Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mugabe wins again

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan "stingy" Egeland has met Mugabe to discuss Zimbabwe's humanitarian crisis:

Egeland told a press conference in the capital, Harare, that there was still "disagreement" around government's controversial clean-up campaign, Operation Murambatsvina, which has left 700,000 people homeless or without a livelihood after kicking off in mid-May.

But do not despair, it was nice too:

He described his meeting with Mugabe as a "long, good and frank exchange", but noted, "There is disagreement on how to help those who were evicted; there has been some concern on how to reach food security," adding, "this is not the time to list all the points of disagreement".

Egeland also obtained some important and sincere concessions from Mugabe:

The UN envoy, who is also the UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, remarked, "We're here to help - I explained to the president that we can be more effective if we get even better procedures for how to help. He says that he will certainly work on having these improved procedures, so that we can help Zimbabwe to get out of the situation where there have been declining standards of living of late, and into a better future."

Gee, thanks Bob! Do look at the procedures, please!

Mugabe also humbly expressed his real concern for the homeless:

President Robert Mugabe told top UN humanitarian envoy Jan Egeland that Zimbabweans are not "tents people", after the world body offered temporary shelters to thousands displaced by a wave of shack demolitions, the state-run Herald reported Wednesday.

"We are not a tents people. We believe in houses," presidential spokesman George Charamba quoted Mugabe as saying.

...excuse me while I try to stop laughing...ok, better now. As I was saying, of course they believe in houses; so much so that just before starting "Operation Murambatsvina [Drive out rubbish]", Vice President Joice Mujuru (probably on behalf of Mugabe and his accomplices) bought all the shares she could find of Willdale, the biggest brick factory in Harare and main government supplier for Operation Garikai, the housing programme that now the UN will fund.

Good planning, Bob! My apologies for having often called you stupid. Stupid are those who believe you.

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