Zimbabwe receives UN report on demolition campaign

HARARE, Jul 21, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Zimbabwe government has received the report on the country's demolition campaign compiled by Anna Tibaijuka, the United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy on Human Settlement Issues in Zimbabwe.
The United Nations Information Center said the report was sent to the government of Zimbabwe on Wednesday.

It quoted Marie Okabe, the Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, as saying the report was expected to be made public on Friday or Monday.

She said the Zimbabwe government would be given 48 hours to look at the report.

Zimbabwe's local authorities and the police embarked on a clean- up campaign which saw illegal accommodation and business structures demolished in the country's urban areas. The move was met with outcries from western countries, and the African Union and United Nations both sent envoy to investigate.

Annan appointed Tibaijuka, the executive director of UN-Habitat, as his Special Envoy to Zimbabwe on June 20.

She visited the southern African country for a two-week fact- finding mission, during which Tibaijuka met with politicians, who included President Robert Mugabe and civic groups.

Her tour and the expected report generated a lot of international interest with British Prime Minister Tony Blair saying he expected Tibaijuka to present a "good report" that he would present as evidence of human rights abuses to the UN Security Council.

Tibaijuka however said her report would be based on studies and discussions she had with relevant stakeholders.

"I will prepare a report for the secretary general and what happens thereafter is for him to decide," she said.

The report is largely expected to suggest how Zimbabwe can fully implement anti-slum programs following Tibaijuka's endorsement of the exercise.

She said government's vision for the clean up exercise was in line with her organization, UN-Habitat's core obligation of creating clean cities and towns.

"Habitat's agenda is creating cities without slums and the vision for Operation Restore Order is clear," she said.

"Obviously you are fighting poverty and not the poor and you are also fighting slums and not the slum dweller and we look forward to working with you," said Tibaijuka.

"We will also try to find out how the UN can assist Zimbabwe to deal with the challenges it is facing," said Tibaijuka.