day. We must avoid
pushing the people to a position where the only fall back position requires
the adoption of extreme measures to restore direction, protection and order.
We must maintain civility and reason." Morgan Tsvangirai, President, MDC.

"As a progressive party, we always look for ways which make the party move
ahead and rule effectively. If the Senate can make the people of Zimbabwe
happier or better off, it shall be there. We are the people's party, we do
what makes them happy." Zanu (PF) spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira.

"When will sanity prevail? Where is the outside world? Busy talking about a
"NO vote by France". How can the "little ones of this world be brutalized in
this way" - their only crime - they are poor, they are helpless and they
happen to live in the wrong part of town and in a country that does not have
oil and is not very important to the West. One bystander told me that he had
phoned the Red Cross asking for help but was informed "it is not a war
situation" so there is nothing we can do!"- Patricia Walsh OP.

"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both
instances there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged.
And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the
air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." -- 
Supreme court justice William O. Douglas

"The UN agencies operating in Zimbabwe should report to the UN, to the
Security Council, at once. It will be a criminal act of complicity and
appeasement if we do not now require the African Union and, in particular,
Thabo Mbeki and the UN, to refuse utterly to deal with Mugabe without an
immediate end to these appalling acts of violence against his own people.
Any food aid given now must not be used as a political tool. There must be
no more quiet diplomacy designed to protect a tyrant rather than his
innocent people. Not to protest publicly in the strongest terms through the
UN and the EU will be to make the Commission for Africa mockery." - BARONESS
AVEBURY, KATE HOEY MP in a letter to The Independent, London.

"The attitude of the members of the public as well as some city officials
has led to the point whereby Harare has lost its glow. We are determined to
get it back. Operation Marambatsvina will see the demolition of all illegal
structures." said government-appointed Mayor Sekesai Makwavara.

"Zanu (PF) are trying to remake the city in their image by trying to drive
people out, depriving them of their livelihoods and homes, back to the
communal areas where the ruling party is better able to control social
unrest. There is very little we can do. The country is in the grip of a
dictatorship. A clique has seized the state through lawlessness, and this
rogue regime doesn't give a damn for legal niceties," Michael Davies,
chairman, Combined Harare Residents Association.

"I went out to Hatcliffe Extension this morning. It is like a bombsite!
People are sitting beside their worldly belongings, some still trying to
take down their shacks before the police get to them - everyone is looking
dazed. The ZRP officer commanding told me proudly there are 3000 police in
there, so no wonder the people don't fight back! Those without a place to go
in Harare will be shipped out to a farm beyond Tafara (Caledon?) but no-one
can take their cabin panels, bricks etc - and the police don't know if there
is any accommodation at the farm - I doubt it!! Disaster - and this is a
proper site and service scheme, and people had paid 300 000 per stand last
year for their lease documents, they were legally there!" - Trudy Stevenson,

"I have heard that police and army units have been engaged in demolishing
not only the stalls of street traders, licensed as well as unlicensed, but
also legally as well as illegally built homes in several districts of
Harare. According to my information, thousands of people have been made
homeless and many more have lost their means of supporting themselves and
their families. I wish to protest most strongly against these measures in
the interest of the citizens of our twin city, who had already enough to put
up with because of the economic situation.

"As a long-serving Mayor of a state capital with a population of over a
million I am fully aware that the maintenance of security and order as well
as the compliance with legal regulations are of importance to the
administration of a big city. I would therefore ask you in the interest of
Munich's twin city to do your utmost to prevent further demolition measures
as long as the people concerned are not offered alternative accommodation,
to provide food and shelter for those who have already been made homeless
and as soon as possible, to designate places where traders can pursue their
efforts to provide for themselves and their families." - Letter from Hep
Monatzeder, Mayor of the City of Munich, to David Karimanzira, the
provincial Governor Harare Metropolitan Province.

"The attack on the urban population is part of a broad strategy to
destabilise specific constituencies and to distort the voting patterns of
Zimbabweans in favour of Zanu PF. Mugabe and Zanu PF have intensified their
war against the people. The regime, instead of addressing the plight of
Zimbabweans, has run out of options. The most pressing needs of the people
today are food and jobs. Unemployment, poverty and hunger drove our people
onto to the streets.

"The attacks on the flea markets and informal businesses, the seizure of the
people's paltry possessions and the assault on the available shelter are all
intended to punish urban Zimbabweans for rejecting a political party that
has failed us as a nation. The destruction of people's sources of income and
their homes has hit thousands of families in a devastating way. Thousands
are destitute. Their children no longer go to school. They have lost their
entire possessions." - Morgan Tsvangirai, President, MDC.

"The behaviour of the members of the police who are taking part in this
operation is excessively violent and lacks the respect of the human
being." - AM Chaumba, national director, Catholic Commission for Justice and
Peace in Zimbabwe.

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