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  • Operation Murambatsvina - Countrywide evictions of urban poor - Index of articles

  • ZIMBABWE: Govt to help church aid get to Harare
    IRIN News
    August 23, 2005

    JOHANNESBURG - After almost a month of delays in getting relief food to Zimbabwe, the South African Council of Churches (SACC) has asked the South African government to intervene.

    "The SACC has requested Rev Frank Chikane, director-general of the presidency, for help, and he assured us last night that the necessary documents will be processed soon," said Rev Ron Steele on behalf of the SACC on Tuesday.

    Relief aid for Zimbabweans affected by the government's controversial crackdown on illegal settlements and the informal economy was expected to leave South Africa two weeks ago.

    Two trucks carrying 37 mt of food aid, including white maize, sugar beans and cooking oil, have been waiting in a depot for clearance since the first week of August; another truck laden with blankets is currently in a bonded warehouse in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.

    Initially the food relief was stalled when the Zimbabwean government requested assurance that the maize was not genetically modified (GM); the documents declaring the maize's GM-free status were submitted the following week.

    According to sources, the SACC is now attempting to get an exemption from duty for the relief aid.

    The NGO Christian Care is to distribute the goods for the Zimbabwe Council of Churches to the displaced.

    A report by UN Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka said more than 700,000 people had been affected by the demolitions of shanty settlements in and around urban centres, which "breached both national and international human rights law provisions guiding evictions" and had created "a humanitarian crisis".

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