Skip to comments.DOMINICAN CLINIC FOR THE POOR DESTROYED
Posted on 06/19/2005 6:48:57 AM PDT by al_again
DOMINICAN CLINIC FOR THE POOR DESTROYED
In 1992 many thousands of people were put into a Holding Camp at a place called Hatcliffe Extension, they were not allowed to build permanent structures because this was going to be temporary. We have worked with the people there for the past 10 years, peoples of all religions and none, people of all political persuasions and none.
Over the years through the generosity of you all we were able to sink 8 boreholes, help to feed thousands of people, build and run a crèche for AIDS orphans (180) of them. We visited once a week and two of our nursing Sisters, Gaudiosa and Carina treated people, helped to get about 100 people on to an Anti-Retroviral medicine programmers etc do home based care, took people to hospitals etc.
The people of Hatchliffe have become friends and family of us the Dominican Sisters. On Friday morning last week I got a call that the riot police had come into a section of the area and demolished everything - most of the wooden shacks are just broken to pieces. I went out on Friday and Saturday - people were sleeping out in the open, many of them sick, cold and hungry. On Saturday I visited again some had managed to leave (those who have Z$500 000 - and have some relatives in "legal" places".
On Sunday morning I got a call that the police had given instructions that all structures in the original section have to be demolished within 24 hours, including the crèche, clinic and other structures which we had built with and for the people. Where do I get people on Sunday to come and dismantle all the buildings. I decided to wait until Monday. On Sunday evening I received one phone call after another saying "come quick they are going to kill us" - others would say "don't come you might be killed". Early on Monday morning I drove out to Hatcliffe, already in the distance I could only see smoke rising up - nothing else.I arrived, I wept, Sister Carina was with me, she wept, the people tried to console us - they were ALL outside in the midst of their broken houses, furniture and goods all over the place, children screaming, sick people in agony. Some of the people who are on ARV drugs came to us and said we are phoning Sister Gaudiosa (Sister is doing the ARV programme) but she is not answering us, we are going to die". We explained that Sister was on home leave but that we would help in whatever way we could. It was a heartbreaking situation.
The structures "mentioned above" that we the Dominican Sisters were working from were left untouched but had to be dismantled immediately otherwise they too would be destroyed. Sister Balbina from the House of Adoration came with carpenters and other staff members and started dismantling the structures. Just now we are going back there with food, clothing, medicine and cash, we can only try. I am NOT cold, I am NOT hungry but I am very ANGRY. I pray that this will pass. We stand in shock and cry with the people but we also have to try and keep them alive. When will sanity prevail. Where is the outside world? busy talking about a "NO vote by France" How can the "little ones of this world be brutalized in this way" - their only crime - they are poor, they are helpless and they happen to live in the wrong part of town and in a country that does not have oil and is not very important to the West.
One bystander told me that he had phoned the Red Cross asking for help but was informed "it is not a war situation" so there is nothing we can do!
Patricia Walsh OP
War declared on the poor and homeless
On Saturday police cars went round Mbare telling people living in wooden shacks that they would have to pull them down and remove them by Sunday 16.00 hrs. A large proportion of Mbare inhabitants live like that these days (other than in past days in Mbare when the Rhodesian administration did not allow such shacks and there was strict influx control).
On Sunday morning when I walked to the Old Church for Mass and Corpus Christi Procession people stopped me on the street and expressed their dismay at what was being done to them. Where were they supposed to go? I saw people pulling down and dismantling their shacks.
Attendance at Mass was somewhat down even though we were able to hold the two Corpus Christi processions at the Old and the New Church as usual. This morning at Koefmans and Siyaso people were frantically trying to remove their stalls where they were doing metal work and carpentry, with police lorries full of riot police heavily armed nearby. Traffic on Cripps Road was congested because there were so many vehicles trying to carry planks and corrugated iron sheets etc away. Some of the dismantled material was actually spilling into the road, interfering with traffice.
People are bewildered and upset, and so am I.
some more news from Mbare, 31 May 2005.
I walked around a bit yesterday, Gwatidzo, Chitiyo Street. People stopped me to ask: Toiteyi? Toendepi? What are we to do? Where can we go? Many people are aliens and have no rural home to go to. Some people spent the night just outside our durawall. Some of these are sick people with AIDS. I referred an old frail woman with a blind son whose rented room is being destroyed to the Sisters of Mother Theresa in Ardbennie. There are heaps of furniture and household utensils piled up along the roads. People cart their belongings in pushcarts I do not know where. Riot police in lorries or pumas everywhere, even soldiers. People are deeply frightened. I also saw military police, parked just in front of our gate.
There is hammering everywhere people knocking down even solid brick buildings, not just wooden shacks. There are countless fires, people burning planks and things they cannot carry. A cloud of smoke is covering the whole of Mbare.
It looks as if there will be a squatter camp on the open space near Stoddard Hall: there are already heaps of people's belongings and furniture there.
How many of our children will drop out of school? Many of our parishioners will be homeless, I still have to assess the situation.
The Dominican Sisters were forced to dismantle their clinic in Hatcliffe. A lady from the St Vincent de Paul Society in Hatcliffe phoned to ask where they can put 16 disabled children left homeless.
Do you have a link for this?
Sorry - these articles were sent via e-mail and I have been unable to find links.