Saturday, July 23, 2005

Zim defends making 300 thousand homeless


Human rights groups are "ecstatic", but Mugabe's gov't is unrepentant...

....Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi called it ``biased and wrong'' at a news conference for state-controlled media.

He said the report focused on destruction but ignored rebuilding of housing and facilities such as health clinics. It displayed ``demonstrable hostility'' inspired by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a sharp critic of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, he added.

``Zimbabwe deplores the effort by the Blair government to hijack the envoy's mission,'' Mumbengegwi said.

Oh. It's the fault of evil Blair....

The Zimbabwean government allowed Tibaijuka to visit at the request of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Her report was unusually tough on Zimbabwe, a country that has a dismal human rights record but generally escapes censure at the United Nations because of its powerful African allies.

Calling Nelson Mandella...calling Nelson Mandella...

``The unplanned and overzealous manner in which the operation was carried out has unleashed chaos and untold human suffering,'' the report said.

But Tibaijuka, who heads the U.N. agency that deals with the plight of cities, was more restrained on Friday, suggesting at a news conference that the government had good intentions and refusing to blame Mugabe.

``All this is happening in a haphazard and unplanned manner,'' she said. ``So when a country tries to clean up cities and put things right, you can unleash the crisis that we are now dealing with in Zimbabwe.''

Sorry, lady. We clean up slums all the time in the Philippines. You warn people and then let NGO or government resettle them...yes, it takes time-- it took two years to resettle refugees from Mt Pinatubo...but in the meanwhile, most Filippinos helped them (our relatives took in a homeless family and "hired" them until they found work and housing, for example). But operation cleanup was not a volcano, but a tsunami against political opponants, and the dirty little secret-- one that few except the editorial writer in the Christian Science Monitor has bothered to point out-- is that these refugees will go back to villages with no food, and no inconvenient reporters, and many will die of famine related diseases....indeed, I have not read ANY reports that Mugabe's thugs are dismantling markets in RURAL areas...

She said the focus now should be on humanitarian relief, not blame, adding Zimbabwe's own courts should prosecute those accountable for the destruction.

Ah, but NGO's have to work thru the same government...

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