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> Mugabe Destroys The Poor Folks


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Posted: Jun 3 2005, 07:59 PM
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Of course most people don't care about this, just like the US news media doesn't care about the poor people of America.

"The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is the lenders slave"
~ Proverbs 22:7

Recently, the local news; ALL of the 7 local TV channels spent hours showing us the news story in Laguna Hills of 20 multi-million dollar homes that had been destroyed by a landslide.

But never a word about all of the poor folks of Zimbabwe.

Not to mention all of the homeless people of America.

Poor people do not matter, except for all of the illegal (aliens) immigrants who pour into America daily to provide cheap labor and who receive free healthcare, free education for their children and do not have to pay taxes as they run lawnmowers and leaf blowers and contribute to the poisonous carbon emissions into our air.

QUOTE
"We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labor that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories."
~ Cecil Rhodes,
"founder" of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)



QUOTE
Mugabe's Raids Leave Townships In Tatters
By David Blair
Africa Correspondent
The Telegraph - UK
6-2-5

QUOTE
Mr Mugabe's latest palace, in the style of a Chinese pagoda, is about a mile from the extension.


Desperate people picked through the wreckage of their homes yesterday after Zimbabwe's police raided Harare's townships, destroying "illegal shelters" and leaving 10,000 homeless.

Riot police conducting "Operation Drive Out the Rubbish" were accused of bringing misery to the urban poor, the latest target of President Robert Mugabe's campaign of terror.

In one township Irish missionaries were forced to dismantle a clinic and a creche for children orphaned by the Aids epidemic. Police demolished shacks inhabited by impoverished orphans.

"How can the little ones of this world be brutalised in this way?" asked Sister Patricia Walsh, of the Dominican Order.

"They are poor, they are helpless and they happen to live in the wrong part of town."

The latest operation centred on the shanty town of Hatcliffe Extension in the north of the capital.

The regime says police are enforcing the law by demolishing "illegal", temporary homes of wood, cardboard and twisted metal.

The authorities moved thousands of people to the extension in 1992. They were forbidden to build permanent homes and told their stay would be "temporary", pending the provision of proper housing. However, the regime broke its promise and people built the makeshift shacks that were demolished in an operation launched last week.

Sister Walsh, who has worked in the extension for years, visited the shanty town after the first raid on May 26.

"People were sleeping out in the open, many of them sick, cold and hungry," she said. Police returned on Sunday and Sister Walsh said children were screaming and sick people were in agony.

The nuns had been helping 180 Aids orphans in the extension. They provided food and basic medical care for thousands. On police orders, they pulled down their creche and clinic and removed vital medicine.

Sister Walsh found two orphans, Peter, 10, and John, four. "We had provided them with a wooden hut when their mother was dying and she died in the meantime. These two little people had their little home destroyed.''

Mr Mugabe's latest palace, in the style of a Chinese pagoda, is about a mile from the extension.

The townships overwhelmingly supported the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the election in March. His critics believe that he ordered the demolitions as a reprisal.

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005.

http://rense.com/general65/mugg.htm




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Jun 12 2005, 05:14 PM
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QUOTE
West Ignores Mugabe's Revenge On The Poor
By Fred Bridgland in Cape Town
The Sunday Herald
6-12-5

In raids reminiscent of Kristallnacht in Germany and of Pol Pot's Return to Year Zero in Cambodia in the late 1970s, Robert Mugabe's police and soldiers have in the past three weeks torched, bulldozed and sledgehammered the homes of two million of Zimbabwe's poorest of the poor.
 
Officially heralded as a clean-up of Zimbabwe's teeming urban slums, ordinary black Zimbabweans have been turned into roofless internal refugees in the middle of southern Africa's short winter when night temperatures dip below zero.
 
Amid the smoke from smouldering homes, the poor are dying from exposure and starvation and there are reports of suicides among broken people driven beyond despair. Moving thousands from the cities to the countryside means only more poverty, hunger and unemployment.
 
President Mugabe says the blitz on the very people he says he fought to liberate is necessary "to restore sanity" to the cities, although many people are questioning the 81-year-old leader's own mental health. Out of the earshot of agents of the much-feared Central Intelligence Organisation the name "Mad Bob" has been whispered. They say this is Mugabe's revenge on urban dwellers for voting for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in parliamentary elections last March.
 
As well as the mass destruction of housing and the small roadside businesses of the poor, more than 30,000 have been arrested in Mugabe's continuing Operation Murambatsvina, which translates as "operation drive out the rubbish". Entire families are sleeping in the open. Others are battling to find scarce transport to take them to relatives' rural homes. Many are burning furniture and their few surviving possessions before they depart.
 
"I believe only the survivors of South Africa's apartheid-engineered forced Bantu removals would be able to appreciate the scale and ferocity of this operation," said Vincent Kahiya, editor of the weekly Independent newspaper. "The police are going about the rapine with gusto, destroying everything deemed illegal, never mind that the officers carry no papers from any recognised court of law. There can be no worse lawlessness than this callous operation."
 
Tendai, aged 10, and his four-year-old brother Chipo may be among the dead in Mugabe's onslaught. They were among many Aids orphans being looked after by Zimbabwean and Irish Dominican nuns in the Harare suburb of Hatcliffe. For the past decade, the Catholic sisters had distributed anti-retroviral drugs there to HIV-positive women while running a crèche for 180 orphans in an entirely legal brick building.
 
Sister Patricia Walsh, one of the senior nuns, got word that police bulldozers had moved into the township and that police were destroying the homes of the poor, pouring petrol on the debris and setting it ablaze. She dashed to Hatcliffe and was initially lost for words when she saw that bulldozers had demolished the Dominican clinic.
 
Surveying the wrecked building, Walsh said: "I wept. Sister Carina was with me. She wept. The people tried to console us. They were all outside in the midst of their broken houses, furniture and goods all over the place, children screaming, sick people in agony.
 
"How does the government say that Tendai and Chipo are illegal? We provided them with a wooden hut when their mother was dying of Aids. She has since died and these two little people had their little home destroyed in the middle of the night. When we got there, they were sitting crying in the rubbish that was their home. What do we do with them?"
 
"How can the little ones of the world be brutalised in this way? Their only crime is that 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. We stand in shock and cry with the people, but we also have to try to keep them alive. When will sanity prevail? Where is the outside world?"
 
Yesterday, unconfirmed reports suggested that Tendai and Chipo had died in the assaults by Mugabe's stormtroopers.
 
With Zimbabwe's new Chinese warplanes and Alouette helicopters, newly provided with spares by South Africa, sweeping overhead, police demolition squads turned Mbare into a battleground, completely demolishing houses and shelters in street after street. Families with remaining possessions on their heads, wooden planks, tin sheets, pots wrapped in blankets and plastic or in makeshift carts are on the march, like refugees in some terrible war, after the mass demolition of their homes.
 
It is a scene of desolation and despair, being repeated right across the country in the attempt to drive hundreds of thousands of people back to the rural areas. Miloon Kothari, the United Nations special representative on housing for the poor, told reporters in Geneva he feared Mugabe planned to drive between two and three million Zimbabweans in a population of 11.5m into the countryside in Operation Murambatsvina.
 
"We have a very grave crisis on our hands," said Kothari. "This is a gross violation of human rights. People are desperate. They have nowhere to go."
 
But Zimbabwe's local government minister, Ignatius Chombo, said: "This is the dawn of a new era. To set up something nice you first have to remove the litter, and that is why the police are acting in this way."
 
The weekly Standard newspaper responded editorially: "Chombo's explanation is nonsensical and an insult to the intelligence of the people of this country. The government should not delight in the suffering of people when it does not have a ready-made alternative for them."
 
Brian Raftopoulos, Professor of Development Studies at the University of Zimbabwe told the Sunday Herald: "It may well be that Mugabe is looking to remove surplus' elements of the urban population ahead of the next presidential election by drawing them into more controllable rural political relations.
 
"The long-term implications of this process do not bode well for democratic politics."
 
Simon Phiri and his wife Tsitsi are victims in the chaos as well. They rescued the essentials from their Mbare township shack before a state bulldozer razed it. Simon, 39, and Tsitsi, 32, who have four children, saw their home of 12 years crushed to pieces. Close to tears, Simon, who until early this month sold second-hand clothes at Mbare's colourful but now burnt out Mupedzanhamo market, looked at the wrecked remains of his shack and said: "This is the only home I know but government and the city council have just destroyed it."
 
©2005 newsquest (sunday herald) limited. all rights reserved
 
http://www.sundayherald.com/50282 

http://rense.com/general66/westignoresmugabes.htm




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Jun 12 2005, 07:32 PM
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QUOTE
Thousands Homeless As Mugabe Demolishes Townships
By David Blair
The Telegraph - UK
6-7-5

New makeshift refugee camps were springing up around Zimbabwe's capital yesterday as President Robert Mugabe's bulldozers reduced more township homes to rubble.
 
Tens of thousands of people are now sleeping in the open, huddled under blankets or plastic sheets, as the campaign against "illegal buildings" continues.
 
Trudy Stevenson, the opposition MP for Harare North, said areas of her constituency resembled "refugee camps". Part of it, the township of Hatcliffe Extension, bore the brunt of last week's offensive.
 
"It looks like the place has been bombed and the people are sitting there dazed," said Mrs Stevenson. "At night, there are little fires as people do their cooking. There's a kind of unearthly feel about it. People are huddled up together under plastic and bits of wood."
 
Police destroyed 3,300 homes in Hatcliffe Extension alone, forcing about 20,000 people to sleep in the open. They also closed the local primary school and ordered its 1,100 pupils to attend classes elsewhere.
 
Mrs Stevenson has distributed 500 blankets to the refugees. But across Harare, fugitives from the bulldozers and their work are sleeping on pavements or patches of waste ground.
 
"The whole city is full of people trudging along with their belongings on little carts," said Mrs Stevenson. "Some have colonised bus shelters, others are outside supermarkets. They're all over the place."
 
Mr Mugabe's bulldozers have already raided about 15 townships around Harare. Yesterday, they reached Highfield and Kambuzuma, demolishing what police call "illegal" homes and, in particular, a housing scheme named after the late nationalist leader Joshua Nkomo.
 
The urban clearances are comparable to the demolition of "illegal" townships carried out by South Africa during the apartheid era.
 
But those evictions were fiercely resisted. In Zimbabwe, by contrast, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change has not organised a single demonstration or protest at the crackdown.
 
Welshman Ncube, the MDC's secretary-general, said this was not the party's responsibility.
 
"I cannot understand why it must be our responsibility to deal with the situation," he said. "People should stop thinking of the MDC as the primary venue for national action. If people are watching their homes being bulldozed, why must they ask the MDC what to do?"
 
Mr Ncube, the MP for Bulawayo East, did not visit his constituency when the bulldozers wrecked its townships for two days last week because he was 280 miles away in the capital, Harare.
 
The MDC's failure to stand up to Mr Mugabe's assault on the urban poor has dismayed many Zimbabweans.
 
"Mugabe has managed to expose the leadership deficiencies within the opposition," said Vincent Kahiya, editor of the Zimbabwe Independent.
 
"If something on this scale is happening under their noses and there is no response, then there is a problem."
 
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005. 

http://rense.com/general65/muga.htm




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Jun 13 2005, 10:34 PM
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Zimbabwe - Burning Out Everyone
From Cathy Buckle
cbuckle@mango.zw
6-12-5

Dear Family and Friends,
 
On a clear and bright winter day this week, President Mugabe and his wife Grace emerged from a spotless and sparkling open topped black Rolls Royce outside Parliament buildings in Harare. Crowded at the fencing nearby were scores of women who ululated fanatically whenever they caught a glimpse of the President. They were all wearing skirts, dresses or head scarves which have President Mugabe's face printed on the fabric and so wherever we looked the President's face looked back.

In his speech to mark the opening of Parliament, the President defended the countrywide destruction of squatter camps, informal housing and street vending stalls and markets.
 
The President said this was a "vigorous clean up campaign to restore order" in urban areas. Half an hour later the President and his wife left in their convertible Rolls preceded and proceeded by shiny limousines containing men wearing dark glasses, ear pieces and black suits, and trucks filled with soldiers in yellow berets. The large chested women in their portrait decorated clothes left and that was the end of that view of Zimbabwe.
 
Meanwhile, in the same week, same country and same town, a very different picture was being seen. I quote from the report by opposition MP Trudy Stevenson:

"This afternoon police set fire to furniture and other belongings of those Hatcliffe Extension residents who had not yet managed to leave - despite the fact that there were not enough police lorries to ferry all the people away to Caledonia Farm by the time they started burning. My suspicion is that they simply got tired, and decided to finish quickly by burning out everyone remaining - babies, sick, elderly, crippled, etc. included.
 
As I write, I have no idea how many people have lost everything they possessed, nor do I know what has happened to those people. It was reported that they were told by the police that they had taken too long to leave, and now they would have to go in the lorries simply in the clothes they were wearing, nothing else - no food, no clothes, no furniture."
 
In another report, the chairman of the Harare Residents Association writes:

"If you take a drive to the north tonight you will see on the side of the roads out towards Domboshawa, as many as 10,000 people just camping in the open."
 
For three weeks now we have been surrounded by horror in Zimbabwe. Ordinary people have become helpless pawns, at the mercy of state officials who bundle them into lorries and take them away.

It is happening in towns all over the country. Since the closure of Short Wave Radio Africa 11 days ago, there has been no way for ordinary people to tell the world of the hell that is overtaking them.

Night after night we despairingly search along the short wave frequencies hoping to hear what was our only voice but it is gone. We can find only religious channels or Chinese ones but our Zimbabwean voices are lost and we despair. If you are an exiled Zimbabwean or simply someone who cares please help give us back our voice.
 
Until next week, the website is www.swradioafrica.com.
 
With love, cathy
 
Copyright cathy buckle 11th June 2005 http://africantears.netfirms.com
 
My books on the Zimbabwean crisis, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available from: orders@africabookcentre.com ; www.africabookcentre.com ; www.amazon.co.uk ; in Australia and New Zealand: johnmreed@johnreedbooks.com.au ; Africa: www.kalahari.net www.exclusivebooks.com

http://rense.com/general66/brub.htm




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Jul 8 2005, 09:33 AM
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QUOTE
Mugabe Rampage Leaves 1.5 million Blacks Homeless
From Jan Lamprecht
AfricanCrisis.Org
6-23-5

Just as Eddie Cross of the MDC predicted a short while back, Mugabe has wiped out homes, and even bulldozed grocery stores - in mid-winter. Eddie Cross estimated 2 million Blacks would be homeless. The UN estimates that this campaign, which has taken only 1 month, has resulted in 1.5 million Blacks losing their homes.
 
As unbelievable as this may sound, Mugabe has also banned people from growing food in their own yards in urban areas to feed their own families.
 
So far, the only Government I know of, to say anything openly about this is the US Government. S.Africa has not said one word. I have not heard cries of condemnation from anyone else.
 
Where is the world?
 
Or, doesn't the world care about anything anymore?
 
Mugabe has said he will allow someone from the UN to take a look. But the Useless Nations - as the UN really should be called - will probably do little if anything.
 
What is happening is despicable. If only Apartheid had been 1/100th as evil as Mugabe is... What is happening in Zimbabwe is unprecedented in Southern African history. And yet, I say to all of you, you have not seen the worst that Mugabe has to offer. If he is backed into a corner, this man will not just make millions homeless - he will *KILL* millions.
 
He already wiped out 20,000-30,000 Matabele people back in 1985 when he sent in his troops to wipe out entire villages. They were throwing Black people down wells. An old school chum of mine (see TheBeardedMan Blog spot), was a Policeman in Zimbabwe and had the opportunity to see some of the aftermath of Mugabe's mass murder in the early 1980's). Mugabe is capable of murdering not tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands - this man is a murderer on the scale of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. If he is put in a corner he will kill millions.
 
This is the work of a megalomaniac who is punishing the populace for voting against him.
 
I find it incomprehensible that no major country in the world will sponsor a war against this complete maniac of a man. Not even Saddam Hussein has done anything close to the evil that this man has got away with. -- Jan
 
----------------------------------- 
 
Daily Mail & Guardian
6-23-5
SAPA-AP

Zimbabwe police have extended a demolition campaign targeting the homes and livelihoods of the urban poor to the vegetable gardens they rely on for food, saying the crops planted on vacant lots are damaging the environment.
 
President Robert Mugabe was quoted on Tuesday as saying concern about the campaign was misplaced and agreeing to allow in a United Nations observer.
 
The crackdown on urban farming -- at a time of food shortages in Zimbabwe -- is the latest escalation in the government's month-long Operation Murambatsvina (or Drive Out Trash), which has seen police torch the shacks of poor city dwellers, arrest street vendors and demolish their kiosks.
 
Mugabe defends the campaign as a clean-up drive. But the political opposition, which has its base among the urban poor, says the campaign is meant to punish its supporters.
 
The UN estimates the campaign has left at least 1,5-million people homeless in the winter cold. Police say more than 30 000 have also been arrested, most of them street vendors the government accuses of sabotaging the failing economy by selling black market goods.
 
Senior assistant police commissioner Edmore Veterai said Zimbabwean authorities were now targeting urban farming, saying the practice was causing "massive environmental damage," state radio reported on Tuesday.
 
The destruction of city plots is a painful reminder of one of the most hated policies of the white government that ruled before independence in 1980 -- the random slashing of crops on roadsides and railroad embankments.
 
The current crackdown comes when this southern African country needs to import 1,2-million tonnes of food to avoid famine.
 
Years of drought, combined with the seizure of thousands of white-owned farms for redistribution to black Zimbabweans, have slashed agricultural production.
 
Many poor families depend on their vegetable patches for food and a tiny income at a time of 144% inflation and 80% unemployment.
 
Many of the capital's two million residents till any vacant ground they can find for an annual production of 50 000 tonnes of corn -- over a fifth of their total food requirements -- according to farming expert Richard Winkfield.
 
The Reverend Oskar Wermter, former secretary to the Zimbabwe Roman Catholic Bishop's conference and a parish priest in one of the poorest downtown areas, called the crackdown against these plots "insane and evil."
 
"They are sleeping in the open air -- tiny children and people dying of Aids -- and people you thought still had some decency are defending this crime against humanity," said Wermter. "It is a watershed, it is the beginning of the end, but the end will be terrible."
 
Charlie Hewat, executive director of Environment Africa, said controlled urban agriculture was essential for the poor throughout the developing world's cities. There were, however, no legal allotments in Harare.
 
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change has accused the 81-year-old Mugabe of imitating Cambodia's former Pol Pot regime by driving pro-MDC urban voters back to rural areas for "re-education."
 
It alleges food access is being used as a weapon of political reprisal following the March 31 parliamentary elections won by Mugabe's Zanu-PF.
 
Mugabe expressed surprise at the "misplaced hue and cry over Operation Murambatsvina" in a recent telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, presidential spokesperson George Charamba told The Herald newspaper.
 
Mugabe agreed in the phone call to let Anna Tibaijuka, Tanzanian head of the United Nations Habitat agency, come as Annan's envoy to asses the impact of "Operation Murambatsvina," Charamba confirmed.
 
On Sunday, police spokesperson Whisper Bondayi said the demolition campaign was also being extended to wealthier suburbs. He said some residents had illegally converted their homes into offices and workshops.
 
No demolitions have been reported in such neighbourhoods. Wealthy home owners have recourse to judges and lawyers -- unlike the poor who rush to salvage what possessions they can before their homes are burned or bulldozed.
 
However, police have arrested 335 prostitutes and 161 illegal aliens -- mostly "fugitives from justice in their own countries" -- in raids on lodges and apartments near downtown Harare, Bondayi told Tuesday's edition of The Herald.
   
http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=...rticleid=243587

http://rense.com/general66/homeless.htm




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Jul 9 2005, 09:56 PM
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QUOTE
Of New Blue Buses And Zimbarbie
By Cathy Buckle
cbuckle@mango.zw
7-9-5

Dear Family and Friends,
 
Zimbabwe acquired 69 new buses this week. The arrival of the buses made headline news on Zimbabwe's radio and television stations on Thursday 7th July 2005. For the first twenty six minutes of the main hour long news bulletin on Thursday evening, the only story was the 69 buses. Video footage showed a line of parked shiny blue and yellow buses stretching as far as the eye could see. This was followed by a string of interviews with prospective passengers either standing next to or seated in a stationary bus.
 
At one point the glories of the shiny, blue and yellow buses were contrasted with a parking lot full of stranded, dusty country buses - stranded because of the now dire shortage of fuel across the country. The absurdity of reporting on new buses arriving when almost the entire country has come to a standstill this week, was striking.
 
Thirty seven minutes into the same evening news bulletin, Zimbabwe television reported on the 4 bombs that had devastated London on Thursday morning. In less than two minutes ZBC TV told the entire story of the London horror.

They then moved on to explain, yet again, why our government was still breaking down peoples homes in mid winter in their drive to restore order. Millions of Zimbabweans, literally, have experienced terror at first hand in our country in the last five years, and we offer our love, support and prayers to the victims and families of the horrific bombs in London.
 
Watching some of the film footage of thousands of people walking out of London on Thursday was strikingly similar to scenes in Zimbabwe this week. An eerie silence has descended across Zimbabwe as we are now a country completely crippled without fuel. We wake up to silence as people walk to work, rush hours are non existent and literally hundreds of people line the roads desperate for lifts.

Stocks in shops are dwindling and businesses are barely ticking over as there are fewer and fewer customers able to travel. One friend told me this week that sales in their normally busy business had dropped by 40 percent in the last five days. The reality of a country coming to a dry and grinding halt does make the story of the 69 buses rather ludicrous doesn't it?
 
I will end this week on the latest absurdity to come out of Zimbabwe and I quote from the government owned press:
 
"Harare City Council has rescinded all land sale agreements made between 1998 and this year and is now reselling the land at market rates to the same buyers, where necessary," the official Herald newspaper reported, citing Harare Town Clerk Nomutsa Chideya.
 
When things can't get much worse, the silliest things cause great hilarity. How about this gem doing the rounds:
 
"The new Barbie doll on the market comes with: no shoes, no clothes, no make up, no car, no food, no house and no farm. It's called... Zimbarbie"
 
Until next week, with love,
cathy.
 
Copyright cathy buckle 9th July 2005.
http://africantears.netfirms.com
 
My books on the Zimbabwean crisis, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available from:
orders@africabookcentre.com
http://www.africabookcentre.com
www.amazon.co.uk
 
in Australia and New Zealand:
johnmreed@johnreedbooks.com.au
 
Africa:
http://www.exclusivebooks.com 

http://rense.com/general66/ZIMnewbuses.htm




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Dec 17 2006, 05:01 AM
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Mugabe should find himself in a pine box soon.... his time is over.

QUOTE
George W. Bush's Hero: Mugabe extends term to declare himself the 'President-for-life'
By Our Special Correspondent in Harare
15 December 2006
QUOTE
Under the leadership of the former school teacher, Zimbabwe has suffered a precipitous slide in living standards, life expectancy and economic output that has rooted the country at the bottom of global quality-of-life indices.

Robert Mugabe has effectively appointed himself as President-for-life in Zimbabwe after extending his present term by two years until 2010. The ruling ZANU-PF party will this week endorse a controversial amendment that would maintain the 82-year-old's grip on power and prolong his country's status as an international pariah.

Mr Mugabe has already given his assent for the presidential poll - currently scheduled for March 2008 - to be "harmonised" with the parliamentary elections in 2010. His cabinet, the Politburo, has already agreed, making a necessary resolution at the party's annual conference this weekend a mere formality. The proposal has also been adopted by eight of the ruling party's 10 provincial executives.

The extension will take Mr Mugabe's rule up to 30 years, and put him among the select few of Africa's longest-serving despots - while scotching earlier hopes that he would step down in 2008 in order to concentrate on writing his memoirs. Under the leadership of the former school teacher, Zimbabwe has suffered a precipitous slide in living standards, life expectancy and economic output that has rooted the country at the bottom of global quality-of-life indices.

Local press has reported that some ZANU-PF officials were unhappy with the extension because they wanted a new leader in 2008 in a bid to rebuild bridges with Western donors who have suspended aid.

But analysts believe Mr Mugabe could well go on beyond 2010, particularly if the country's economic woes continue, which they are bound to for the foreseeable future amidst sky-rocketing inflation - currently at 1,098 per cent - and widespread food shortages.

Last week, Didymus Mutasa, the minister for land and land reform, suggested that Mr Mugabe should be given an official lifetime presidency - though this would only serve to confirm what many Zimbabweans believe to be true already.

But it is a sentiment Mr Mugabe himself echoed in a recent interview. "I will retire, of course, someday, but it all depends on the circumstances. I can't retire if my party is going to be in a shambles," Mr Mugabe was quoted as saying in the state-run Herald newspaper.

Officially, the proposed extension is touted as a cost-saving measure, so both presidential and parliamentary polls can run together in 2010. But critics say it gives Mugabe a chance to avoid the voters' wrath in 2008 amidst a collapsing economy.

"He doesn't want to fight an election in 2008 - he doesn't want to put people's anger to the test," the Harare-based political analyst John Robertson said. Government policies, such as the seizure of white-owned commercial farms for distribution to landless blacks, have been blamed for a 40 per cent contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) since 1998.

Mr Mugabe has denied the charges, blaming the country's woes on Western economic sanctions orchestrated by the former colonial power, Britain. Others say the extension gives Mr Mugabe the chance to wrest control of a succession struggle that threatens to tear ZANU-PF apart.

"This [extension] will also give Mr Mugabe the chance to purge the party of all undesirables. It has nothing to do with saving costs," said Reggie Moyo, spokesman for the government watchdog the National Constitutional Assembly.

ZANU-PF remains bitterly divided following Mr Mugabe's decision in late 2004 to appoint Joyce Mujuru, a relative political lightweight, as vice-president. Political factions aligned to Mrs Mujuru and the rural housing minister Emmerson Mnangagwa have been jostling ever since for Mr Mugabe's blessing.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa...icle2076151.ece




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QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Dec 17 2006, 03:54 PM
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Mugabe recently verbally attacked Australia. What a relief! Not to be attacked by Mugabe means that your country is not doing enough.

An Australian Reverend was recently in Zimbabwe helping orphans that have been abandoned by Mugabe. The rev. had to hide to avoid Mugabe's henchmen that hunted him. Mugabe is pissed off because the rev. not only finished his mission without being caught but escaped the country and is back home.

Hey Mugabe! Oz might have started off with criminals and political prisoners but take a look at what we have done with our inhospitable land. We have turned it into a place of plenty and egalitarianism. What have you done with one of the best pieces of Africa? You took it from a place of surplus and made it into a place of want and degredation. What you need is a few convicts to smarten you and your morons up.




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Posted: Feb 7 2007, 11:53 PM
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Here's the latest report I have read...

QUOTE
Zimbabwe heads for economic meltdown
Andrew Meldrum in Johannesburg
Wednesday February 7, 2007
Guardian Unlimited
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Zimbabwe's economic collapse is rapidly accelerating and is being blamed for an outbreak of cholera, strikes by doctors and nurses, and electricity blackouts.

Prices of meat, cooking oil and clothes increased by 223% in the last week alone, according to a survey by the central bank. The annual inflation rate is now racing at 1,200% and picking up speed.

Doctors at government hospitals have been on strike for seven weeks for pay increases of 9,000%. The government has fired them and threatened arrest, but the strike has now spread to nurses.

Pay increases of 300% to civil servants, police officers and army employees last month barely helped them meet the inflation rise. "Since the beginning of the year things have become noticeably worse. There is a growing feeling that we are on a bus that is veering wildly out of control," said John Makumbe, a political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe.

Unemployment is estimated at above 70% and even those with factory jobs find it difficult to feed their families more than one meal a day. "Zimbabweans hold education dear, but people can no longer afford school fees. Some township schools are experiencing drop-out rates of 30%," said Mr Makumbe.

In the last two weeks, there have been 19 cholera cases in Harare's Mabvuku township, which has not had clean water for months. The capital's sewage treatment plant broke down last month, resulting in the dumping of 50% of raw sewage into the main reservoir, according to the state-owned Herald newspaper. Officials could not say when the plant would be fixed.

"Whenever I turn on the taps, I don't know what colour the water will be. It can be grey or brown or even black. I filter and boil the water but I still don't want to drink it," said Iddah Mandaza, a Harare factory supervisor. "Things are bad when there is cholera in the capital city."

In 1999 it was estimated that 30% of Zimbabwe's 12 million people lived in poverty. Today the figure is above 80%.

Undeterred by beatings of its leaders last year, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions is planning a general strike, according to leaders of civic groups.

"Police and the army are becoming disenchanted with their poor pay and living conditions. They are in poverty and yet [Robert] Mugabe depends on them to keep the population in line. Police commissioners have warned Mugabe that the ranks are becoming restive," said Mr Makumbe.

This week, despite the crisis, Mr Mugabe sacked the finance minister, Herbert Murerwa, who had criticised the policies of the central bank governor, Gideon Gono, after he refused to devalue the Zimbabwe dollar. The official exchange rate of Z$250 to US$1 is universally dismissed; on the black market, the rate is Z$4,000 to US$1.

One cause of the crisis is Zimbabwe's agricultural decline. Satellite photos show that vast expanses of fertile land portioned out to Mugabe loyalists are fallow. Despite good rains, Zimbabwe faces another bad harvest of maize, according to the regional Famine Early Warning System. The country will need to import grain for the sixth consecutive year, say experts.

The battered economy has bred unprecedented dissension within Mr Mugabe's ruling party, Zanu-PF. In December the party refused to approve Mr Mugabe's proposal to extend his presidential term.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/zimbabwe/article...2007905,00.html




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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