Saturday, June 11, 2005

Zimbabwe's False 'Cleanup'

In an important mainstream acknowledgment of an ongoing tragedy, The New York Times has discovered Robert Mugabe's war against Zimbabwe's squatters. Times reporter Michael Wines writes: "In shattered Harare-area townships like Mbare and Mabvuku, a slum of about 100,000 people 10 miles east of Harare, the homeless sit beside furniture and clothes rescued from the destruction. There and elsewhere thousands sleep in the open, on farms and urban streets, in Zimbabwe's near-freezing winter nights." The Times labels the massive demolition of squatter shacks, "a sweeping recasting of society, a forced uprooting of the very poorest city dwellers, who have become President Robert G. Mugabe's most hardened opponents."

Also, the BBC notes that what I noted in my last post was true: the general strike was poorly organized and did not cause the Mugabe government to pause in its drive to root out urban squatters.

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