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Zimbabwe crisis deepens

29 August 2005


Zimbabwe crisis deepens

Amnesty International New Zealand has organised a public forum to discuss the worsening situation in Zimbabwe.

Footage smuggled out of Zimbabwe this month shows that hundreds of thousands of people have been made homeless and jobless. World Food Programme figures show four million people face starvation if something is not done soon.

The deepening humanitarian crisis is due, in part, to President Robert Mugabe’s internationally condemned Operation Murambatsvina – a forced eviction and slum clearance programme. The footage that will be aired shows that legal dwellings and well built houses were also demolished in the operation. The destruction is believed to be directed against those who voted against the ruling ZANU-PF party in the March 2005 elections.

Amnesty has been asking the African Union to intervene to stop this systematic abuse of human rights. These evicted people need immediate shelter, food and water

Unemployment in the former British Colony has hit 80 percent and inflation recently peaked above 300 percent. The Harare-based Ministry of Health now estimates that a quarter of all Zimbabweans between the ages of 25 and 45 are HIV positive.

The forum, which is open to all members of the public, is designed to look at tangible steps New Zealander’s can take to alleviate the crisis.

The forum will be held on 31 August, St Andrew’s on the Terrace at 6pm, 30 The Terrace.

Please attribute to: Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Campaign Manager, Aldijana Sisic.


Speakers include:

Phil Goff (Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade),
Anna Matambudziko (Zimbabwean School Teacher)
Dennis McKinlay (Executive Director of UNICEF),
Margaret Mayman (Presbyterian Minister)
Ced Simpson (Executive Director of Amnesty New Zealand).

ENDS

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