Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle failure

garikaiHARARE - President Robert Mugabe's government only built housing units for a paltry US$4000 under its much touted Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle between 2005 and to date. (Pictured: Children play amongst the ruins of their homes)

Parliament heard that the housing units built were insufficient to service the needs of the thousands who were left homeless after government’s brutal Operation Murambatsvina.

More than 700,000 people were left stranded after houses and shacks were bulldozed, while informal traders’ stalls were demolished and their goods confiscated, leaving them without a livelihood.

National Housing and Social Amenities minister Fidelis Mhashu told Parliament this week that there was an audit of the requirements of houses that were demolished.

“We came up with a figure of 7 487 housing units required and out of that list of houses required, the ministry was able to come up with housing units built to the tune of US$4 205,” Mhashu said.

Five weeks after Operation Murambatsvina, the government launched Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle, said to be a programme to build houses for the victims of their “slum clearance” operation. Amnesty International, the global human rights advocacy organisation, warned back then that the operation was not a solution to the government-inspired destruction of houses, as it did not assist the victims of Operation Murambatsvina.

The few houses that were built were reportedly given to civil servants, police and soldiers. Amnesty said Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle was a wholly inadequate response to the abuses committed against the victims of Operation Murambatsvina. There have been no other significant government programmes to assist the hundreds of thousands of victims of Murambatsvina.

United Nations Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka visited Zimbabwe in the wake of Murambatsvina and said the operation had breached both national and international human rights law.

General Constantine Chiwenga, chief of Zimbabwe’s defence forces, and Augustine Chihuri, chief of police, were directly involved in the planning and execution of the operation.

Chihuri reportedly said the operation was to “clean the country of the crawling mass of maggots bent on destroying the economy”. International legal experts view Operation Murambatsvina as a gross violation of human rights and, should Zimbabwe become a signatory to the Rome Treaty, suggest the perpetrators could be tried by the International Criminal Court.

Post published in: World News

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