A Fractured Nation: Operation Murambatsvina – five years on

Killarney children - July 2010

In May 2005, the Zimbabwean government embarked on a massive, highly systematic programme of demolitions of all informal housing in urban and peri-urban areas across Zimbabwe. Combined with a total clampdown on the informal trading sector, including the destruction of official vending areas and confiscation of all wares, Operation Murambatsvina (OM), or “Drive out the […]

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Fri, July 30 2010 » Diaspora, Operation Murambatsvina, Reports » No Comments

Poverty on Top of Poverty

In May 2005, shortly after Zimbabwean elections had, once again, resulted in a questionable narrow “win” for Robert Mugabe’s ZanuPF, Operation Murambatsvina was launched. Ostensibly an urban clean-up campaign, Murambatsvina was widely viewed as a brutal weapon employed by government to break the backbone of opposition MDC support. Settlements, even those with erstwhile local government […]

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Fri, July 30 2010 » Operation Murambatsvina » No Comments

“Meltdown”- Murambatsvina one year on

Report Cover Photo: Operation Murambatsvina

Between 1991 and 2003, urban poverty trebled in Zimbabwe. It was against this background of escalating economic collapse and social disintegration that “Operation Murambatsvina” (OM), or “Discarding the Filth”, took place in mid 2005. In the space of a few weeks, 700,000 people lost their homes and/or livelihoods in a process that the UN has […]

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Wed, August 30 2006 » Access to resources, Human rights, Operation Murambatsvina, Reports » No Comments

“Crime of poverty”: Murambatsvina Part II

Report Cover Photo: Informal mining settlement in Matabeleland

The July UN report on the demolitions in Zimbabwe has become the definitive report on events between May and the end of June 2005. Other reports have covered in detail urban and peri-urban aspects of OM. Political analysis, assessment of the judiciary, and quantification of those affected are variously covered by other human rights reports […]

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Wed, October 19 2005 » Human rights, Operation Murambatsvina, Reports » 1 Comment

Discarding the Filth: Operation Murambatsvina (Interim Report)

Report Cover Photo: Still taken from the Solidarity Peace Trust video, “Discarding the Filth”

On 19 May 2005, the Government of Zimbabwe began an operation labelled “Operation Murambatsvina” (OM). While Government has translated this to mean “Operation Clean-up”, or “Operation Restore Order”, the more literal translation of “Murambatsvina” is “Drive out the Filth”. This is not the first time this Government has used “cleaning” terminology to describe a process […]

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Mon, June 27 2005 » Access to resources, Human rights, Operation Murambatsvina, Reports » No Comments