Tuesday, June 14, 2005

No aid allowed to displaced famlies


Senior officials at the Social Welfare Ministry, which approves humanitarian assistance, said governors of provinces have been ordered to block donor groups from distributing food and clothes apparently because Harare fears accepting such aid would be tantamount to admitting the shortcomings of its highly unpopular campaign.

"By allowing donors, the government would be admitting that its actions have caused a humanitarian crisis. So the donors will be kept away while the government works out solutions to the problem," said one official, who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation.

For example, in the eastern province of Manicaland governor, Tinaye Chigudu, confirmed stopping non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from distributing medicines and food. But he said he had done so only because he wanted to consult with his superiors in Harare.

But, like all dictators, Mugabe has his priorities right...no money for those displaced by his actions, but a million pounds for a party....

ROBERT Mugabe and his wife Grace are this weekend preparing for a lavish wedding anniversary celebration by approving a guest list that includes the names of African leaders seeking massive debt relief for their impoverished countries.

"It will be a classy, royal-like occasion," a government source said in Harare. "The Mugabes will be driven from a church service at Kutama Mission outside Harare where they were married in August 1996 in an open Rolls-Royce with horses in front. That's how they want it."

The wedding anniversary party will reportedly cost close to £1m. It will be preceded by a Mugabe family trip to an as yet unnamed country with close ties to Zimbabwe - possibly Libya.

The all-day party will be partly paid for by President Mugabe - one of Africa's wealthiest men - partly by impoverished Zimbabwean taxpayers and partly by local companies seeking to stay in business at a time when the words "ethnic cleansing" are never far away from the lips of European, Asian and middle-class African businesspeople.

Grace Mugabe is 40 years younger than her husband. The couple met when President Mugabe was still a married man.

Reminds me of Imelda Marcos' shoes...

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