Thursday, February 09, 2006

Corruption Blemishes the Cleanless Cleanup

More than half a year later, the dust raised by Mugabe's "cleanup operation" Murambatsvina still has not yet settled. Large portions of Zimbabwe's urban dwellers continue to live undocumented lives outside of the meagre infrustructural support offered by the failing government.

SW Radio has a sad story of 150 Murambatsvina victims living under the open sky with no amenities and without ablution facilities in this age of cholera outbreaks.
About 150 people displaced by Operation Murambatsvina are living as destititutes along the Mukuvisi river in Glen Norah C where they drink contaminated water and use the bush as a toilet.

Combined Harare Residents Association information officer Precious Shumba said the victims have built shacks using plastic and broken pieces of furniture which they use as their houses.

‘This lifestyle goes unabated yet the government has told the whole world that Operation Murambatsvina victims have been assisted with shelter and food,’ said Shumba.

Shumba also cited cases where the victims sleep together, irrespective of gender. Children sleep together with their parents on the open ground covered with either cardboard boxes or plastic.
The explanation for how this is happening can be found in this telling article from the Standard,
In Gwanda, two children of the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Abednigo Ncube - Leslie and Colleta Thabiso Ncube - whose addresses are listed as 82 Senondo were allocated houses last Thursday.

Ncube, who is also the Member of Parliament for Gwanda, used to stay at number 82 Senondo suburb before he moved to Jacaranda low-density suburb following his appointment as deputy minister.

Leslie, an employee of the Gwanda Rural District Council and currently staying at his father's former residence, is listed as number 9323 on the town's housing waiting list which currently stands at more than 27 000, while his sister, Colleta, does not appear on the list at all.

Other luminaries appearing on the housing list include Acting Officer Commanding Matabeleland South Assistant Commissioner Munorwei Shava Matutu; Etoile Silayigwana; provincial executive members of the ruling party Esau Moyo and Rabson Mpofu Mafu; and senior civil servants Calvin Nzima and Joseph Kamuzhanje.

Several prison officers and their juniors also appear to have been allocated houses in Gwanda in what seems to have been a free-for-all for government workers.

Nzima and Kamuzhanje are the provincial heads of the Central Mechanical and Equipment Department (CMED) and Physical Planning Department respectively.
This whole operation thing was never a good idea from the start. Months ago, I wrote about its preliminary failings here. In that piece I concluded thus: it is clear the clean up was never about improving people's lives.

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