CHRA Zimbabwe visit Abahlali

Members of the Combined Harare Residents Association are spending some time staying with comrades in the Motala Heights and Pemary Ridge locations in Durban. The two women have asked that Abahlali place their photos and comments on Abahlali website stating they are not afraid and are ready for anything when they return to Zimbabwe.

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The women were impressed with the organisation of Abahlali baseMjondolo, the fact that Blacks and Indians, young and old all worked together and supported each other. They gave a report on Operation Murambatsvina two years on

There is more starvation in Zimbabwe because before the people could do some vending but during Murambatsvina it was destroyed. Even the water is not up to standard and not just for the shacks. The water for the whole city is not safe. And sewers are open, refuse is not collected. There is no medication in the clinics. When we are fighting for our rights as citizens — water, housing and these things — we are taken as if we are trying to be politicians. There are no rights for citizens. There are only rights for party card holders. You must be the holder of a party card to get something. We are fighting for rights for everyone. For example some few informal traders got a place to stay after Murambatsvina but they must be party card holders to get the place. As socialists we say that this is unfair. We are urging the comrades here to fight while they still can. But don’t take too long lest you end up like us……….More on their visit

It is excellent news to see the two social movements, CHRA and Abahlali coming together in this way through personal visits but now that the CHRA also have a website and email access they will be able to communicate more easily and organise joint programmes, learn from each other and become a stronger force in their respective struggles. Abahlali have already made links with informal settlements in Haiti and hopefully that will grow once the Haitians are able to access the internet and email.

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