Friday, July 29, 2005

Hoping against Hope


Mother Jones interviews the UK Guardian's correspondent in Zim...

...Meldrum says Mugabe and his cronies are doing whatever they can to keep a grip on a tenuous situation: “They’ve run out of any new ideas of how to run the country.”......

MJ: It seems that there is going to be even more pressure on the land due to the current campaign to raze urban shantytowns. I recently heard an opposition politician say that she believes this move is a Pol Pot-type tactic of clearing people out of the cities and into the countryside where they are easier to control. Do you see it as having that effect?

AM: Absolutely. I hesitate using Pol Pot. Although we haven’t had the killing fields, when you tear down the homes of thousands of families, in winter weather, force people who are already in poverty to live in the open, it won’t be long before people start dying. The whole idea of reducing the population of the cities and sending them back to the rural areas where they are more easily manipulated is exactly what Mugabe is trying to do. However, what we can see here is one of these situations where Mugabe is trying to turn back the hands of time. Urbanization is a historical trend in Zimbabwe and Africa. Very few leaders can try to turn that around. He may well be overstretching himself.

Please read the whole thing...

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