Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Zim blitz 'pre-emptive'
A government-controlled newspaper in Zimbabwe has printed an article admitting that the massive drive against squatters over the summer was politically motivated. The Zimbabwe Herald ran an article from the October issue of New African magazine, asserting that the entire anti-squatter "operation was the brainchild of Zimbabwe's intelligence community," which feared that the squatters and illegal merchants were about to engage in a Ukraine-style mass demonstration against Zimbabwen President Robert Mugabe. The article also asserted that officials have admitted that some of the items in a highly critical UN report on the demolitions were justified, and that security forces were excessively brutal. The Herald also reports that illegal vendors have begun to return to the cities, and that police have arrested more than 14,000 people over the past two weeks.