Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mugabe's Latest Act of Terrorism

Mugabe Terrorism

Mugabe's Operation Murambatsvina (sweep up the rubbish)

The tragic deaths of three people, including two children (a 4 year old and an 18 month old baby) during the forced destruction of dwellings at Porta Farm on the outskirts of Harare on the 30th June serves to confirm the ruthless nature of Operation Murambatsvina. To date at least eight deaths have been confirmed nationwide. Many more have been reported but cannot be confirmed. These are only the deaths caused, so far, by direct action of the government forces involved, and not other causes as outlined below.

Porta Farm was formed in 1991, when, in an operation much like the current one, hundreds of poor urban squatters were rounded up by police and dumped outside Harare in order to “cleanse” the city in preparation for a visit by Queen Elizabeth II. As now, government had made no arrangements for the care and support of these displaced people and it was left to NGOs and international agencies to provide emergency relief.

In 14 years Porta Farm has evolved into a stable community with clinics, primary and secondary schools, preschools and even an orphanage. This community was obliterated in the space of a day. In clear violation of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children, together with the families caring for them, have joined the thousands already deprived of shelter, education and health care by Operation Murambatsvina. Seven hundred primary school pupils, 150 of whom were about to write their Grade 7 examination, and 183 secondary school students have been forced to abandon their education, in addition to an estimated 300,000 children similarly affected countrywide.

Below are some of the current and predictable effects of Murambatsvina as outlined by the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights:

  1. The likelihood of further deaths due to intentional physical trauma, as incurred this week in Porta Farm, as a result of the thoughtless violence of the demolition methods, 
  2. Deaths due to exposure and hypothermia among already vulnerable children, chronically ill adults and the elderly, forced to live through nights in the open at the coldest time of the year,
  3. The spread of infectious disease due to the lack of proper sanitation or water supply for hundreds of thousands of people,
  4. The generation of ideal conditions for the spread of epidemic disease (eg cholera and typhoid) from those directly affected into the general population,
  5. The increase in incidence of malnutrition due to the breakdown of food supplies as family income generation methods are destroyed, in a context in which basic foodstuffs are already at a premium,
  6. The exacerbation of the HIV epidemic as community structures are fractured and dispersed and the vulnerability of women, adolescents and children to sexual exploitation is magnified,

The inevitable emergence of widespread drug-resistant HIV as treatment programs are disrupted.

After receiving condemnation from other nations the government of Zimbabwe has tried to say this destruction is just the first stage of “Operation Garikayi (good living)”. Supposedly, the plan is to build thousands of new homes to replace those that have been razed. This is obviously a ruse made up in the face of negative attention: 1) Zimbabwe is bankrupt, it has the fastest shrinking economy in the world ! 2) Zimbabwe’s credit has,rightfully, been cut off by the IMF and the World Bank, 3) nothing was said publicly of this plan prior to Operation Murambatsvina, 4) the Police Commissioner in Harare said on July 3rd, “'We must clean the country of the crawling mass of maggots.”

It has been estimated that nearly 1.5 million people have been made homeless by governmental action in Zimbabwe nation wide, including Operation Murambatsvina. Cotrast this with the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia this year, where just under a million were left homeless, and then compare the reactions: In the case of the tsunami western nations showed how truly humanitarian they can be when they wish to be. People and resources from around the world were mobilized nearly overnight, the situation was stabilized and reconstruction has already begun. In stark contrast is the ongoing willful death and destruction in Zimbabwe. Not an act of nature, but a deliberate act of evil perpetrated by a tyrannical regime. Totally preventable before hand, and stoppable now, and where is the public outcry?

(In the 1980’s, when the apartheid regime of South Africa did the same thing to shanty towns near Johannesburg, millions of people throughout the world demonstrated in protest to bring about change, and they helped to make a great difference. Where are those protestors now? They seem to only care if white men are killing black Africans. If a black regime is killing blacks or white Africans, they don’t care. Unfortunately, the people who helped bring about change only wanted change, they don’t seem to care if the African people are prosperous after that change.)