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Operation Murambatsvina - Countrywide evictions of urban poor - Index of articles
UN report handed to Zimbabwe
Mail & Guardian (SA)
July 21, 2005
A report from
a United Nations fact-finding mission on Zimbabwe's demolition campaign
was turned over to the Harare government on Wednesday and will be
made public on Friday or Monday, a UN spokesperson said.
to make public the report on Friday or Monday," spokesperson
Marie Okabe told a press briefing.
She said UN
envoy Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, the executive director of UN Habitat
who produced the report after an exhaustive fact-finding mission
to Zimbabwe, would give a press conference to release the document.
On Tuesday Okabe
said the Zimbabwean government would be given 48 hours to review
an advance copy of the report, in its final form, before it is made
The United Nations
estimates that 200 000 people have been left homeless in the nearly
three-month campaign to demolish shacks and other unauthorised dwellings,
but the opposition has denounced the blitz as a campaign of repression
and say up to 1,5-million Zimbabweans have lost their homes.
Last week, the
Zimbabwean government ordered a temporary halt to its campaign to
demolish backyard shacks and other illegal buildings and gave landlords
10 days starting on Monday "to regularise" the structures
with the relevant municipalities.
It had launched
its campaign around May 19, razing shacks, markets and nurseries
in what it has described as an urban renewal campaign to get rid
of grime and crime.
heads back to court
Meanwhile, the publishers of a banned Zimbabwean daily said on Wednesday
they were preparing a series of court appeals against the decision
by a government media commission this week denying them a licence.
again left with no option but to approach the relevant courts for
relief ... that's what the law says and we are preparing for that,"
said Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) chief executive, Sam
ANZ are the
publishers of The Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday, banned
nearly two years ago for breaching the country's tough media laws
for operating without a licence from the Media and Information Commission
on Monday refused for the second time to grant the newspaper group
a licence to operate as a media service provider.
In its latest
ruling, the commission said the company breached media laws by among
other things, employing unaccredited journalists, failing to submit
copies of their newpapers to the commission and employing a reporter
convicted of criminal defamation.
Nkomo said the
commission ignored the merits of the company's fresh application
which it made in March.
He said the
MIC made its decision "on the sole ground that ANZ allegedly
and historically committed infractions of the Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act in respect of which it has not been
prosecuted, let alone convicted.
view the decision of the commission violates the flawed legislation
on terms of which it is enjoined to act. It denies access to alternative
voices and information to the many readers of The Daily News and
Daily News on Sunday.
were closed down in September 2003 after the country's Supreme Court
ruled that they violated the country's media laws by operating without
Once the country's
best-selling daily, the Daily News was reduced to a handful of former
managers and journalists occupying a small office in a central Harare.
On March 14,
the Supreme Court set aside the government commission's refusal
to register the two newspapers and ordered the commission to give
ANZ another opportunity to apply for a licence.
The court however
upheld several sections of Zimbabwe's tough media laws which have
been invoked to ban four independent newspapers, deport several
foreign correspondents and arrest scores of others.
Is this just
another political gimmick?
The Zimbabwean government has started moving some former slum dwellers
left homeless by a controversial demolition campaign back to what
remains of their destroyed shacks, state television reported on
happening is that those from Hatcliffe Extension who have ... lease
agreements are being asked to return to their old stands,"
said police inspector Garikai Marange, referring to a once densely
is in charge of a transit camp on the outskirts of the capital Harare,
added: "About 100 people have left the camp so far. We have
between 200 and 300 people and they are very happy to go back to
lawyers said 2 000 families were thrown out of their makeshift homes
in Hatcliffe Extension, a slum 10km west of Harare when the government
launched its controversial clean up campaign in May.
Some of them
were moved to the settlement in the early 1990s after they were
removed from the streets of Harare in a clean up campaign on the
eve of a visit by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
High Court Judge
Tedius Karwi dismissed an application in May by 2 000 families removed
from Hatcliffe Extension, who wanted their eviction to be declared
clear whether they are going to stay or if this is just another
political gimmick," said Otto Saki of Zimbabwe Lawyers for
question is what is the government going to do about shelter and
property they destroyed and the families who have moved to their
rural homes. Are they going to compensate everyone affected?"
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