This African ruler claims his program - going on for about a month now - is to clean up urban blight and put a stop to illegal businesses. His political opposition says it's intended to crush anti-Mugabe people, who have a strong presence in the cities, and to force them out to rural areas.
Indeed, the displacement brings to mind Cambodia's former dictator Pol Pot, who forced masses to the countryside to disperse his opponents.
The situation in Zimbabwe is alarming enough for the UN to announce this week that it's sending an envoy to investigate, and to prompt the US to condemn the operation as a "tragedy, crime, horror."
Zimbabwe is literally emptying out. Millions of people have fled the country, and AIDS claims 3,000 deaths a week. In 2002, the head of the secret police said the country would be better off with a far smaller population of "our own people" who support Mugabe's "liberation struggle."...