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Operation Murambatsvina - Countrywide evictions of urban poor - Index of articles
UN envoy visits govt's clean-up campaign sites
- UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland visited Zimbabweans
affected by the government's controversial clean-up campaign, Operation
Murambatsvina, in the capital, Harare, on Monday.
visited a government housing site and inspected units built for
those affected by the operation, which has left more than 700,000
people homeless or without a livelihood after kicking off in mid-May.
Although he responded positively to the government's attempts to
house those left homeless, Egeland said "the needs are far greater".
The envoy is also the UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian
government has maintained that the operation was aimed at clearing
slums and flushing out criminals, and has announced plans to construct
5,000 homes across the country by the end of this year.
rejected UN offers of assistance to build temporary shelter for
people affected by the operation, only to make an about-turn last
month. Subject to funding, the UN will construct 2,500 housing units
during the first phase of the programme, and will eventually build
20,000 units at a total cost of US $18 million.
The UN envoy
visited two transit camps housing people left homeless by the clean-up
operation and also met with donors, church leaders, and international
and national NGOs on Monday.
expected to meet President Robert Mugabe before leaving Zimbabwe
The envoy arrived
in Harare late Saturday and met with Local Government and Public
Works Minister Ignatius Chombo on Sunday. He had asked Chombo "to
help us to help you," said UN spokesman Hiro Ueki in Harare, noting
that the comment had been made in the context of providing "broader"
The UN envoy
is expected to visit Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, and other
parts of southern Zimbabwe to inspect food distribution points.
Last week, the UN launched an appeal for US $276 million for Zimbabwe,
saying at least three million people would require food aid, as
only an estimated 600,000 mt of maize had been harvested, compared
to a national requirement of 1.8 million mt.
Watch (HRW), the international watchdog organisation, claimed in
a report on the aftermath of the clean-up that the Zimbabwean government
had "refused to acknowledge the scale of the crisis precipitated
by the evictions campaign, and continued to blatantly violate the
human rights of the people displaced by Operation Murambatsvina".
the government of failing to take measures to house evicted people,
"many thousands of whom continue to live in the open, in disused
fields or in the bush; or rudimentary shelters made from the debris
of destroyed houses; or who squeeze into tiny rooms with family
members who have agreed to shelter them".
of Security, Dydimus Mutasa, reacting to critical reports on the
clean-up campaign, told IRIN recently, "They [clean-up campaigns]
happen everywhere in the world - whether it is London and even in
South Africa. Things have become better, people are able to sleep
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