국제앰네스티 짐바브웨 지부와 그 파트너들은 대대적인 강제 퇴거 후 5년간 열악한 환경 가운데 살아가고 있는 수만 명의 사람들을 보호하기 위한조치를 반드시 취할 것을 짐바브웨 정부에 요청했다.
국제앰네스티와 ‘강제퇴거반대연합(Coalition Against Forced Evictions)’은노숙인들과 실업자들에게 적당한 대체 거주지 혹은 그 외의 배상을 제공할 것을 짐바브웨 당국에 요청하고 있다.
짐바브웨 정부는 2005년 5월 18일 임시 거주지 철거 계획을 전국적으로 펼쳤다. 무람바츠비나(Murambatsvina) 작전이라고 알려진 이 계획은 700,000명 이상이 집과 생계수단을 잃는 결과를 낳았으며, 이 중 대부분은 짐바브웨의 경제난으로 인해 극심한 빈곤에 시달리고 있다.
국제앰네스티 짐바브웨 지부 쿠신 질랄라(Cousin Zilala) 국장은 “지난 5년간 피해자들이 플라스틱 판잣집에서 기초적인 생활조차 못하며 살아가고 있는 것은 수치”라며 “이들의 목소리가 지속적으로 무시되면서 이들의 필요조차 잊혀질 위험에 처해있다”고 전했다.
Zimbabwe’s700,000 victims offorced evictionstill ignored fiveyears on
18 May 2010
The government ofZimbabwe must takeaction to protecthundreds ofthousands of peopleleft to survive insubstandardsettlements fiveyears after aprogram of massforced evictions,AmnestyInternationalZimbabwe and acoalition ofpartners said onTuesday.
AmnestyInternational andthe CoalitionAgainst ForcedEvictions arecalling on thegovernment toprovide adequatealternativeaccommodation orcompensation tothose left homelessand jobless.
“It is a scandalthat five years on,victims are left tosurvive in plasticshacks without basicessential services.The needs of thesevictims are at riskof being forgottenbecause their voicesare consistentlyignored,” saidAmnestyInternationalZimbabwe’s directorCousin Zilala.
On 18 May 2005 thegovernment ofZimbabwe begandemolishing informalsettlements acrossthe country. Theprogram, known asOperationMurambatsvina,affected more than700,000 people –leaving them withouta home or livelihoodor both. Most weredriven deeper intopoverty by theforced evictions, asituation which hasbeen furthercompounded byZimbabwe’s economiccrisis.
Following widespreadlocal andinternationalcondemnation ofOperationMurambatsvina, thegovernment embarkedon a re-housingprogramme, known asOperationGarikai/HlalaniKuhle later in 2005,which aimed toprovide shelter forthe victims andimprove their livingconditions. However,it was a dismalfailure and nowappears to have beenabandoned.
“The few houses thatwere built under theGarikai/HlalaniKuhle scheme arecompletelyun-inhabitable,”said Cousin Zilala.“They have nofloors, windows,water or toilets.Communities livingin designatedresettlement areasare dependent onhumanitarianassistance and selfhelp initiatives fortheir survival.”
Those affected byOperationMurambatsvinarapidly becameinvisible; forced torelocate to ruralareas, absorbed intoexisting overcrowdedurban housing orpushed intogovernmentdesignatedsettlements. Thosestill in citiesremain at risk offurther forcedevictions with nosecurity of tenure.In 2009, Hararecouncil attempted toremove some of thevictims of the 2005forced evictions butwas forced toreverse the decisionamid protest fromhousing and humanrightsorganisations.
Since its creationin February 2009,the unity governmenthas done nothing toimprove the plightof survivors of theforced evictions andtheir children whohave been born ininformalsettlements.
Felistas Chinyuku isalso the formerchairperson of thePorta Farm ResidentsAssociation. PortaFarm, a settlementof about 10,000people, wasdestroyed by thegovernment in 2005,despite thecommunity obtainingseveral court ordersbarring theauthorities fromcarrying outevictions.
“Five years havepassed and many ofus are still livingin tents,” saidChinyuku a residentat Hopley Farm, onthe outskirts ofHarare, where themajority ofresidents survive inmake-shift housing.“There are noschools, no healthservices and verylittle sanitation.This is no way forhumans to live.”
Residents ofHatcliffe Extensionsettlement in Hararefaced similarinjustice in 2005when the authoritieswilfully disregardedlease agreements anddestroyed theirhomes. They have notbeen compensated fortheir wrongfuleviction andcontinue to facebattles with theauthorities;residents arecurrently beingasked to payprohibitive fees inorder to renew theirleases.
“OperationMurambatsvinaachieved theopposite of thepublicly statedobjective -restoring order. InHarare, it resultedin overcrowding inpoor neighbourhoodswith as many asthree familiessharing afour-roomed house,”said LorraineMupasiri of CombinedHarare ResidentsAssociation, one ofthe coalitionpartners. “We areparticularlyconcerned about therising housingbacklog in Harare.More than half amillion people areon the waiting list.
The forced evictionsdrove people notonly from theirhomes, but also fromtheir market stalls,depriving informaltraders of theirmeans of earning aliving.
Women have beenespecially affectedsince they form themajority of informalmarket traders andin many cases arethe primaryproviders, not onlyfor their ownchildren but alsofor other childrenorphaned by the AIDSpandemic.
When informaltraders have triedto resuscitate theirtrade they have beenpersistentlyobstructed by theauthorities.
“The deplorableliving conditionsand struggle forsurvival whichvictims of OperationMurambatsvinacontinue to face,reveals thegovernment’s failureto address ongoinginjustices againstsome of the mostvulnerable membersof Zimbabweansociety,” saidCousin Zilala.
Through the DemandDignity campaign,launched in May2009, AmnestyInternational iscalling ongovernments globallyto take allnecessary measures,including theadoption of laws andpolicies that complywith internationalhuman rights law, toprohibit and preventforced evictions. AmnestyInternational’sDemand Dignitycampaign aims to endthe human rightsviolations thatdrive and deepenglobal poverty. Thecampaign willmobilize people allover the world todemand thatgovernments, bigcorporations andothers who havepower listen to thevoices of thoseliving in povertyand recognise andprotect theirrights.