Amnesty highlights Murambatsvina

The 50th African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights ended this weekend in Banjul, Gambia with Amnesty International voicing its concern over the continuing struggle that victims of Operation Murambatsvina face.

A woman sits crying after her home was destroyed under Operation Murambatsvina.
A woman sits crying after her home was destroyed under Operation Murambatsvina.

AI said it was concerned about the failure of the government to provide effective solutions to the problems faced by those who were forcibly evicted from their homes in 2005.

A few of the victims were allocated incomplete housing structures or un-serviced plots of land under the government’s re-housing programme, known as Operation Garikai.

The majority of the victims were forcibly settled in rural areas while those who remained in urban areas moved into existing housing set ups, leading to overcrowding.

“Thousands of people living in these Operation Garikai settlements were pushed deeper into poverty after losing their homes. They face numerous problems, including lack of access to education, adequate health, water and sanitation,” AI stated.

The organisation research in 2010 found that the government’s failure to provide for adequate healthcare, including maternal health care, at Hopley Farm, one of the Operation Garikai settlements in Harare, exposed pregnant women and their newborn babies to ill-health and even death.

This year, AI documented that there were more than 2 000 pupils attending unregistered schools started by communities in Operation Garikai settlements after the government failed to provide quality primary education.

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