The Zimbabwe government's allegedly politically motivated clean-up operation targeting illegal settlements has invited the ire of the un, the us and the eu. The recently launched crackdown on residential areas and markets has rendered nearly 200,000 people homeless and snatched away many livelihoods.
While the government says the move targets criminals, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (mdc) alleges it is focussed on areas that are mdc's support base. un secretary-general Kofi Annan has appointed a Special Envoy for Human Settlement Issues in Zimbabwe. "President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has agreed that the Special Envoy...should visit the country as soon as possible to study the scope of the recent eviction of illegal dwellers, informal traders and squatters, and the humanitarian impact it has had," said Annan's spokesperson. The us and the eu condemned the crackdown through a joint statement.
The drive comprises measures like banning urban farming, which has rendered many unemployed and further deepened the existing acute food crisis. Urban farming refers to families growing crops in the patches of land near their homes in urban areas. Many people engaged in informal trade have also been rendered jobless.
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