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  • UN envoy views results of Zimbabwe 'clean-up'
    Dumisani Muleya, Business Day (SA)
    December 07, 2005

    ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe yesterday met the United Nations (UN) humanitarian envoy assessing the effects of the governmentís "clean-up" blitz to discuss the consequences of the widely condemned crackdown.

    The meeting between Mugabe and Jan Egeland paved the way for a visit by UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan, who has had to delay his expected visit to Zimbabwe due to frosty diplomatic relations between the world bodyís highest office and Harare.

    Annan is now expected to visit Zimbabwe at the beginning of next year to engage Mugabe on the demolition of shacks and informal businesses that left tens of thousands homeless and destitute. The meeting also opened the way for the UN to dispatch a $30m aid package that has been blocked by the government.

    Mugabeís spokesman, George Charamba, said the meeting centred on "shelter, drought mitigation and food security".

    Sources said that Egeland, who met a wide cross-section of Zimbabweans, conveyed Annanís "deep concern" about the situation of the victims of the stateís "clean-up operation".

    Sources said Egeland indicated Annan was also worried about the blocking of aid to the victims.

    They also said Egeland was unimpressed by the lack of progress in building news houses for those been left homeless.

    Egeland visited the Hatcliffe, Whitecliff and Hopley construction projects that were being built under "Operation Live Well".

    Construction has stopped because of a lack of funds.

    He visited Mavambo Trust School, an AIDS orphanage in Mabvuku township.

    Egeland said the UN had appealed to international donors for the release of $270m to help Zimbabwe tackle the consequences of the "clean-up" blitz and other problems, such as food shortages and deteriorating social services.

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