(UA 196/09) Good News! – Thousands Saved from Eviction in Zimbabwe

Thousands of people in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, are no longer facing eviction from their market stalls and homes. Amnesty International has recently received formal notification that the threat of forced evictions had been withdrawn.

In July 2009 the Deputy Mayor of the Harare City Council stated that the city authorities were considering evicting people from “illegal settlements and market places to restore order.” The Deputy Mayor claimed that the targeted people were posing a health hazard and violating city by-laws. An estimated 200 people from an informal settlement in the suburb of Gunhill and thousands of informal traders across Harare in Zimbabwe faced being forcibly evicted without being given adequate notice or any consultation or due process. Most of the people at risk were victims of Operation Murambatsvina (Restore Order), a program of mass forced evictions implemented by the Zimbabwean authorities in 2005 which left 700,000 people without homes and livelihoods.