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Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe
PROMOTING NON-VIOLENT PRINCIPLES TO ACHIEVE DEMOCRACY
News in Brief: Murambatsvina -
Many residents have taken to sleeping under the trees as there is nowhere else to go.
ZRP officers were seen to be looting door and window frames in Nyazura 26. So accustomed have they become to breaking the law with complete impunity, that they went about their criminal activity boldly and in broad daylight.
Other farmers in the area by the name of Guild, had a rude awakening when the Governor, Mike Nyambuya’s girlfriend (Irene Zindi) started moving into their home while they were still living in it. The Guild family are in possession of a court order protecting them from interference, yet once again the law was brushed aside as ZANU PF chefs moved in, taking advantage of the state of legal anarchy obtaining in the country to enrich themselves personally. It is also reported that the Guilds had a vegetable crop in the ground worth Z$ 2 billion.
In the year, 2000, ZANU PF encouraged and assisted a group of settlers to invade a number of farms in this area. However the same settlers were summoned to a meeting recently by the ZANU PF District Administrator, and told they must be off the farms by June 27, or face dire consequences. Observers reported that when the new settlers asked where they should go they were told “Back where you came from”. It is understood that these particular settlers whom ZANU PF used in 2000 to spear-head the invasion of commercial farms in the area, had been re-settled by the government back in the 1980’s. Their original resettlement farms having now been taken over by others, they will once again be without any land when they are moved on from the Marondera District.
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HARARE - More than 300 000 children of informal traders and city squatter families in Zimbabwe have dropped out of school in the last four weeks alone after their homes were destroyed by the government, ZimOnline has learnt.
Officials at the Ministry of Education head office in Harare said directors of education in the country’s 10 provinces were last week asked to compile figures of children under 13 years no longer coming to school because their families were evicted in the government’s highly unpopular urban clean-up operation.
"The average figure of pupils no longer attending school because their family has been evicted is 100 per school and these are just primary school kids. But in secondary schools, it appears the effect of the evictions has not been that devastating,” said one senior official, who spoke anonymously for fear of victimisation.
"It is not known whether these children will come back to school once things stabilise or they are out for good. What is clear is that they have been forced out of school because of the prevailing circumstances," said the official.
Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere yesterday acknowledged that school children who lived in squatter homes had been forced to drop out of school. But he said his ministry was only going to act on the matter after fully assessing the problem.
Chigwedere said: "We are still assessing the situation. Any reactive measures will be taken thereafter." He did not say when exactly he plans to take the ‘reactive measures’.
More than 22 000 informal traders have been arrested mostly for selling goods without licence while close to a million families have been left without shelter after armed soldiers and police razed down their shanty homes in an operation the government says is necessary to restore the beauty of urban areas, law and order.
The United Nations, European Union, United States, Amnesty International, local churches and human rights groups have all condemned the operation as insensitive and a gross violation of poor people’s human rights.
Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party has accused the government of unleashing the campaign in urban and peri-urban areas to punish residents there for rejecting it in last March’s controversial parliamentary election. The government, which says it will now extend the clean-up operation to former white farms against illegal settlers, denies it is being motivated by politics.
Commenting on the massive drop out of children from school, one retired educationist William Mupita said it was the first time since Zimbabwe’s 1970s independence war that such large numbers of children are quitting school within a month.
"This is probably the first time since the days of the liberation war that such a high number of children drop out of school in such a short period of time. These figures should alarm anyone serious about this country's human development," said Mupita, who worked in the education sector for over 40 years. - ZimOnline