HARARE – Armoured troop carriers yesterday patrolled several Harare suburbs as the army was summoned to help suppress swelling public anger against an ongoing government onslaught against informal traders and homeless people.
As soldiers descended on suburbs such as Glen Norah, Glen View and Mbare, where police fought running battles with informal traders in the last week, sources told ZimOnline that the police - who have led the evictions - were under orders to use live ammunition against civilians attempting to resist.
It could not be established whether the army was also under instruction to shoot at civilians with live ammunition.
According to the sources, Harare police commander Edmore Veterai, on Thursday told about 2 000 police officers at Morris police depot in the city that they should not fear shooting with live ammunition at people resisting eviction because the campaign against informal traders had the blessings of President Robert Mugabe.
There are reports of running street battles as residents of the targeted neighborhoods resist the destruction of their homes.
Read about it here.
Resistance is growing, and residents are attempting to arm themselves against police depredations.
MUTARE - Residents in Zimbabwe’s eastern Mutare city - driven to desperation after their informal businesses were destroyed by the government – pleaded for weapons at the weekend to wage war against the government because they were just “fed up.”
Several hundreds of residents, who attended a meeting held at Sakubva Beit Hall in the working class suburb of Sakubva in the city, told local Member of Parliament, Innocent Gonese, to source guns for them to fight the government.
Even the presence of the police at the meeting did not deter the irate residents with several standing up to openly declare they would rather die trying to “remove President Robert Mugabe from power” because they had nothing to live for after their only source of livelihood was destroyed in the ongoing controversial campaign by the government to clean up cities.
“We want you to provide us with guns because we are fed up,” a middle aged man rose from the crowd to declare boldly.
With the angry crowd urging him on, the man continued: “This government has no respect for the people. Our houses have been destroyed, our businesses have also gone. We have nothing to live for. We are prepared to die removing Mugabe. We don’t want to hear all this talk of going to court (to sue for compensation from the state).”
Read about it here.
As the situation worsens, the BBC describes "Desperation On the Streets"
Read it here.
and church leaders denounced Mugabe's "War against the poor." [here]
Finally: The BBC reports that,
Zimbabwe is to proceed with plans to nationalise all farmland, a ruling party official has said. Zanu-PF spokesman Nathan Shamuvarira said the party would amend the constitution so as to abolish rights to private ownership of land.
He said the move would end "ceaseless litigation" by white farmers whose property has been expropriated by decree over the past five years.
Under the proposed new system, land would be leased for 99-year terms.
This, of course, is pure Marxist/Maoist madness. It will inflict further damage on an already devastated economy. And of course, most of the real suffering will be done by the poor.
Read it here.
Also, check The Zimbabwean Pundit [here] for updates on the situation. He offers some hope. It appears that Mugabe is ill, and might die. This sounds to me like wishful thinking, but it's about all the opposition can hope for.
For my previous posts on the post-election situation see here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here. That's enough for now. For earlier posts scroll through my archives.