Friday, June 10, 2005

Hatcliffe update Part Three

Harare North Member of Parliament, Trudy Stevenson had yet another update from Hatcliffe extension. Background here and here

"This afternoon police set fire to furniture and other belongings of those Hatcliffe Extension residents who had not yet managed to leave - despite the fact that there were not enough police lorries to ferry all the people away to Caledonia Farm by the time they started burning!

My suspicion is that they simply got tired, and decided to finish quickly by burning out everyone remaining - babies, sick, elderly, crippled, etc. included. As I write, I have no idea how many people have lost everything they possessed, nor do I know what has happened to those people. It was reported that they were told by the police that they had taken too long to leave, and now they would have to go in the lorries simply in the clothes they were wearing, nothing else - no food, no clothes, no furniture.It was not possible to get into New Stands this afternoon, because the fires were already out of control when I arrived around 4.00 pm.

At this time of year the fields are full of dry long grass and mealie stalks, so fires spread extremely rapidly. I went into the old Holding Camp to ascertain reports that Nyasha Chikwinya (ZanuPF MP '95-2000) had visited and that ZanuPF were registering their members to be allocated stands at the new stands, but the atmosphere there was too tense. I was told to leave quickly because ZanuPF were writing lists and making threats, but before I could leave their delegation marched up and threatened me. We decided to leave before the vehicle was stoned.I fear that we will lose track of many constituents, and have no means of finding out what happens to them.

Concerning your generous donations to all those unfortunate people, please hold on to all donations of blankets, food, etc, for the time being, until we find a way forward. Meanwhile cash donations can still be used to transport some of the residents to their preferred destination, provided we can trace them - or they contact us! Thank you all for your concern and your generosity. The victims have really appreciated knowing that "people out there" know about their situation and have been supporting them thus far."

Trudy Stevenson, MP Harare North Constituency

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