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'Operation Murambatsvina' Recalled As Zimbabwe Capital Proposes Demolitions

Four years after Operation Murambatsvina, the forced eviction and demolition operation that was carried out by the previous government of Zimbabwe displacing hundreds of thousands of people, the Harare City Council has announced that it will destroy illegal structures that have mushroomed in the capital since the traumatic 2005 operation.

Council officials said their proposed action will be nothing like Murambatsvina, but local groups are expressing concern saying alternatives should be considered before homes are leveled.

Harare Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Chiroto told reporter Chris Gande that the evictions will go ahead because some of the illegal structures are bases for criminal activities.

Simbarashe Moyo, chairman of the Combined Harare Residents Association, said the pending demolition exercise seems to target officials of the former ruling ZANU-PF party who have built many illegal structures and are not paying taxes to the city council.

Harare City Council is controlled by the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

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