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Zimbabwean Humanitarian Aid Providers Find Capacity Stretched

Humanitarian assistance and human rights organizations in Zimbabwe say they are concerned about the plight of the country’s thousands of displaced people now facing the cold of winter, but add that their capacity to help is now much reduced.

Some observers noted that the response by such providers of aid was less robust this year when Harare launched Operation Roundup in April and May, detaining vendors, street orphans, and other marginalized groups, than they had been following the so-called Operation Murambatsvina slum clearance drive in May-July 2005.

Weeks after the more recent government operation, nongovernmental organizations have not mobilized to the extent they did in 2005, despite the establishment of a new holding camp for detainees at Melfort Farm outside Harare. Civil society groups have been unable to document how many are held there, or in what conditions.

Reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace National Director Alois Chaumba and spokesman Fambai Ngirande of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations to examine why the capacities of civil society organizations have been reduced.

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