Bennett predicts another Niger

roy_bennetFamine and drought are just the tip of the iceberg, said Roy Bennett. I would go as far as to predict another Niger situation here in Zimbabwe. In Epworth, people are still sitting at the wrecked sites of their former homesteads. Parents no longer have any income, and the children cannot go to school.

At Hopley Farms, desperate victims of Murambatsvina are without adequate food or water. But It’s not just Harare, Bennett added. It’s happening in Headlands. Didymus Mutusa, the man who is filled with hatred against the people of Zimbabwe, recently moved against a refugee settlement. The people were camped out in United Nations tents and were being supplied food through the International Organization of Migration. They were all translocated, moved much further away where theyve got no access to food and no way of getting back into town because they were deemed to be opposition supporters. UN special envoy, Jan Egeland, an Under-secretary General in charge of the World Food Program, will scrutinize the desperate food and housing situation on a visit scheduled for early December. If he could speak to the UN Envoy, what would Bennett tell him about the crisis? There are three points that we must understand that are involved in the situation involved in the disaster in Zimbabwe here, Bennett said. One: this is a manmade disaster. The government has created it. It has nothing to do with drought. It has nothing to do with anything other than bad governance and the total destruction of a viable farming sector here in Zimbabwe. While there is drought at the moment, you have dams full of water. Eighty percent of the food produced here in Zimbabwe was produced from commercial farms through irrigation. That irrigation is lying idle. Those dams are full. So the fact that at the moment there is no food available is not a result of the drought. These are the issues that are the problem and must be addressed. So the Envoy who is coming in must understand these three factors: that the crisis is manmade; that Mugabe will never ever permit him to see anything; and the fact that any independent media has been done away with – so that there is no reporting out of Zimbabwe especially in the rural areas, which is at the heart of the situation – so the whole lot goes unnoticed and the Mugabe government puts on this front to say the crisis is due to sanctions, is due to a drought, and hides the issues of the true situation under the carpet. Why not admit that the famine is a man-made disaster? According to Bennett, Mugabe cannot allow the western nations or the world or the region to see that he has totally failed with his so-called land redistribution programme. So he will never show anybody what is happening on those farms or allow anybody to speak to those people who are starving out there. Lack of any meaningful action by the African Union and ongoing support by Thabo Mbekis regime in South Africa have covered up Mugabes policy failures. That continues to be the case and worse. There is interference by external governments in the internal situation in Zimbabwe, Bennett accused. You have Mbeki and South Africa involved with Zanu (PF). They have believed, and supported by Britain, I must add, in a government of National Unity here in Zimbabwe and a reformed Zanu (PF). Whenever those ideas are put to the test or put the feelers out to the people, they have been rejected hugely. Nobody is interested in a government of National Unity and nobody will believe in a reformed Zanu (PF). So they have now infiltrated the opposition. They have caused massive in-fighting within the opposition with one goal: that is, splitting the opposition, dividing the opposition, so that whichever faction of the opposition is left behind will then work with the reformed Zanu (PF) to form a government of National Unity. And all the issues that Mugabe is accountable for for  the Matabeleland massacres, the theft and murders and beatings – will then be swept under the table. You wont have a Truth and Reconciliation Commission or a Truth and Justice Commission. You basically move on, in this wonderful government of National Unity and this reformed ruling party. It takes the embarrassment away from the western world; it takes all the headaches away from Mbeki of how hes going to deal with a situation whereby theres complete change and now there has to be accountability for that misrule and misgovernance and all the human rights abuses that have taken place over the last twenty years. According to Bennett, the purpose of the senate elections is to prepare the way for this government of National Unity, and to allow the governments of South Africa and the UK to wipe the egg off their faces. I honestly believe that is the purpose. Britain and South Africa are the two key players in the Zimbabwe issue. You must understand that Britain as the previous colonial power and South Africa as Zimbabwes largest trading partner and neighbour to Zimbabwe who both have had huge ties with Zimbabwe from the colonial days have been involved right at the outset and have had an influence on the issues that have taken place in Zimbabwe.

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