Zimbabwe: 10,000 Blacks starved to death after White Farmers were chased out


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Date & Time Posted: 1/12/2004 7:54:35 AM
Bishop says 10,000 died of hunger in Zimbabwe

Amid claims that up to 10,000 Zimbabweans have died from malnutrition in the past year, President Robert Mugabe has been accused of raiding his country’s dwindling coffers to fund an extended holiday in Asia. The charges against Mugabe came as police yesterday arrested three senior journalists from the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper for reporting his winter break. Editor Iden Wetherell, news editor Vincent Kahiya and senior reporter Dumisani Muleya are being held on charges that the newspaper criminally defamed Mugabe by reporting that he commandeered an Air Zimbabwe jet for his three-week trip. ‘I told police that we stand by our story,’ Wetherell said when reached by mobile phone while in police custody. ‘The police say the plane was chartered by Mugabe.’

The news comes amid warnings that famine has contributed to the deaths of 10,000 Zimbabweans last year. The claim is made by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of the southern Matabeleland area, Pius Ncube. ‘There are people who sit four or five days without any food,’ Ncube said, adding that malnutrition was exacerbating Aids-related diseases, which accounted for a third of the deaths. The seizure of thousands of white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks, coupled with erratic rains, have crippled the agriculture of a nation that was once a regional bread basket. The World Food Programme (WFP) cut its maize meal rations for 2.6 million Zimbabweans by half at the end of last year because of insufficient donations. Oil and pulses have been cut out altogether. As many as six million people could need food aid in the first three months of this year, according to the independent Famine Early Warning Systems. The WFP has also warned that the food situation in urban areas is getting critical. It is facing a $111 million shortfall from a $197m international appeal it sent out in June.

The arrest of the three journalists has come amid evidence of mounting human rights abuses against opposition party members and a resurgence of violence. In the latest reported incidents, Mugabe’s youth militia beat to death a member of the opposition MDC and seriously injured two others, one of whom suffered fractured fingers and toes. MDC supporter Alexander Chigiga, a farmer, was beaten to death at his home in Shamva, north of Harare. He had returned to Shamva during the Christmas holiday, after spending nearly two years in hiding. A gang of 40 youths attacked Chigiga at his home after midnight on 5 January, according to the reports. Several MDC supporters’ homes were raided that night and a number of people sustained serious injuries. Assistant Police Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said police were investigating.

In another incident, a village headman has been abducted in the Lower Gweru area. Shadreck Sikombingo was still missing yesterday after being kidnapped by a group of 27 ‘war veterans’ and Zanu PF youths on Monday. According to the headman’s family, Sikombingo had been warned by Zanu PF officials the previous week that he would be ‘dealt with’. Zanu PF supporters have resumed illegal roadblocks, along with patrols, in Gweru with a view to identifying opposition supporters, who are then taken away and tortured, according to local reports. MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi deplored the re-emergence of state violence. ‘Despite claims by Zanu PF and the Mugabe regime that there is peace in Zimbabwe, these incidents demonstrate beyond doubt that lawlessness prevails. The law-enforcing agents have become part of the instruments for lawlessness and violence.’ Nyathi added: ‘Suppressing opposition political parties has no place in a democratic Africa.’

Source:Observer (UK)
By: Andrew Meldrum in Pretoria
URL: http://www.zwnews.com/issuefull.cfm?ArticleID

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2002: 60 of Blacks said life under Apartheid was better
This is a story from Britain on my African Crisis Archive. Of course life was better under Apartheid, but nobody wants to admit that White rule was better. In 2023, Blacks are still realising this truth, but few dare say it.

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