Acknowledgements In May 2005 the Government of Zimbabwe launched a clean-up operation of its cities known as “Murambatsvina”. It was described as a programme to enforce bylaws to stop all forms of alleged “illegal activities in areas such as vending, illegal structures, illegal cultivation” among others in its cities. Concerned by the adverse impact of the Operation on the lives of the urban poor, the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations appointed a Special Envoy on Human Settlements Issues to assess the situation and present recommendations on how the conditions of those affected may be addressed. This report provides the findings and recommendations of the Special Envoy for her mission undertaken between 26 June and 8 July, 2005, in Zimbabwe. A number of people assisted the Special Envoy on her assignment. First, the Special Envoy would like to acknowledge the warm welcome extended by H. E. President Robert Mugabe, who gave free access and full support to the mission. She would also like to acknowledge the assistance provided to her by several Members of Cabinet in the Government ’s Inter-Ministerial Task Force responsible for coordinating “Operation Garikai”, especially its Chairperson, Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Dr. Ignatius Chombo. The Special Envoy would like to thank the Governors of the Provinces of Matebeleland, Midlands, Manicaland and the Mayors of the cities and towns she visited, especially those of Harare, Headlands, Rusape, Mutare, Gweru, Bulawayo, Hwange and Victoria Falls, for facilitating her tour around the affected areas. The Special Envoy gratefully recognizes the many interviews and submissions made by Parliamentarians, political parties, civil society organizations, women groups, the private sector, professional associations, religious leaders, faith-based organizations, as well as non-governmental and community-based organizations. Most of all, the Special Envoy would like to thank the many individuals, especially those in the camps and those sleeping out at night, for their patience in providing personal testimonies under the most trying conditions. The briefings provided by members of the international and diplomatic community both within Zimbabwe and outside were much appreciated. A mission of this nature would not have been successful without the support provided by the UN Country Team under the able leadership of Mr. Agostinho Zacarias, the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator for Zimbabwe. The Special Envoy would like to acknowledge the team that accompanied her to Zimbabwe for their hard work in preparing and finalizing the report. The team consisted of the following: Ms. Mari Yamashita, from the UN Department of Political Affairs; Mr. Alf Ivar Blikberg, from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; and, from UN-HABITAT, Mr. Alioune Badiane, Ms. Sandra Baffoe-Bonnie, Ms. Nelly Kang’ethe, Mr. Sharad Shankardass and Mr. Nicholas You. She would also like to thank all staff at UN-HABITAT who assisted her in finalizing the document and braving a night shift to make sure this report reaches the Secretary-General in time, especially Mr. Roman Rollnick, Mr. Francisco Vasquez, Ms. Rhoda Kalaule and Ms. Margaret Mburu. Mr Haile Menkerios of the Department of Political Affairs and the staff at the UN-HABITAT New York Office, Ms. Axumite Gebre-Egziabher , Ms. Yamina Djacta Mr. Christopher Hutton, Mr. Angel Gómez and Ms. Anne Kuria – all gave invaluable editorial support and logistics. Finally, the Special Envoy would like to thank the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, for his confidence in her to undertake this challenging assignment. She hopes that the findings and recommendations will be helpful to the Government of Zimbabwe and useful in mobilizing international assistance for the victims of Operation Murambatsvina and the people of Zimbabwe. Anna Tibaijuka 18 July, 2005. 2

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