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Amnesty International Critical of Zimbabwe Home Reconstruction Program


The human rights advocacy group Amnesty International has issued a harsh verdict on the home construction program that the Zimbabwean government launched last year with promises to rehouse those displaced by its urban demolition drive.

Amnesty said virtually none of the estimated 700,000 who lost their homes in 2005 have benefitted from Harare's Operation Live Well - Operation Garikai in the Shona language spoken by a majority of the population. It said authorities demolished more than 62,000 homes but to date have only built 3,325 new permanent shelters.

Reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe interviewed Amnesty International Africa campaigner Simeon Mawanza, who said state reconstruction has failed badly and that the government has issued misleading statements on it.

A senior government official Friday acknowledged receipt of the report. William Nhara, principal director of public and interactive affairs in the president's office, declared that the Amnesty International report on housing was "totally false."

More reports from Voa's Studio 7 For Zimbabwe...

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