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Months After State Demolitions, Many Still Seek New Homes

Six months after the supposed conclusion of Operation Murambatsvina, the demolition campaign mounted by Zimbabwean authorities with the purported aim of cleaning up the cities remains a very present reality for many in the Harare suburb of Mbare.

Local sources said about 25 families are living in the open, facing a constant threat of police eviction from the elementary shelters they have improvised – often on the ruins of their former homes. Church sources say many more roam the streets, sleeping in store verandas when they cannot find floor space in the homes of relatives.

Reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with people in Mbare who continue to live under the shadow of Operation Murambatsvina.

Outside Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo, some former inhabitants of the Killarney squatter settlement evicted in Operation Murambatsvina are returning to the site along the highway heading east to Harare. At least 100 families call the settlement home.

Correspondent Netsai Mlilo says many of them are keeping a low profile for now in the hope that they will eventually be able to put up more permanent structures.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...