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Zimbabwe Update

  
Peaceful settlement continues to elude Zimbabwe. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) pulled out of the June 27, 2008 Presidential run-off elections due to continuing violence against its members. Regional and international refusal to recognize the sham election failed to stop Mugabe from grabbing the Presidency. Long awaited hopes for peace in Zimbabwe were once again cut short.
 
Grocery store shelves remain alarmingly bare. Inflation is still soaring and people could not afford adequate food even if it were available. Starvation looms for many Zimbabweans.
 
Power sharing negotiations have brought only uncertainty. As talks hit a deadlock over executive powers, Mugabe unilaterally went ahead and appointed three non-constituent MPs and eight governors. Meanwhile, the MDC clinched the powerful “Speaker of the House” position as parliament convened. These actions might harden stances on both sides when negotiations continue.
 
Our local partner Housing People of Zimbabwe is responding to the humanitarian crisis among housing co-op members. But it has also become a victim of lawlessness in Zimbabwe. All of its computers were stolen in a raid apparently carried by the corrupt security company hired to protect its office. No help is expected from the police and the government continues to hinder the relief work of many civil society groups.
 
Rooftops Canada has long condemned the corruption and subsequent meltdown of the economy in Zimbabwe. We continue to be deeply concerned about the more than 700,000 victims of government-led eviction. Most are still homeless and many were victimized again by recent election violence.
 
With you, we anxiously await the outcome of negotiations. We look forward to positive change and to rebuilding people’s lives and the housing co-op sector. It is crucial that Western governments which have strongly criticized the Mugabe regime come forward to support reconstruction when a peaceful settlement is reached. Rooftops Canada will keep you posted and we will continue to hope for relief for Zimbabweans.