Thursday, June 02, 2005

22 000 arrested

Mass arrests of those living in shanty towns...

Do you know how much it would cost the government to feed and house those arrested?

And what about the economic loss of the properties, many of which were actually legal?

The MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, whose party gains overwhelming support from urban areas, denounced the crackdown and repeated calls for people to mobilise resistance.

"Property worth millions of dollars has gone up in flames. Families are out in the open -- without jobs, without income, without shelter without support," Tsvangirai told a news conference. "Overnight, Zimbabwe has a massive internal refugee population in its urban areas."

Rights group Amnesty International also condemned the crackdown as a "flagrant disregard for internationally recognised human rights" and said people should be compensated for property destroyed by the government.

Mugabe's government says the campaign is meant to stamp out black market trading and other crime in slums around Harare and other cities.

Police have used sledgehammers and bulldozers to demolish thousands of illegal shacks and torched others, leaving residents scrambling to secure their possessions before their homes and businesses are destroyed.

Many of those displaced by the crackdown are seeking to return to their family homes in the countryside, although a desperate fuel shortage caused by Zimbabwe's deepening economic crisis has made transport difficult.

Repeat after me: Krystalnacht...krystalnacht...

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