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Monday, June 13, 2005

what you gonna do zimbabwae?

Maybe the lefties could explain to me what kind of government you get when it decides it should run all businesses? Communism isn't it? And if people should avoid paying taxes and running a business not state sanctioned? Well, those free market right wingers should be crushed.

That probably explains Mugabe's logic (a committed Marxist) as he demolishes shanties, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless (estimates over 1 million actually). The government declares the homes illegal, and therefore can now demolish them. People are going to die.
Mr. Mugabe says the campaign is a long-overdue step to rid Zimbabwe of what he told Parliament on Thursday was "a chaotic state of affairs" in the nation's cities and towns. The street vendors being uprooted work in the black market and pay no taxes, he has said, and the shacks being demolished were built illegally on plots already occupied by registered homes that have been spared destruction.

"Our cities and towns had deteriorated to levels that were a real cause for concern," Mr. Mugabe said in a speech on May 27. Beyond their crumbling roads and overtaxed utilities, he said, urban areas "had become havens for illicit and criminal practices and activities which just could not be allowed to go on."
Countless people have had homes destroyed, their meagre possessions buried or burnt, and they are left to sleep out in the open, in Zimbabwe's near-freezing winter nights.
The police ransacked and burned whole blocks of vendors' stalls this week and last in Bulawayo, and razed squatter camps, slums and roadside stands last week in Victoria Falls. The campaign has spread to rural areas like Rimuka, a township 85 miles southwest of Harare, where policemen equipped with riot gear destroyed homes and stands on Tuesday.

But by attacking the shanty dwellers and so-called informal traders, whose black-market businesses have supplanted much of the official state-dominated economy, the government also hopes to reclaim control of the foreign currency that the official economy desperately needs.

That would solidify Mr. Mugabe's authority at a time when Zimbabwe's economic and human crises seem to have eroded it. One Harare political analyst who refused to be identified for fear of retribution said: "I think they know what the country is going to look like in a few months, and they want to clear out the towns, to clear these people way out of here. It's a governing strategy, no doubt about it."

Good call. It's not the only strategy.
Mugabe and Annan.jpg
The US has instigated economic sanctions against Mugabe, just like they tried with Iraq. France has tried to get the EU visit restrictions lifted, so they can do deals with Mugabe, just like Iraq. The U.N. will no doubt issue a few reports, and for a mere 600 million a year, offer to send some troops in to stand around and reminisce about Rwanda.

I expect the same groups who were screaming at the US for supporting dictators all over the world, and screaming all the louder when the US actually toppled one of the nastier ones, will be back to full pitch.

If Amnesty happened to have finished their report on the 520 prisoners at Gitmo, then perhaps they can weigh in on this one too. Given the criticism and blame the republicans under Bush will somehow get for this, I think it only fair to remind punters that shortly after the Rwanda genocide started, Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive 25 (PDD 25). PDD 25 aims to limit U.S. military involvement in international peacekeeping operations. Bush seems to have ignored it. Let's hope he is more effective than Clinton and the UN. I can't think of any other country at the moment, except possibly the UK, that would be prepared to do anything.

This time around I don't think whipping a stern email off to Robert is going to change anything.

what you gonna do zimbabwae?
what you gonna do zimbabwae?

zimbabwae is a man who tried
to teach his children what was right
but then there came a time when war
split the family from inside
he said no fighting no more
Toni Childs

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Posted by ZenTiger | 6/13/2005 12:04:00 am


Blogger Berend de Boer said...

It's just Green politics. With the help of the government people are now free to return to a simpler way of life.

6/13/2005 09:07:00 am  
Blogger Paul said...

"a long-overdue step to rid Zimbabwe of what he told Parliament on Thursday was "a chaotic state of affairs"

Oh, so making people homeless somehow resolves a chaotic state of affairs.

Mugabe was best described by Muldoon as a "murderer not long out of the bush".

6/13/2005 09:39:00 am  
Blogger Roger said...

What do economic sanctions really achieve? Do they ever help to get a corrupt or murderous leader out of office or just hurt the very people that would be assisted by removing that leader?
Sanctions don't seem to have effected Catro much but they have hurt the Cuban people, and they don't seem to have effected the Kim family much but have they hurt the Korean people?

6/13/2005 06:36:00 pm  
Blogger Lucia Maria said...

That's a good question, Roger. I wonder if there's an analysis out there going through this is great detail?

6/13/2005 06:56:00 pm  
Blogger Roger said...

Obviously that should have been "Castro". Sorry.

6/13/2005 09:28:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/13/2005 09:58:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

"It began as a U.N. humanitarian aid program called "Oil-for-Food," but it ended up with Saddam Hussein pocketing billions to become the biggest graft-generating machine ever and enriching some of America's most forceful opponents at the United Nations"

"Saddam Hussein and his regime chose hundreds of foreign companies to do business with under the United Nation's oil-for-food program. Investigators believe the companies were selected because they or their governments were willing to back Saddam against international isolation and sanctions."

Most of those companies were traceable back to Saudi or Russian based companies.

The sanctions do not work if other countries/organisations are prepared to work around them. However, I believe they would work if the sanctions were properly maintained. It puts some degree of pressure on the country, and its leaders, creating more strain for a un-democratic leader to maintain control.

And what's the alternative - to do massive trade with them and look the other way on hundreds of thousands of human rights violations (say China), whilst putting 500+ Gitmo captives on the front page, trying to decide if the Koran was flushed down the toilet is the worst thing ever, whilst the American Flag is burnt in New York by a Muslim protest group and not even mentioned in main media?

Incredible. If Helen Clark manages to get free trade agreement with China, I'd be the first to recommend her for a job with the UN. She'd fit right in there.

(This is same as first post, with minor correction to text)

6/13/2005 10:01:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

BTW: A couple of basic links about the Oil For Food scandal. Google for more if you don't like Fox News.

Oil for food scandal

Foreign Companies involved in Scandal

6/13/2005 10:05:00 pm  
Blogger Philu said...

so you'll all be supporting the green call for the cricketers not to go, eh?


6/14/2005 07:54:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Interesting question Philu.

I personally think the cricketers should decide for themselves if they should go or not. They might want to take into account the mood of the nation, their feelings about this and at the least research the issue.

I think the government needs to consider its position, as best it can as representatives of NZ, and declare it rather than be wishy washy or cagey. Then people can protest in the streets, write letters etc as is their right.

I would personally hope they issue the strongest condemnation of Mugabe's regime, call for the cricketers not to go and consider what further action they could take that keeps in mind our humantarian obligations.

6/14/2005 10:51:00 pm  

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