“Clear the Filth”
Mass Evictions and Demolitions in Zimbabwe
A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper,
September 11, 2005
Summary......................................................................................................................................... 1
Recommendations......................................................................................................................... 3
To the Zimbabwe government............................................................................................... 3
To the Southern African Development Community .......................................................... 4
To the African Union............................................................................................................... 4
To the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)......................... 5
To International Humanitarian agencies............................................................................... 5
To the United Nations ............................................................................................................. 5
Background .................................................................................................................................... 6
Political and economic crisis ................................................................................................... 6
Urbanization and the housing crisis....................................................................................... 7
The human rights crisis.......................................................................................................... 10
The Implementation of Operation Murambatsvina (Clear the Filth) ................................. 11
Patterns of evictions and demolitions.................................................................................. 13
Reasons for Operation Murambatsvina .............................................................................. 14
Failure to adhere to legal procedures................................................................................... 15
Movement of people to the rural areas ............................................................................... 17
After the evictions: the rebuilding and reconstruction program ..................................... 19
Human Rights Consequences of Operation Murambatsvina............................................... 20
Women ..................................................................................................................................... 22
Children .................................................................................................................................... 26
People living with HIV/AIDS.............................................................................................. 28
Persons of foreign origin ....................................................................................................... 31
The Humanitarian Response ..................................................................................................... 32
Harassment of NGOs and civil society groups.................................................................. 34
International Response............................................................................................................... 34

Select target paragraph3