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Operation restore the right to housing in Zimbabwe

For several weeks the Zimbabwean government has carried out “Operation Murambatsvina” , which means “sweep away the garbage”, one of the largest demolition and eviction operations in recent memory.

For several weeks the Zimbabwean government has carried out “Operation Murambatsvina” , which means “sweep away the garbage”, one of the largest demolition and eviction operations in recent memory. So far, 700.000 people have been evicted in full winter conditions, but the total figure could reach 1.5 million out of a population of around 12 million inhabitants, 300,000 children forced to abandon school. In the first days there were riots which led to the arrest of about 46.000 people and the murder of several, children included.

What are the responses aimed at preventing the crimes against housing and human rights:

  • Local associations and international networks are exerting some pressure. On 23 June 2005, a press conference was organized. During this press conference, a Joint Declaration was issued signed by over 200 african and international organisations.
  • The Catholic Church (amongst others) is closely involved, to the point of taking some personal risk. The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference wrote a very strongly worded pastoral letter .
  • Pressurised by UN-AGFE, an organization to which International Alliance of Inhabitants belong, the United Nations, after much hesitation, decided to send the director of UN-Habitat, Anna Tibajiuka, on a mission to Harare .

But that is still not enough!

It is indispensable for urban social movements and public opinion the world over to display their solidarity in a clear and forceful manner.

Thus, we urge you to support Operation restore the right to housing in Zimbabwe. We shall begin with the call by asking:

The United Nations, the African Union and the European Union to take immediate action to:

  • publicly condemn Operation Murambatsvina
  • supervise the respect of international norms protecting rights even with the sending of a troop of civil volunteers to help and act as mediators
  • provide a forum where the Government of Zimbabwe and all the interested parts, including the recognised representatives of the inhabitants of the slums, international networks, NGOs and public agencies, can agree on the relocation of persons evicted in a manner agreed with the interested communities, can guarantee security of tenure, the setting up of Popular Funds for Land and Housing, the reform and redistribution of land and access to basic public services.

The G8 countries, the World Bank and the IMF to block any aid or debt cancellation for Zimbabwe (4 billion USD) if Zimbabwe does not improve slums in consultation with all stakeholders, including inhabitants’ associations.
The Zimbabwean government to allocate the resources liberated from debt servicing cancellations to Popular Land and Housing Funds for the rehabilitation of local neighbourhoods and the relocation of displaced people.
Within the Zero Eviction campaign , thank to the W Nairobi W campaign , legal initiatives, protests and by bombarding the opposing parties with e-mails, we succeeded in blocking the displacement of about 300.000 people in Kenya.
This time, our struggle will be more arduous, but we believe we should try everything we can!

>>> So, show your solidarity now!
>>> Sign now to stop the eviction and restore the right to housing in Zimbabwe! Your protest will immediately strike all the counterparts' e-mail.
>>> Send this call and get it signed!


Civil society


Urgent Action: fear of more mass evictions in Harare

Amnesty International launched an Urgent Action Thousands of people in Harare face mass eviction from their market stalls and homes. Most of the targeted people were victims of the 2005 mass forced evictions that left about 700,000 people without homes or livelihood or both. Four years on, the authorities now want to forcibly re-evict some of these people.

Zimbabwe two years after Operation Murambatsvina

Since international solidarity is called for, the International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI), in agreement with CHRA, and able to propose better coordination than other international networks, has relaunched the Zero Evictions Campaign.

Appeal Zimbabwe

We, associations of inhabitants, international networks, voluntary groups, NGOs, public agencies, citizens of the world, are profoundly hurt by and denounce the ‘Murambatsvina operation’ (sweep away the garbage operation) launched by the government of Zimbabwe. Subscribe the appeal now!They signed the petition 1963 people!

UN Zimbabweans

22 July 2005 – Dubbing a report by his special envoy on recent evictions in Zimbabwe “profoundly distressing,” United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on the Zimbabwean Government to stop immediately an operation that has done “a catastrophic injustice” to as many as 700,000 of the country’s poorest citizens.