Annual Report: Zimbabwe 2011

Report
May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Zimbabwe 2011

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  • In June, about 3,000 leaseholders and their families, an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people, at Hatcliffe Extension were threatened with eviction by the Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development if they failed to renew their leases by 30 September. Most of the families could not afford the renewal fees. The threat of eviction was withdrawn by the government after mass appeals by Amnesty International and national human rights organizations who assisted some of the affected people to take legal action.
  • On 25 August, about 250 people living at an informal settlement in Harare's affluent Gunhill suburb were forcibly evicted by police without prior notice. Armed police with dogs arrived at the settlement at about midnight and ordered the community out of their dwellings. Victims reported that police only gave them about 10 minutes to remove their belongings before setting them on fire. Some possessions were burnt after their owners failed to remove them in time. Police arrested 55 people, including five children, and detained them at Harare Central police station. They were held for several hours before being released without charge following intervention by lawyers. No reason was given for the police action. The community was forcibly evicted despite written assurances that this would not happen by the mayor of Harare in December 2009. The mayor denied involvement in the August evictions.