Zimbabwe Watch: Spiraling out of control

What do the International Monetary Fund and the International Cricket Council have in common? Both institutions are seriously considering excluding Zimbabwe with sanctions because of the country's illegal slum clearings and lacking debt repayments, amongst other human rights abuses.

Ahead of a meeting on Monday, IMF is considering expelling the African country. The IMF has urged President Mugabe's government to sort out the economy, which suffers from hyper-inflation, a collapsing currency and debt arrears. Zimbabwe owes $295m (£163.5m) in late debt repayments to the IMF.

Over in the sporting world, UK foreign secretary Jack Straw is requesting the International Cricket Council to bar Zimbabwe from competition.

President Mugabe's regime has attracted widespread condemnation for its 'Drive Out Rubbish' slum clearance programme which has seen 700,000 people lose their homes. The Zimbabwean government claims to be cracking down on illegal activities in slum area. However, critics claim that Mugebe is punishing those who didn't support his administration in the last election.

Amnesty International released a secretly-shot film from Zimbabwe, showing the aftermath of the slum clearances. The human rights group said its film showed people made homeless and then dumped at an informal site.

The images, shot in August, depict a makeshift camp and people queuing up for water at the site near Harare.

"The people who had been in those transit camps were taken under cover of darkness and dumped at various rural areas in the country," Amnesty International researcher Audrey Gaughran said.

"They were left in most cases with no shelter, no food, no access to sanitation and little or no access to clean water.

"Rather than confront the massive humanitarian crisis that its actions have created, the government of Zimbabwe is compounding suffering and human rights violations by attempting to hide the most visible signs of internal displacement," she added.

Ms Gaughran said that since the footage was shot, aid groups had been able to persuade the government to grant them access to the Hopley Farm site.


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