Monday, 4 November 2013

Zim Government Threatening to Demolish Houses Again

The Government of Zimbabwe appears to be back to threatening to demolish the homes urban migrants have constructed homes on land to which they don't have secure tenure. A few years ago, the government came under fire after their "clean-up operation" (Operation Murambatsvina) destroyed thousands of homes. At the time, the government claimed they were dealing with the problem of illegal houses and commentators argued that this was probably an attempt to undermine the urban power base of the opposition party. This time around, they ZANU-PF has just won an election, so the latter conclusion has less traction. Dealing with illegal houses still appears to be the justification.

Land tenure remains a tricky issue in most Southern African countries. Plenty of INGOs are talking about rural land tenure and so-called "land grabs". In reality, urban land tenure is probably a far more explosive issue.

PS This opinion piece in The Standard discussing the issue would be completely at home on Fox News. Good to see the conservative right is still very much alive and writing to the newspapers in Zimbabwe. 

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