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Zimbabwean clearance policy leaves 1.5 million people homeless

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 14 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:130
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. London

    The Zimbabwean government's campaign to destroy what it labels illegal settlements is continuing despite international condemnation and the visit of a United Nations' special envoy. Operation Murambatsvina, Shona for “sweep out the rubbish,” is described by President Robert Mugabe as an urban renewal programme but condemned by charities and international observers as retaliation against opposition supporters.

    The violent demolition of Zimbabwean shanty towns has left up to 1.5 million people homeless in the middle of winter and forced 300 000 children away from their schools since the campaign was launched on 19 May, according to UN estimates.

    Porta Farm, a large suburb of the capital Harare, was bulldozed on …

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