Sunday, June 5, 2005
200,000 people living around Harare, Zimbabwe have been evicted from their homes, which have been targeted in a demolition programme by the government. Most have been forced to sleep out in the open while rental prices in the city have skyrocketed.
The operations have targeted at least six Harare suburbs: Hatcliff extension, Epworth, Dzivaresekwa, Glenorah, Glenview, Budriro and Mbare.
The official government newspaper, The Herald, says that 22,735 people have been arrested in the drive against "illegal structures, businesses and criminal activities".
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) are pressing for the government for a six month waiting period to give residents time to make new housing arrangements. ZimRights director Munyaradzi Bidi told the IRIN news service: "About 200,000 people have been affected in the demolition drive — and many of them have papers to prove that they were legal occupants with lease agreements".
== Sources ==
"Zimbabwe: Thousands of forced evictions and arrests in violent crackdown" — ReliefWeb, June 1, 2005
"ZIMBABWE: Human rights body files for stay of forced evictions" — IRIN news, June 1, 2005
"Thousands held in Zimbabwe blitz" — BBC News Online, June 1, 2005