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					                                                                                   years reduced to rubble, and his possessions destroyed. "I couldn’t believe
ZIMDAY                             Sunday 26 June 2005                             my eyes. My house was all rubble. They had the cheek to bulldoze a locked
                                                                                   house. "I lost everything in the process because I never took out my stuff. I
In this issue:                                                                     have now stopped going to work because I have nowhere to stay. "This
                                                                                   very government used to promise housing for all by the year 2000 - which
Ruins -                                              SA Sunday Times
                                                                                   they failed to achieve. And now that we helped ourselves by building the
Living in fear –                                     Zimbabwean                    houses ourselves, they are destroying them. They are mad," said Mache-
AU criticised –                                      BBC                           mera. He said he would not return to his rural home because there was
Hunger strike continues -                            UK Sunday Times               nothing for him to do there.
Church demands deportation end –                     Observer
                                                                                   The authorities said the battle was against illegal shelters and illegal trading
School fees through the roof -                       News24                        premises, but I saw brick and cement houses being demolished. From Chi-
                                                                                   tungwiza, I moved on to Glen Norah and Highfield, townships which for a
                                                                                   long time were sustained by home industries. All you see now are tons of
                                                                                   rubble in place of what used to be thriving informal businesses. Former
                 From The Sunday Times (SA), 26 June
                                                                                   merchants at a home industry in Glen Norah told me most of their machines
           Destitution and despair in the new Zimbabwe ruins
                                                                                   had been destroyed in the clean-up. "Bulldozers just appeared from no-
                                                                                   where and started destroying the buildings in this place, causing so much
Robert Mugabe’s government is destroying the homes and lives of its own
                                                                                   chaos. People were running and screaming, trying to take out whatever they
people, writes Dingilizwe Ntuli
                                                                                   could. Thieves helped themselves to machines and property because once
                                                                                   you took out something and placed it outside, it would be gone by the time
For many years, one of the main attractions of the populous township of
                                                                                   you came back with other stuff," said Roselyn Machaya, who ran a tailor
Mbare, just outside Harare, was the Mupedzanhamo flea market near Rufa-
                                                                                   shop in the compound. The traders had been paying monthly levies for the
ro Stadium, where one could get anything from shirt buttons to a second-
                                                                                   stalls. "Why were they taking our money if the structures were illegal? We
hand car engine. Loosely translated, Mupedzanhamo means "ending all
                                                                                   were allocated these stands by the council and we are shocked that they
your social and economic problems" - and this market provided sustenance
                                                                                   now say they are illegal. They have destroyed our livelihoods and I don’t
for hundreds of traders, some of whom had their sleeping quarters here. But
                                                                                   know what the future holds for me now. I will go to the village and think of
when I went to Mupedzanhamo this week, all I found was rubble and scrap
                                                                                   what to do from there," said Machaya. But it’s not only the township traders
metal, with some people rummaging through the debris to salvage anything
                                                                                   that have been affected. Africa Unity Square in central Harare, once a buzz-
they could lay their hands on. Mupedzanhamo is just one landmark that has
                                                                                   ing tourist attraction opposite parliament, is no more. The hundreds of trad-
fallen victim to the Harare City Council’s so-called clean-up exercise, Op-
                                                                                   ers who operated from there are gone.
eration Murambatsvina (Drive Out Filth). Since it began about a month ago,
thousands of shacks, tuck shops and cottages have been demolished,
                                                                                   However, the council spokesman, Gwindi was adamant that the clean-up
throwing about 300000 people into the streets, with no shelter and now no
                                                                                   operation had been successful. "Most of these people were allocated these
source of income as their trading stalls are no more. What motivated this
                                                                                   stands illegally and the truth is we have been agonising for a long time on
operation, which has left a swathe of destruction and exacerbated home-
                                                                                   how to deal with this issue. We have been warning these people for the past
lessness and joblessness?
                                                                                   three years to stop erecting illegal structures but they didn’t take us serious-
                                                                                   ly and it’s sad that we had to take this route, but it’s necessary," said Gwin-
Harare City Council spokesman Lesley Gwindi told me that service delivery
                                                                                   di. He said most of the demolitions were done by the people themselves
was the reason the council had mounted the operation against all illegal
                                                                                   and it was only when they failed to comply that council workers had de-
structures. "People had been blaming us for [lack of] service delivery but the
                                                                                   stroyed the buildings. The "Zimbabwe ruins" continue to pile up as the op-
issue is that there were just too many people staying in these areas, but
                                                                                   eration steams ahead amid an international outcry, which has been ignored
with only a few paying for services. "We had lost accountability because we
                                                                                   by President Robert Mugabe’s government.
didn’t know how many people stayed in a particular area. We want every-
one to pay for services and will not allow a situation whereby some people
                                                                                                        From The Zimbabwean, 24 June
make money at the expense of the council," said Gwindi. He said that the
                                                                                                          Living in fear of demolition
black-market economy, which was thriving in the informal sector, was
threatening the formal economy, and that the informal settlements had be-
                                                                                   By Venetia Makoni
come hotbeds of crime. The hardest-hit victims of the "clean-up" live in out-
lying, densely populated townships such as Mbare, Warren Park, Mabvuku,
                                                                                   Ruwa - It’s a small room – both kitchen and bedroom. The bed takes up
Tafara and Chitungwiza, 23km south of Harare, Tafara attracted media
                                                                                   more than half the space available, the rest is occupied by cooking utensils
attention this week when two children were killed when a wall collapsed on
                                                                                   and an unused paraffin stove. Clothes dangle from a cord stretched across
them as government bulldozers got to work.
                                                                                   the ceiling above the foot of the bed. To the outsider it is a cluttered shack.
                                                                                   To Sheunesu Choga and his family this is home. For more than two years
In Harare’s dormitory town of Chitungwiza I meandered through rubble and
                                                                                   the Chogas have occupied this room in a cabin situated in the high density
household goods strewn about chaotically, as if a malevolent god had just
                                                                                   suburbs of Ruwa. Even with no electricity supplies and no indoor plumbing
unleashed his wrath upon these people. People huddled around bonfires
                                                                                   facilities, it has been shelter from the elements of nature: the unbearably hot
and steaming kettles trying to coax some warmth into their bodies, which
                                                                                   October sun, the chilly June nights and the relentless November rain. It is to
had been exposed to the elements since the bulldozers struck. I saw some
                                                                                   this humble room that the young couple brought their new-born baby from
sleeping in the open, miserable spectres ravaged by the Zimbabwean win-
                                                                                   the local clinic. Here they have watched this child, Sibongile, learn to crawl
ter where night-time temperatures plummet to 10°C. Raphael Kaunye, a
                                                                                   and walk. Even without all these sentimental attachments, moving from this
middle-aged man from Chitungwiza, said his life was now worse than that of
                                                                                   place was not an option. The prevailing economic crisis makes it virtually
a street child. I found him lying next to what remained of his home of 21
                                                                                   impossible for people like them to afford accommodation in better environs.
years - a heap of rubble, wooden wardrobes, bedsprings, tin plates and
                                                                                   Their landlord understands that this family is sustained by odd jobs, which
cups under a lemon tree. "My flower stall at Africa Unity [in central Harare]
                                                                                   are difficult to find these days. He has always been patient of the frequent
was destroyed and now my house has been demolished. I have lived here
                                                                                   delays in rent payments. So as far as the Chogas were concerned, this
for 21 years and I don’t know what to do," said Kaunye. Kaunye said he
                                                                                   room – which cost them $125 000 a month - would remain their haven for
now had no income and was thinking of moving his two daughters and wife
                                                                                   many years to come. They are no longer so sure of that now.
to his home village in Mutoko, 200km north of Harare. His eldest daughter,
aged 13, is in her first year at secondary school, while the youngest is only
                                                                                   Like many others renting backyard dwellings in their vicinity, they are now
seven years old.
                                                                                   living in constant fear that the municipal authorities and police will turn up
                                                                                   and raze their homes to the ground. Theirs are what the powers that be
Kaunye said he had taken them out of school because he no longer had an
                                                                                   have deemed illegal and unsafe structures - even though some of them
income. "I will be taking them to my rural home at the end of this month and
                                                                                   have been standing for many years. In a sense the Chogas are lucky; they
I will return to Harare to try to look for a job, but I don’t know what will be-
                                                                                   have been warned. Contrary to official claims, some of the initial victims of
come of my children," Kaunye said. At least Kaunye managed to salvage
                                                                                   the infamous ‘clean-up operation’ deny ever receiving grace periods prior to
his property before his home was demolished. He was at home when the
                                                                                   its implementation. "Every day for the past two weeks rumours have been
council bulldozer levelled his three-room house. "There was nothing I could
                                                                                   circulating- I can’t recall the number of times I’ve been told they’re coming
do but watch because the bulldozer was accompanied by armed policemen.
                                                                                   tomorrow- but they haven’t appeared," Choga says. "It is not that we are
They never said a word but just destroyed my house, just like that. Why did
                                                                                   looking forward to it but they should just get it over and done with - I’m re-
they allow us to build the houses in the first place if they are destroying
                                                                                   luctant to go anywhere for fear that I will return and find my home gone, my
them now?" Others were not even able to salvage their possessions. Ku-
                                                                                   belongings damaged and my family out in the cold." Their torturous wait for
dakwashe Machemera came home from work to find his home of eight
                                                                                   the inevitable continues. The infamous Mbare, known as a criminal hot spot,
has already been ‘cleaned’. As have Tongogara and WhiteCliffe Coopera-            is. "The hunger strikers have told us that they will fast till death until the
tives. Ruwa’s turn will come. Demolitions in neighbouring Tafara/ Mabvuku         government changes its mind."
have brought this harsh reality closer to home. The question on everyone’s
lips is: "What will tomorrow bring?"                                                                  From The Observer (UK), 26 June
Names have been changed to protect identities                                                       Church hits at Zimbabwe deportations

                        From BBC News, 25 June                                    Jamie Doward and Martin Bright
                     AU stand on Zimbabwe criticised
                                                                                  The Church of England demanded last night that the government stop its
European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso has said he is "disap-               forced removal of asylum seekers to troubled Zimbabwe. The call came as
pointed" by the African Union's response to Zimbabwe's demolitions cam-           a cabinet rift over this emotive issue threatened to widen, with ministers
paign. Speaking in South Africa, Mr Barroso said he was "gravely con-             understood to have expressed profound concerns about the government
cerned" about events in Zimbabwe. The AU said on Friday that it had many          returning people to a country whose President, Robert Mugabe, is under
more serious problems to consider. The UN says 275,000 people have                attack for abuses of human rights. One senior government source said the
been made homeless as a result of an operation which Zimbabwe says is             Home Office policy of forced returns was 'outrageous'. The disquiet comes
aimed at removing illegal structures. "I am disappointed with the reaction of     as fears grow over conditions in Zimbabwe, where the homes of opposition
the African Union to the latest crisis," Mr Barroso said after a two-hour         activists have been razed to the ground by Mugabe's soldiers recently. 'The
meeting with South African President Thabo Mbeki, who has also refused to         worsening situation as Mugabe bulldozes people's homes means that we
condemn the evictions. "This is a human rights crisis and human rights are        can't guarantee people's safety. I find it incredible that we are still sending
not an internal matter. They should be the concern of all people, African,        people back,' the government source said. The Church's call for the gov-
Asian and European. I hope that Africans themselves can decide the way to         ernment to act was unusual. 'There is suffering and danger facing those
go in terms of freedom and can see that freedom is not a foreign value," he       asylum seekers deported to Zimbabwe,' said a spokesman. 'The situation
added. Mr Barroso is in South Africa at the start of a three nation tour ahead    there demands a compassionate response from our government and an
of next month's G8 meeting of leading industrial nations, where increasing        urgent reassessment of their policy.'
aid for Africa will figure prominently. The US and the UK have urged African
leaders to speak out against what she described as "tragic" events. But AU        It is understood some Foreign Office officials have privately expressed
spokesman Desmond Orjiako told the BBC that if the Zimbabwe govern-               alarm that the Home Office is continuing with the returns. One official was
ment said it was restoring order, then it would not be "proper for us to go       quoted this week end as saying that the Home Office needed to explain
interfering in their internal legislation". Zimbabwe's President Robert Mu-       'why they think it is a safe place to send anyone who has defied Mugabe'.
gabe said on Friday that the removal of illegal homes and market stalls was       The government ended a two-year ban on these enforced removals last
part of a bid to fight crime and clean up cities. But the opposition says the     November on Foreign Office advice. But it is believed the worsening situa-
demolitions - codenamed Operation Restore Order - are meant to punish             tion in Zimbabwe has prompted calls for a rethink. The Labour MP Kate
urban residents, who rejected him in recent elections. At least three children    Hoey, who paid a visit to Zimbabwe earlier this year, called on the Home
have been crushed to death during the operation.                                  Secretary, Charles Clarke, to act. 'The officials I speak to keep saying that
                                                                                  this is a political decision. In the end Charles Clarke will have to be in-
                  From The Sunday Times (UK), 26 June                             volved,' Hoey said. 'No one is suggesting these people be given the right to
                    Clarke in row over Mugabe exiles                              stay for ever but the situation has deteriorated so much that we can't send
                                                                                  people back. Anyone coming off a plane in Zimbabwe from Britain is seen
Andrew Porter and Abul Taher                                                      as anti-Mugabe,' Hoey added. The continued removal has sparked protests
                                                                                  in asylum centres across the UK. Yesterday scores of Zimbabweans in the
Charles Clarke is coming under mounting pressure from MPs of all parties          centres completed the third day of a hunger strike. They were angry at the
to halt the return of Zimbabwean nationals to the crisis-torn African country.    decision to remove a well-known opponent of Mugabe, Crispen Kulinji, who
More than 100 failed asylum seekers are due to be returned and many are           is being held at Campsfield detention centre in Oxfordshire. Following a
now on hunger strike. Last night one leading Labour MEP said that the             parliamentary question tabled by Hoey, Kulinji's removal, scheduled for
government needed to take "urgent action". Officially the home secretary          10.30 last night, was deferred. Campaigners have also raised concerns
insists that it is safe to return failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe. However,     about conditions in the centres.
the authorities in Zimbabwe have been repeatedly condemned for arbitrary
arrests and their torture of political opponents. Richard Howitt, a Labour                              From News24 (SA), 25 June
MEP who is vice-chairman of the European parliament’s human rights                                     Massive hike in Zim school fees
committee, said: "I don’t think we can have any real confidence that those
returned will be safe." Zimbabwe had one of the highest torture rates in          Harare - The Zimbabwe government has massively hiked fees for state
Africa and state violence was endemic, he said: "This is a crisis and I am        primary and secondary schools, the official Herald newspaper reported on
looking for urgent action from the government." Howitt’s comments came            Saturday. Fees per term for primary schools in low-income town and city
after Crespen Kulingi, a Zimbabwean opposition leader facing deportation,         suburbs have gone up 1 000 times to Z$100 000, the paper said. Foreign
won a last-minute reprieve from the Home Office. Kate Hoey, the Labour            pupils attending those schools must pay US$300, it added. Fees for sec-
MP who has been fighting for Kulingi to stay in Britain, said: "The political     ondary schools have also gone up 1 000 times. The hikes also apply to
situation has to change and deportations have to stop."                           schools in more affluent areas, but pupils attending primary schools in rural
                                                                                  areas will not have to pay. News of the hikes comes at a bad time for Zim-
There are about 116 Zimbabweans awaiting deportation to their homeland,           babwe's city- dwellers, some of whom have lost their homes under a con-
all of them being held in detention centres across Britain. About 104 of the      troversial campaign of shack demolitions. School attendance in Harare's
detainees have been on hunger strike since Thursday. Kulingi, weakened            oldest suburb of Mbare is already reported to be down by 50%. President
and exhausted from being on hunger strike since Wednesday, has de-                Robert Mugabe's government has clashed several times with private
manded that the government free him. He said in a statement: "The British         schools on the issue of school fee hikes. The government accused the
government must realise the danger of sending people back to Zimbabwe,            schools of being racist and trying to exclude pupils.
especially from the UK, with its hostile relationship to Mugabe. "Mugabe has
ruled that seeking asylum is illegal, since according to him there is no war in
the country - so anyone returning from seeking political asylum will be pu-
nished." Liam Fox, the shadow foreign secretary, believes that the prime
minister should push African leaders to condemn the rule of Mugabe. "We
now have Tony Blair as the leader of the G8, but he needs to impress on
Africa that there is a real problem in Zimbabwe," he said. "He needs to say,
‘We are giving you aid and writing off debt, but you have got to stop viewing
Mugabe as some sort of colonial liberator’."

Among the detainees facing deportation is a 28-year-old woman who is a
member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. She was
raped by Mugabe supporters because her father had distributed political
leaflets and put up posters. The women, who asked not to be identified,
said: "If they send me back home, I’ll be killed. I don’t know why the gov-
ernment is doing this." A spokesman for the Zimbabwean Community Asso-
ciation said: "We are really angry about the way the government is behav-
ing. On the one hand they are forcing people to go home and face danger,
and on the other hand they are saying what a dangerous place Zimbabwe

				
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