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Minister Says Operation Restore Order Won't Hurt Zimbabweans

More than 700,000 people were left homeless when their houses were destroyed under Operation Murambatsvina in 2005. (File Photo/AP)
Zimbabwe on Tuesday told representatives of the United Nations that its intended program to stop so-called chaotic land developments in towns and cities will be done in an orderly manner.

Deputy Local Government and National Housing Minister Deputy Minister Joel Matiza told journalists after meeting heads of U.N agencies that the program will be done once a forensic audit that is underway has been completed.

He said the media was portraying the government program as heartless yet it is intended to provide proper shelter for those who are occupying illegal structures and others in need of housing.

Matiza said government will be embarking on massive programs involving private and public partnerships to provide shelter to all those in need.

In 2005, the government embarked on a similar program dubbed Operation Remove Filth or Murambatsvina which left more 700,000 families homeless.

It drew widespread condemnation from human rights groups and the UN-Habitat which sent a mission to Zimbabwe to assess the damage.

Up to now some of the victims of that program are still homeless.