The crisis continues in the former breadbasket of Africa…
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Police carrying out a massive monthlong roundup detained thousands of capital residents, charging many were responsible for crime in Harare, state media reported Monday.
The detention of an estimated 10,000 of what the report called squatters, vagrants and street youths, comes nearly a year after the government demolished tens of thousands of shanty dwellings in what was billed as an urban renewal but drew harsh criticism from international groups.
This troubled southern African nation, led by authoritarian President Robert Mugabe, is facing its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1980, with record inflation of 1,043 percent, the highest in the world.
Some of those detained in the latest crackdown will eventually be relocated to cities and towns outside Harare, according to the Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece. There was no word on where they were being held in the meantime.
As the the crisis deepens in the former breadbasket of Africa, even the Socialists and government thugs are turning to God:
With the economy in its sixth year of recession and inflation climbing beyond 1,000 percent, religion has become a refuge for many Zimbabweans, bewildered by their ever-deepening impoverishment in what was once a thriving country.
Even top-ranking politicians in the ruling ZANU-PF, veterans of Zimbabwe’s liberation war and former Socialists, have turned to God, perhaps gaining new respect as men and women of the cloth.
Vice-President Joseph Msika was recently ordained as a lay pastor in the Anglican church; second Vice-President Joyce Mujuru was promoted to captain in the Salvation Army; two cabinet ministers have applied to train as priests.
Even Emmerson Mnangagwa, the powerful former intelligence chief backed by many to succeed President Robert Mugabe despite his repeated poor showing at the ballot box, has announced he was ‘born again’.
“I think their consciences are troubling them. They have a lot of tension and stress because they have no idea which way the country should be driven,” suggested Prof Gordon Chavunduka, a sociologist and labour consultant.
It is difficult to escape Zimbabwe’s new religious revival. The two songs topping the current music chart are gospel tunes; evangelical preachers are on TV daily; political rallies, and even military parades, are now enlivened with songs of praise.
Zimbabwean Pundit‘s connections in Africa report that this hasn’t been a very good new year.