Woes for Murambatsvina victims continue


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About 100 families from Glen Norah, most of them victims of Operation Murambatsvina a year earlier, had their houses and possessions burnt down by municipal police.

The legislator for the area Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said for some of the people, this was the fourth time their houses and possession had been destroyed by police.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 06HARARE721, MURAMBATSVINA ECHOES CONTINUING

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

06HARARE721

2006-06-15 15:40

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO0277

RR RUEHMR

DE RUEHSB #0721 1661540

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 151540Z JUN 06

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0220

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1239

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1084

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1245

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0869

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1297

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3668

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1068

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1707

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0503

RUFGNOA/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1454

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000721

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

USAID/AFR/SA FOR E. LOKEN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2016

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: MURAMBATSVINA ECHOES CONTINUING

 

REF: HARARE 583

 

Classified By: Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Eric T. Schultz

under Section 1.5 b/d

 

1. (C) On June 15, officials from the International

Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that municipal

police burned down the houses and possessions of

approximately 100 families in the Harare suburb of Glen Norah

early that day. City officials had served an eviction notice

to the families on June 12. An IOM official told poloff that

IOM was distributing blankets and supplies and was seeking an

arrangement with the GOZ to provide food to the families, who

remained at the site. One of IOM’s implementing partners was

negotiating with officials at Hopley Farm, where the GOZ has

moved other displaced persons, to admit families who choose

to relocate there. According to officials at the UN Office

for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN

Resident Representative was writing a letter of protest to

the GOZ and OCHA officials were seeking meetings with the

Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Social Welfare to discuss

the situation.

 

2. (C) MDC pro-Senate MP for Glen Norah, Priscilla

Misihairabwi-Mushonga, told poloff on June 15 that the

families were all previous victims of last year’s Operation

Murambatsvina (Restore Order), many of whom had originally

lived in the area and kept rebuilding shelters each time

government officials destroyed their homes. For some, this

latest destruction was their fourth. Human Rights NGO Forum

had tried to go to court to stop the city from carrying out

the evictions but had been unable to get a judge to attend

the hearing before the destruction began. Mushonga said

that, in addition to the supplies provided by IOM, the

Coalition of Churches was attempting to provide some of the

families with shelter. There was as yet no food for the

displaced, most of whom had not eaten all day. She was

concerned that, in the middle of Zimbabwe’s winter, the IOM

blankets would be insufficient shelter. Mushonga was on her

way to speak with city officials to find out what they

intended to do with the victims.

 

3. (C) According to a representative of the Zimbabwe Lawyers

for Human Rights (ZLHR), municipal police arrived in riot

gear and burned most of the victims’ possessions along with

the houses. Police told the victims they would return at 3

pm to remove them. ZLHR was filing an urgent application

with the court to stop officials from removing the

individuals.

 

4. (C) COMMENT: This incident is the latest in a series of

small-scale efforts by the government to complete the

“unfinished business” of last year’s Operation Restore Order,

which saw the destruction of homes and businesses of an

estimated 700,000 people. These efforts have so far affected

no more than a few hundred at a time. Nevertheless, these

events could yet lead to something bigger highlighting as

they do the GOZ’s insensitivity to the urban poor and its

priority on disrupting life in the urban centers, a

stronghold for the opposition and the natural starting point

for potential civil action.

SCHULTZ

 

(11 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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