Perhaps 20 Chinese-made armored troop carriers were heading for the center of Bulawayo, with the aim of quelling unrest and destroying the homes and businesses of those who voted against the ruling regime of President Robert Mugabe back in March.Read the entire thing (found via Southern Appeal.)
Mugabe's thugs have become more visible in recent weeks, but they shy away from any naked show of force, especially in daylight. This convoy was traveling under a pathetically transparent disguise. According to independent reports confirmed by Martin, the troop carriers were masquerading as U.N. peacekeepers, with 'UN' letters on the doors of their trucks. But the soldiers carrying heavy weapons in the back were wearing Zimbabwean army uniforms, and they were dispatched to enforce Mugabe's new policy of pushing urban slum-dwellers back to the rural parts from which they come.
But controlling this population becomes easier all the time, as millions have fled over the past few years, over 3,000 people die every week of AIDS, and most college graduates, many of whom are activists, leave the country. The result has been an astonishing decline in the population, which is down to around 10 million from over 13 million a few years back. Not that the government minds. In August 2002, Didymus Mutasa, today the head of the secret police, said: "We would be better off with only six million people, with our own people who support the liberation struggle."
Friday, June 24, 2005
K.M. | Friday, June 24, 2005 |