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Despite Summits, Zimbabwe Continues Destruction of Homes

A new wave of displaced people poured into the Caledonia Farm holding camp outside Harare on Tuesday after police destroyed their homes and small businesses Monday in the once-populous township of Hatcliffe.

The suburb’s member of parliament, Trudy Stevenson, said bulldozers demolished at least five large brick structures that had housed Hatcliffe home industries for over 30 years. But Ms. Stevenson said she could not reach Hatcliffe as there was no gasoline to be had to fuel her vehicle.

Authorities continue to send homeless people to Caledonia Farm, said clergymen of the Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference who were at the transit camp on Tuesday. They said about 4,800 people were living on the former commercial farm.

Reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with the group’s chairman, Rev. Ray Motsi of Bulawayo about the situation at Caledonia Farm.

The government’s Operation Murambatsvina slum clearance drive also continued in the Bulawayo suburbs of Sizinda, Tshabalala and Nkulumane this week.

In Epworth, near Harare, another 300 people were reported to have been made homeless. Epworth Baptist Pastor Mathew Guramatunhu said police barred his church from helping families affected by the blitz, telling him the government would provide for them. But he said the promised assistance has not been delivered.

The pastor, whose own home in Epworth was leveled, said residents were unable to contact United Nations special envoy Anna Tibaijuka to urge her to visit the area.

Reporter Chris Gande of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with Pastor Guramatunhu about the Epworth home demolitions.