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Evicted kids in Zim still out of school

05 October 2011, 15:16

Harare - Thousands of child victims of an anti-slums blitz in Zimbabwe have yet to return to school six years after the mass evictions, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

"We call on the international community to work very closely with the government of Zimbabwe to ensure children... access education," Amnesty researcher Simeon Mawanza said.

"The international community should increase its support to humanitarian organisations, to local non-governmental organisations who are running education programmes in Zimbabwe."

Over 700 000 people were left homeless and about a million without jobs after President Robert Mugabe's government demolished slums and backyard shacks in May 2005, in an operation called Murambatsvina, or Drive Out Filth.

The evictions were condemned by the United Nations and other international rights groups.

The government said it would build new houses for the displaced people but only a few homes have been built, leaving thousands of victims without decent shelter.

Amnesty said most victims of the evictions were living in areas without access to basic services like water and sanitation.

"There are no roads, there is no electricity, there is no reliable water supply, they struggle for food and as a result, this impacts on children's performance," Mawanza said.

Zimbabwe is being run by a unity government between Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The economy has stabilised after a decade of freefall, but the shaky coalition has struggled to create jobs and attract foreign investors.



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