Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Live aid for Africa?

By Aussiegirl

Here's why simply throwing money at the deep-seated problems of Africa is not the answer, no matter how well-meaning and sincere the motives are of people such as Bono, who at least see a need and attempt to address it in ways that are accessible to them.

However, at the root of the misery in that benighted country is the bottomless well of corruption and evil in most of its rulers. Zimbabwe, and the insane rule of Mugabe is no exception. Unfortunately, any monies that are sent there will only line the pockets of these corrupt despots, and will not reach the people who desperately need it. And the UN will send another "special envoy", hold another summit and yammer, while millions die at the hands of these same leaders.

Political reform is the only thing that will save Africa, and the UN is unwilling and unable to effectuate this change, mired as it is itself, in corruption and insider-dealing and trading with these scoundrels. We need look no further than the Oil for Food Scandal which is now reaching to Kofi Annan himself, along with his son, Kofi-Break. These incompetents, knaves and fools prevent even the Catholic Relief Charities and other similar organizations from helping the people.

Here's Reuters report on Mugabe's strange solution to poverty -- further dispossession of the poorest of the poor by the demolition of their shanty towns where they sheltered and eked out a subsistence living with small shops and markets.

HARARE (Reuters) - Two Zimbabwean children were crushed to death by rubble during the demolition of illegal houses this month in a government crackdown that has made tens of thousands homeless, state media reported on Thursday.

The deaths were the first reported in Zimbabwe's "Operation Restore Order," which has sparked an international outcry and prompted the United Nations to dispatch a special envoy to assess the humanitarian situation.

Rights groups Amnesty International and the Geneva-based Center on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) said on Thursday that more than 200 African and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) had called on the United Nations and African Union to intervene over the clean-up operation.

The groups told a news conference in Harare
that NGOs had been barred from independently giving aid to affected people and instead directed to work with the government.

"The coalition of organizations urged Nigerian President (Olusegun) Obasanjo, as Chair of the Africa Union, to put the crisis in Zimbabwe on the agenda of the upcoming AU Assembly," Amnesty and the COHRE said in a statement.
The African Union holds its annual summit in Sirte, Libya on July 4-5.

Zimbabwe's official Herald newspaper said a one-and-a-half year-old child was crushed to death by rubble in Harare's Chitungwiza township on Sunday while a one-year-old similarly died earlier this month in another neighborhood.

Police were not immediately available for comment.


Thousands of self-employed people have seen their informal shops demolished and goods confiscated in the six-week campaign dubbed "Operation Restore Order" which officials say has also made 120,000 people homeless.
Human rights groups said as many as 300,000 people have been evicted countrywide, and officials from local rights groups said the government was frustrating NGOs' efforts to access information on the numbers of people in need of aid.

"The government has stopped us from directly assisting the people. We have to work with government committees which is a drawback on our progress," Alouis Chaumba, director of Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice said.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights member Mordecai Mahlangu added that "the seriousness of these events is demonstrated by the fact that they occur in peace time and there is so much destruction and dislocation without a natural disaster."

President Robert Mugabe's government argues that illegal structures in cities had become a haven for illegal trade in foreign currency and scarce food items. Police say the operation has reduced crime by a fifth in Harare.

The campaign has also sparked angry criticism from Zimbabwe's main opposition party and religious groups, who say it is unfairly targeting the urban poor and making many homeless as temperatures drop in the southern hemisphere winter.

Rights groups said they were engaging U.N. agencies on how to help people already sleeping on the streets, beside the rubble of their homes and to halt the evictions demolitions.

Critics say the crackdown has worsened Zimbabwe's economic crisis, shown in chronic shortages of foreign currency, high inflation and unemployment of over 70 percent.


At 12:29 PM, Blogger Billy D said...

How is it that so many cannot see just how damned evil this orginization really is? I just don't understand. I mean, I know there are those who are willfully ignorant, but there are so many more that just can't wrap their brains around it.
*Kofi-break. That was great ;)

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Billy D. -- your comments are a great asset to the blog -- thanks so much for dropping by and leaving your thoughts.

Nice to know someone's reading :)


Post a Comment

<< Home