Lessons for poor home-seekers

HARARE - There are basic lessons urban poor need to learn about the callous indifference to their suffering in pursuance of profit inherent in capitalist establishments as depicted when their modest homes were razed in Epworth this week.

One of the core lessons is the poor always receive the short end of the stick while those well-heeled can flout regulations and by-laws with impunity.

Poor home-seekers in the sprawling commuter suburb of Epworth should have drawn lessons from Operation Murambatsvina that their stay in urban areas still remains an eyesore to the rich elite and their hangers-on.

From the Murambatsvina experience, the urban poor ought to have been vigilant against being cheated out of their hard-earned money by people ready to exploit them through political misrepresentation.

Victims of the blitz — who invested faith in vultures that parcelled out pieces of land claiming to be connected to “influential Zanu PF officials” — have themselves to blame for ever thinking they could encroach on private property without consequence.

There is no grain of truth in assurances by pseudo-apparatchiks that they would run around to find solutions to the plight of families left roofless.

The reality is that some political nonentities thrive on sheer pretence and ride on assumed political connections.

These fraudsters are incapable of assisting affected families, unless, of course, the demolition was premeditated so that some bigwig can make political capital out of such thoughtlessness.

After witnessing the corruption that characterised Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle and the upheavals that have become a hallmark of urban housing cooperatives, urban home-seekers needed to be on the lookout for predatory crooks and conmen who prey on a gullible and desperate public.

It was gut-churning to see families lose property and homes they have struggled to put up demolished because they unwittingly allowed political party apparatchiks to make money out of their desperation and desire to own a home.

Apparently, the government agency that instigated the blitz intended to inflict greatest pain and loss on the poor and their children. It seems too, it had one goal in mind — teach poor families a lesson they can never forget, coming as the demolition did at the onset of the wet season.

Now the families have to contend with dislocation; look for alternative places for children of school-going age and find alternative and affordable accommodation near examination centres for those preparing to sit for end-of-year examinations.
What happened in Epworth where hundreds of families were left homeless symbolised how insensitive government agencies can be.

Ironically, the source of torment for the poor is none other than an agency mandated with developing world class residential, commercial and industrial parks.

It is equally ironic that the body has tried to deflect attention from  its failure to provide for the poor by demolishing rudimentary structures they had battled to build on their own.

    Post a comment

    Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
    Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
    - Editor

    Your email address will not be shared.