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Congresswoman Maxine Waters Urges the Government of Zimbabwe to Stop Demolition and Displacement Campaign

July 30, 2009
Press Release

In a letter to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) called for the Zimbabwean government to end their campaign of demolishing the homes of local citizens throughout the African country.

Congresswoman Waters, who last week forwarded the letter to USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios, expressed her concern and heart-felt opposition to the on-going demolition project. The project, whose violence and decimation of entire villages has targeted Zimbabwe's urban poor, has forced the impoverished citizens into deeper poverty. According to the Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, the demolition project is an effort to crack down on illegal shacks across the country. The campaign began in May of this year.

The government orchestrated effort, known to some as Zimbabwe's Demolition Drive, has not been limited to only the homes of the country's citizens. The destructive campaign has included markets, and most recently, an AIDS clinic for orphans.

The demolition drive, in which two toddlers have reportedly been crushed to death, has left at least 70,000 households and 300,000 individuals homeless.

In the same letter, Congresswoman Waters also applauded the efforts of the USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance for providing $1.1 million in humanitarian assistance to people who have been displaced by this campaign. Some of the displaced have included USAID workers.