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Operation Murambatsvina - Countrywide evictions of urban poor - Index of articles
Questions & Answers in Parliament on Operation Murambatsvina
Extracted from Hansard Vol. 32, No. 4
Parliament of Zimbabwe
June 22, 2005
list of 2005 Zimbabwe Parliamentarians
My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. I would
like to know the Government's policy as regards the welfare of the
citizens of this country who have been displaced through the "Operation
A lot of people
- men, women and children are living in the open without food, water
and no sanitation at all, so I would like to get it from the horse's
mouth. Could the Minister spell out the modalities as to how the
Government is going to deal with this situation? It is an SOS situation,
a very urgent situation.
OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR CHINAMASA): Mr.
Speaker, the welfare of the people is at the heart of the Government.
- [MDC HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - the very basis of
embarking on Operation Murambatsvina and Operation Restore Order
is to advance and promote the broader welfare of the people. The
operations are not intended to injure the people. The operations
are intended to secure their long-term interests. - [MDC HON. MEMBERS:
the people who are displaced are being relocated and sent back to
where they come from. Transport and the necessary logistics are
being put in place to ensure that people go back to their original
homes where the identification and the selection takes time - in
the case of Harare, people have been temporarily resettled at the
Caledonia Farm to allow for their identification and the needs for
those people. Their stay at Caledonia Farm is temporary and during
their stay there, their welfare will be attended to in terms of
health and social amenities. Those aspects are being attended to.
I want to say
this at the heart of these operations is to promote and to advance
the long term interests of Zimbabweans in towns and in the rural
areas. We are aware and we accept that the dislocation has affected
the immediate interests of the people but Government has put into
place the necessary logistics to address those immediate concerns
such as health, transport and all those needs are being addressed.
Hon. Minister my constituency of St Mary's - 95 percent of people
I represent in this august House are aliens from Malawi, Zambia
and other countries, they do not have any home wherever their origin
is. The majority of the people do not know what a rural home looks
What is the
Government's plan over these people who do not have any home anywhere
except their small dwellings in St Mary's which they have had for
the past 25 years or more during the Ian Smith regime.
You are aware that the last parliament, the Fifth Parliament, passed
a law which basically facilitated people of Malawian, Mozambican
and Zambian origin to gain citizenship in our country. I hope that
process is proceeding unimpeded. I accept that there are people
from your constituency and also from Mbare, maybe Kambuzuma and
also in major towns, those will be relocated to our rural areas.
We have got farms which we can relocate them to, into A1 A2 where
they can be accommodated, so we see no problem. What is important
is that you advise your constituents - when they get to Caledonia
Farm or wherever they are temporarily located, you advise them that
they can go to A1 farms. Government will put into place the necessary
mechanisms to ensure that these people are settled on land. They
are our citizens, they are our responsibility and we will discharge
that responsibility without any problem.
I am sure that the Hon. Minister is aware of the provisions of Article
7 of the Treaty of Rome which suggest that the forcible removal
of people is crime against humanity. It is this Government's policy
to breach Article 7 by forcibly removal of people from urban areas
where they have lived their entire life to rural areas where they
have no desire to go to. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]
Order, a question has been asked and I expect they will be a reply
before we get any further questions.
There is no intention on the pert of the Government to breach any
laws, any conventions or treaties. What basically faced us as Government
and this was rampant throughout the country - people were building
where they liked at will without regard to the local authorities,
without regard to our by-laws and to the rights of others. Now,
we are saying that this is stopped. We will not tolerate it now
and into the future. What we want is discipline and the observance
of the rule of law.
I am aware that
the opposition had been preaching to us about the rule of law and
now we are telling them that there were people who build structure
out of the rule of law without regard to housing standards and the
necessary local authority permits and without regard to compliance
to the by-laws - now we are ensuring that from now on they will
be compliance with our laws and that is what we are enforcing. In
doing that, we are taking steps to ensure that the consequences
of the dislocation will be minimized.
We are aware
that there is damage, people are homeless and so forth. The Ministry
of local Government is now embarking on a massive housing project.
Already, as you are aware, we have started publishing names of persons
who have been allocated specific stands. Basically, we are ensuring
that there is rule law which prevails in our local authorities and
through out our country.
My question is directed to the Minister of Education. What policy
has Government put in place for the thousands of children who are
now out of school as a result of this operation?
OF EDUCATION SPORTS AND CULTURE (MR. CHIGWEDERE): These children
apart from Caledonia Farm are not assembling at any one centre where
we can create one school facilities for them. Caledonia is a transit
camp and we belief there will be no body there in two weeks time
and therefore we cannot be expected to establish school facilities
at a temporary camp which is not likely to last for not more than
displaced from Harare to Marondera have homes in Wedza and their
parents go to Wedza, we are going to recruit them into schools immediately.
If they move from Goromonzi, Tsholotsho or whatever, they will be
admitted into schools immediately. That is the position, we cannot
be expected to create schools to temporary places such as Caledonia
Farm but once a parent in this case is in Domboshawa, with his children,
we will take care of these children.
I observe that it is a convention in this House that can only be
three supplementary questions. In any case, this is a matter that
is covered by a motion which have been moved, so if you could hold
back your fire until you get an opportunity to debate it.
I do wish to ask a question which regards the Urban Council Act
and it touches on the same issue.
If it touches on the same issue, could I ask that we look at other
matters, then you can raise that tomorrow when the matter comes
up on motion.
My question is directed to the Minister of Environment and Tourism.
What is the Government policy on those people who have settled in
some national parks?
OF ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM (MR. NHEMA): I wish to thank Hon.
Member for his question. The policy of Government is that they will
be removed from the protected areas and resettled elsewhere.
My question is directed to the Leader of the House. Last week, two
traders were given tickets one for seven million dollars (Z$7 million)
and other for eleven million dollars (Z$11 million) respectively.
I would like to know whether the police are allowed to give such
a fine or these should be handled by the court? [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
Order, that is a question which in my view would require the
Minister to do some research, if you can please put it in writing.
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