UN mission to Zimbabwe
Anna Tibaijuka, executive director of housing agency UN-HABITAT, has been in Zimbabwe since Sunday on a mission to assess the crackdown and has visited Harare's oldest township of Mbare, one of the worst hit by the crackdown. "We had very good discussions, constructive discussions," she told journalists after talks with the veteran Zimbabwe leader. She declined to take further questions.
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for her report. Mrs. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka will be under a lot of pressure from many sides to water it down.
First, she is a Tanzanian national; predictably, President Mkapa of
Second, in a week the G8 Summit will be held in Edinburgh and Africans will want to play down the Zimbabwe issue as much as possible in fear that it might reduce their chances of aid and debt relief.
Third, she is a UN employee and must have learned early on that it doesn't pay to search for truth; taking dictators' declarations and promises at face value is the way to go.
In this depressing scenario, some sanity surprisingly pops up now and then:
REUEL Khoza, chairman of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) Business Foundation, has accused the African Union (AU) of "shirking its responsibility" by not intervening in Zimbabwe's crackdown on poor urban settlements.
A drop in the ocean.