Fear – the legacy of Murambatsvina

HARARE - Communities in Zimbabwe need to overcome their "accumulated fear of the government" if a way forward is to be found one year after Operation Murambatsvina according to a report by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition. The NGO sent a group of four delegates from different social movements in

South Africa to Zimbabwe, to examine the situation one year after an estimated 700 000 people were made homeless by Operation Murambatsvina. The delegates, Philani Zungu, Nopasika Mboto, Ellen Chauke and Siphiwe Segodi, met with various community groups all over the country during their 10-day visit. They felt that the most formidable challenge faced by Zimbabweans in the wake of Murambatsvina was to overcome the political divisions in the country. They said many people needed to accept the fact that the Operation affected everyone, regardless of their political affiliation. They urged an increase in unity among different communities in Zimbabwe and said that those outside the country needed to “build solidarity with ordinary Zimbabweans and embark on campaigns that will bring meaningful and lasting political and socio-economic change to Zimbabwe”.
The report also highlighted the fact that, despite government reports, there was some resistance to Murambatsvina and people were still being driven away from the cleared areas. It stated that “Operation Garikari has only benefited those with political connections” and “individuals who were meant to benefit…have long been forgotten”. Furthermore, the number of units built under Garikari only constitutes a mere 5% of the buildings destroyed during Murambatsvina. As a result of this report, Zimbabwean Civil Society organisations in South Africa have drawn up a petition to be presented to the United Nations (UN). It urges the UN Secretary General to “inform the world of the unfolding genocide in Zimbabwe as a result of Operation Murambatsvina” and “exert pressure on the government of Zimbabwe to mediate with its own people rather some imagined forces outside Zimbabwe.” – Own correspondent

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