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Monday 1 December 2008

Soldiers vs. cops in Zim

Phando Skeleman

I had the pleasure of hearing an interview with Botswana's Foreign Minister, Phando Skelemani, recently. He is one a very few fellow Southern Africans (alongside his President) who have called spades spades regarding Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
The rest of us should own up and say 'Yes, we have failed'. Call upon the international community and tell Mugabe to his face, 'Look, now you are on your own, we are switching off, we are closing your borders', and I don't think he would last.
There are, finally, some positive signs coming out of SADC. They just condemned the 'land reform' progam (of seizing farms and giving them to Mugabe's cronies) as "racist".

Meanwhile, darkness continues to descend.

From Sokwanele
At approx 3pm this afternoon an eye-witness spotted a soldier changing money with a vendor between Eastgate shopping center (next to Meikles) and Dulys in Harare.

A fight broke out between the two, so the police intervened. They apparently tried to beat up the soldier (note the ‘rule of law’ in Zimbabwe!).

With that, soldiers appeared from all over, and they apparently turned on the cop and started to beat him up.

More cops arrived and it ended up in a big punch-up between police and soldiers.

Stories about disgruntled soldiers taking money-matters into their own hands are coming up frequently. Some people are delighted, seeing it as a clear sign of anger towards the Zanu PF regime and an indicator that future loyalty might be diminished.

However, others are worried. Will the soldiers focus their attention on the real cause of the problem, keep in mind that we are all victims of this regime, or will they turn on businesses and private individuals for quick personal gain? Will they stand with the victims, or will they think the regime ‘owes’ them so they can money where ever they like?
From the BBC:
Dozens of troops have run amok in the Zimbabwean capital Harare after losing their temper while queuing up to withdraw cash at a bank.

Riot police used tear gas to disperse about 40 soldiers and a number of civilians who joined the protest.
The economy is wrecked. Even government monopolies (utilities) refuse the Zim dollar.

The term used in the real economy is 'units' (US dollars) as trading is illegal but to survive everyone had to be paid in and pay with 'units'. This anarchy is why different arms of the state are fighting each other.

Since it is them propping up Mugabe, and since not even they can avoid the rapidly growing (but denied) cholera epidemic, which has now led to Harare's water being cut, you have to hope that the end is nearing.

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