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‘Zimbabwe is like communist China’

Zimbabwean Archbishop Pius Ncube said the situation in his country was worsening each day and had become ”very much like communist China with everything totally controlled by the State”.

Speaking to Sapa on Monday night, the Catholic Archbishop, who is in South Africa on private business, said hundreds of people were detained on a daily basis for various incidents.

”More than 300 people were arrested over the weekend during Women’s Day celebrations and marches and some detained for five days. A 15-year-old boy was beaten up and shocked and then taken to a police camp after he apparently protested at a cricket match, while one woman was beaten unconscious.

”The government has become so harsh that they don’t care about their people who are starving and suffering.”

Ncube said poverty was one of the major problem areas in Zimbabwe. There is not much harvest due to the crippling drought and no input in the fields. There will not be much of a crop this year.

”Zimbabweans are in a very difficult position and there is not much the people can do because of the government’s trickery and deceit. They make it very difficult for people, and those who are outspoken and protest suffer the most. ”They are followed and intimidated with death while their telephones are tapped and constantly checked.

”Mugabe has an army of some 40 000 soldiers whom he could just call to shoot people. The county has become much like communist China, with everything totally controlled by the state.”

Ncube said the crisis had become so severe that professionals were moving abroad while the poor were coming to South Africa and Botswana to find jobs. – Sapa

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