Zimbabwe: Mugabe says land reforms key to achieving UN development goals

(Note: The countless murders, rapes, theft and pillaging of farmers' land -- and it's all "the key" to "achieving" "development goals" set by the United Nations? Yeah, riiiight, and the sun will come up in the north tomorrow morning. Language Deception is arrogantly used to make the worst criminals look like choir boys. Want some really blatant Language Deception in addition to the below? Visit: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/13a6628f02c10cdb50f11f9e9eeadd15.h tm and consider that the world banks will allow anything to go on anywhere, so long as they get paid.)
September 8, 2005
Press Release (Switzerland); no author given at originating website address/URL.
Harare, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Thursday defended his country’s violent land reforms saying the reforms were the key to achieving development goals set by the United Nations (UN).

The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) seek to halve poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease in the world by 2015.

“Land is the driver of the MDG process,” said Mugabe.

The veteran Zimbabwean leader was presenting a progress report on Zimbabwe’s efforts to fulfill the UN targets which seek to spur development and halve poverty in the world.

“The ongoing land reforms are expected to restore Zimbabwe's pride as the breadbasket of the ... region,” Mugabe said.

Zimbabwe is going through a severe five-year economic crisis which has seen the country experience critical shortages of food, medical supplies and fuel.

Critics blame the crisis on Mugabe’s mismanagement of the economy which was one of the strongest in Africa at independence 25 years ago.

The country has virtually survived on food handouts from the international community after Mugabe destroyed the key agriculture sector after seizing large commercial farms from whites for redistribution to landless blacks five years ago.

But Mugabe on Thursday denied mismanaging the economy blaming the crisis on drought and “hostile responses of the British and American governments to our land redistribution programme.”

Mugabe also said the country was making significant gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS saying there was a marked drop in HIV infection figures.

“There are pleasing indications that behavioural change is starting to take effect as indicated by HIV prevalence figures which have assumed a downward trend based on 15-24 year-old women attending ante-natal clinics.”

About 2 000 Zimbabweans are said to be dying of AIDS every week. The UN meets next week to assess progress in attaining the goals. - ZimOnline


Copyright 2005, ReliefWeb.



Additional related information:


Zimbabwe's president defends amendments


September 12, 2005


By Michael Hartnack, Associated Press writer


Harare, Zimbabwe - President Robert Mugabe quietly adopted constitutional changes that make it easier for the state to seize private property and prevent opponents from traveling abroad to criticize his 25-year rule, state radio revealed Monday.

The report said Mugabe signed the amendments into law Friday, the same day the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deferred a decision for six months on whether to expel this southern African nation.

The amendments mark "the liberation of our land," Mugabe said Monday during a three-day trip to Cuba. "It's now final, and no one can question it."

The constitutional overhaul strips landowners of their right to appeal expropriation of their property by the state and declares all real estate is now on a 99-year lease from the government.

Domestic opponents intending to attack the government abroad can now be denied a passport to travel, a provision that government officials have openly said could be used to silence critics.

Mugabe's government has allowed the seizure of 5,000 white-owned commercial farms in recent years, wrecking agricultural output and exports and causing widespread food shortages.

He blames U.S. and European Union sanctions -- imposed for alleged human rights abuses -- for putting the Zimbabwean economy into free fall.

Inflation now runs at some 255 percent a year and 80 percent of the work force is idle.

"The Cubans are being punished with sanctions in the same way we are," Mugabe said during his ninth visit to Cuba since 1978, referring to the decades-old U.S. trade embargo against the communist-ruled island.

Opposition leaders said Mugabe delayed signing the constitutional amendments until the IMF put off deciding whether to expel Zimbabwe for being $295 million in arrears on its debts. The IMF executive board postponed the matter after Zimbabwe made a surprise partial payment of $120 million.


Associated Press reporter Vanessa Arrington in Havana contributed to this story.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apafrica_story.asp?category=1105&slug =Zimbabwe%20Mugabe


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