An NGO in Southern Africa yesterday released a shocking report on the fate of about 700,000 Zimbabweans who were made homeless last May when the government demolished their houses. The Solidarity Peace Trust said that almost nothing has been done to re-house those who lost their homes during Operation Murambatsvina (Clean up Filth), which, the UN confirmed, had also "destroyed the livelihoods of an estimated 90,000 vendors." "Fifteen months later, almost nothing has been done to house those who lost homes and livelihoods, or to salvage the informal trading sector," Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo who is chairman of the Trust told reporters in Johannesburg. The Archbishop said the UN had been unable to carry out its emergency housing programme because it was being obstructed by the government's land policies. He said: " The survivors of Operation Murambatsvina are living in desperately overcrowded conditions. Zimbabwe now has 70% unemployment, a near 1,000-percent inflation rate and acute shortages of food, fuel and basic commodities. "The government had failed to live up to its promises. They themselves said that they would construct 300,000 houses. "They've constructed a few hundred houses and none of them have been occupied." A Zimbabwean government spokesperson denied the report's claims. He told Channel Four News that Zimbabwe's problems were caused by the fact that they have been isolated from the rest of the world.
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