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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 June, 2005, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Bishop condemns Harare evictions
A woman sits by her demolished home in Harare
About 200,000 people have been made homeless, the UN says
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Harare has condemned the Zimbabwean government's policy of demolishing thousands of homes and businesses.

Speaking to the BBC, Archbishop Robert Ndlovu described the move as "inhuman".

President Robert Mugabe's government says the houses and markets being demolished in the capital are illegal.

But the opposition has accused the authorities of punishing the urban poor who voted against the ruling Zanu-PF party in elections earlier this year.

The UN says some 200,000 Zimbabweans have been made homeless in the two-week clearance operation carried out by police.

Police say the demolitions are part of an operation to deal with illegal activities across the country. Some 30,000 people have been arrested.


Archbishop Ndlovu told BBC radio that both opposition and government supporters were suffering from the demolitions.

Now people are sleeping in the open - there are small children there
Archbishop Robert Ndlovu
"The way the exercise was carried out was inhuman," he added.

"Bearing in mind this is the winter season in Zimbabwe, we felt that it was really inconsiderate.

"Now people are sleeping in the open - there are small children there."

When the operation began last month police said those evicted would be taken to alternative accommodation.

But an MP for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in Harare said people had nowhere to go.

The UN has demanded that Mr Mugabe stop the eviction operation, which it describes as a new form of "apartheid".

Zanu-PF won two thirds of the votes in a general election in March which the opposition says was rigged.

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