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Zimbabwe Police Raid Bulawayo's Killarney Settlement, Harare's Mbare District

Police raided the Killarney squatter settlement outside Bulawayo Tuesday morning and took into custody a number of people who had returned to the site after being evicted from their homes in Operation Murambatsvina one year ago.

Correspondent Matsautso Banda of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported.

In Harare, witnesses said police continued to harass residents of the populous Mbare district after weekend raids on street vendors in which police confiscated goods and levied fines on informal business people operating without licenses.

There were unconfirmed reports some unauthorized structures had been demolished, evoking memories of the May-July 2005 Operation Murambatsvina (Drive Out Trash), which according to a United Nations report left some 700,000 homeless or without livelihoods or both, and created a humanitarian crisis in the country.

Residents of Mbare said police forced them to pay bribes.

Reporter Patience Rusere of VOA’s Studio for Zimbabwe asked spokesman Precious Shumba of the Combined Harare Residents Association about conditions in Mbare.

Diamond Karanda, a spokesman for Mbare’s member of parliament, Gift Chimanikire of the Movement for Democratic change faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai, said the continual police activity has prevented many residents from making a living.

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