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Operation Murambatsvina - Countrywide evictions of urban poor - Index of articles
says West must help after township blitz
MacDonald Dzirutwe, Reuters
- Zimbabwe urged the West to help it rebuild after a government
blitz on shantytowns, saying on Friday sanctions were partly to
blame for the conditions that drove residents to construct the illegal
in the official Herald newspaper came as the United Nations prepared
to release a report on Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's shanty
demolitions that left some 200,000 people homeless.
Zimbabwe's permanent representative to the United Nations, told
the Herald Mugabe's government now wanted the international community
to help it reconstruct.
"They can raise
funding so that Government can provide cheaper housing to needy
people. One would call upon Britain and the European Union to stop
their campaign to vilify our economy," Chidyausiku said.
"Were it not
for their sanctions, our economy wouldn't be where it is today ...
the international community should, therefore, consider themselves
equal partners and have a role to play in terms of pulling resources
together to build a better Zimbabwe."
The author of
the U.N. report, UN-Habitat executive director Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka,
said after visiting Zimbabwe more than 2 million people have been
affected by the demolitions.
them as ill-conceived, inhumane and an economic mistake.
said the government was studying the report, but rejected suggestions
that Harare had a 48-hour deadline to respond.
will make a comment at the appropriate time," he said.
commissioned by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, breaks the relative
silence in the United Nations over Mugabe's policy dubbed "Operation
said the demolition campaign was necessary to root out lawlessness
in Zimbabwe's vast urban shantytowns.
said the campaign has targeted its strongholds among the urban poor,
forcing its supporters into rural areas where they could be more
easily controlled by chiefs sympathetic to the government.
Civic and religious
organisations have described the crackdown as a violation of human
rights, and Western nations have unsuccessfully tried to put the
issue on the U.N. Security Council's agenda.
Envoys who have
seen the 98-page U.N. document, which will be made public later
on Friday, said it sharply criticizes Harare for bulldozing urban
slums and insists it should stop razing the shantytowns.
Union and the United States imposed limited sanctions on Mugabe
and other senior officials citing alleged human rights abuses and
opposition charges of vote rigging by Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.
Mugabe denies the charges.
The former British
colony is grappling with its worst economic crisis in years, shown
in unemployment of over 70 percent, one of the highest inflation
in the world and shortages foreign currency, fuel and food.
81 and in power for the last 25 years, says Zimbabwe is being punished
by those opposed to his land reform program in which the government
seized large tracts of white-owned land to redistribute among landless
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