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Call for Zimbabwean government to offer evictees proper schooling

The Zimbabwean government must ensure that children it evicted can go to school, an Amnesty International report demanded this week.

Left Behind: The impact of Zimbabwe's mass forced evictions on the right to education shows that thousands of young people forced from their homes during Operation Murambatsvina in 2005 are unlikely to be getting an adequate schooling. Children as young as 13 are working on building sites.

The government justified its eviction programme by claiming that people had been living in deplorable conditions. It set up the housing scheme Operation Garikai (Better Life) to resettle several thousand of the 700,000 evictees, promising better access to services.

"Instead the victims have been driven deeper into poverty while denial of education means young people have no real prospect of extricating themselves from continuing destitution," said Amnesty International deputy Africa director Michelle Kagari.

Ms Kagari added: "The government's removal of people from places where they had access to education, and its subsequent failure to provide education, has struck a devastating blow to the lives and dreams of thousands of children."

henry.hepburn@tes.co.uk.

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