Another F***ing love letter from Zimbabwe - GENOCIDE

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Journey Man
MB, this one is from a family friend that I can vouch for. He has also put his name to it (though I've not included it for obvious reasons). I think that establishes credentials?

Just a Little Discomfort.

After talking to the UN special representative about his "urban renewal" project at State House, Mugabe was caught on camera saying “people have to expect a little discomfort in an exercise like this."

That remark ranks with the one "if there is no bread, let them eat cake!" The person who said that soon lost her head in the French revolution. Perhaps that will happen this time as well!

What Mugabe has done in a well planned and ruthless exercise is to deny millions of their sole means of making a living, I estimate a conservative 3 million people are destitute and that this single act will further constrict national economic output this year. In his so-called "urban renewal" exercise, he has destroyed an estimated 300 000 homes. In his eyes they might have been unsightly shacks, but to the people who lived in them they were home. At least 1.5 million people are homeless as a result of this exercise. Often carried out at night, frequently without warning, these representatives of the absolute poor are now hungry, cold and homeless today because their government says they are "rubbish" to be swept away.

Last night it was very cold here in Bulawayo - well below freezing in low-lying areas. Even now at midday it is cold and we have a fire in the house to try and warm things up a bit. I feel absolutely devastated for those who have been affected by this “Murambatsvina�. Many of those affected are HIV positive or even sick with Aids. They are short of food and especially protein, their children are out of school and they have no means of making a living except through prostitution or crime.

Half a million children under 16 are affected, three quarters of a million women, hundreds of thousands of the elderly. Just a little discomfort! Sitting in his State House with air conditioning and luxury. With no shortages of any kind. A helicopter to take him
wherever he wants to go - day or night, a luxury car with outriders - his new home at a cost of at least US$20 million. His homes in Harare, Zwimba and farms in many parts of the country. Several homes outside the country - just in case. Mugabe does not know the meaning of the word discomfort! Others call it genocide.

The urban renewal bit comes from a government task force hurriedly put together to try and put a brave face on what they have done. This collection of sycophants has stated that they are allocating 250 000 stands for new houses, spending Z$3 trillion on housing and will get the whole thing done in a few months. This from a regime that promised housing and health for all by 2000. In the past decade they have built less than 1000 new homes per annum. Now suddenly, with a collapsed economy and no foreign exchange they are able to build 50 000 houses a month! It's a joke.

These guys could not organise a party in a beer hall, they cannot organize fuel for the country, food supplies, even a supply of matches, how on earth are they going to replace the 300 000 homes they have just knocked down? Even if they do - who can afford the price tag of Z$100 million for a four-roomed house on 600 square feet of land? The answer is very few - especially now that the State has stolen their assets and closed down their businesses.

This exercise in ruthless futility has at least done one positive thing � it has given the huge G8 campaign, led by Blair and others, a real focus.

You want to know what is wrong in Africa - look at Mugabe. You want to know why we are poorer than we were in 1960. Look at Mugabe. You want to know why aid, debt relief and trade opportunities are not going to be the panacea they hope for - look no further than Mugabe. The other thing that it has achieved though is that it has rattled Pretoria.

In a few days Thabo Mbeki is off to Scotland to meet the great and powerful and to plead the case of Africa for a new start. He is going to have to begin with a recount of what he has done since he stood on the lawns in Pretoria with G W Bush and accepted that as far as Zimbabwe was concerned - he was the point man. He was the man with the responsibility of bringing to an end the crisis here that has caused so much damage to the region and to Africa in the past 5 years.

As he goes, there is a guided missile waiting for his aircraft and it will come from an unexpected quarter. It will be fired by diminutive Tanzanian woman who is the head of the UN agency Habitat from the roof of the UN Headquarters in New York. This missile will confirm the situation here as I have set out in this letter. It will confirm the human suffering and the crisis that it has created. It will follow hard on the heels of another heat seeking missile fired by James Morris last week in which he said the situation in Zimbabwe is evolving rapidly into the gravest humanitarian crisis in the world today. Furthermore, both missiles will target Mugabe and his cohorts as being at the core of the problem.

As if this was not enough, the Mugabe regime this week mounted yet another attack on what remains of the economy. They slated the Impala Platinum Mines and Smelter at Chegutu for a forced transfer of assets to the Chinese.

Not only is this the largest single investment in the country since 1980, it forms the foundation of a new industry for the country that could transform the economy. It also constitutes a strategic outreach for the massive South African mining houses in their efforts to retain control of the global market for platinum, the metal of the future in an oil dependent world.

No other threat could have been more designed to concentrate the minds in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

And so the MDC gets a call - please come and see us urgently, we have a few things we would like to talk about with you. Perhaps this time they will take the interests of the region and the people of Zimbabwe seriously and embark on a long awaited exercise to bring sanity back to this small patch of planet earth. Certainly living here is a bit like being confined to a psychiatric facility where the inmates are actually in charge and the sane and the saints, the inmates. Maybe, just maybe, that is about to change and in the meanwhile we go back to doing the hardest part - offering these unspeakable people, the other cheek.

Bulawayo, 4th July 2005


Journey Man
I'm trying to put that into circulation as much as possible.

If anyone has any friends in the media .................

(I think I've proved I'm good for a vicious quote or three)

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