The ZIMBABWE PORTAL
: Operation Drive Out Trash
), also officially known as Operation Restore Order
, is a large scale Zimbabwean
government campaign to forcibly clear slum
areas across the country. The campaign started in 2005 and according to United Nations
estimates has affected at least 2.4 million people. Robert Mugabe
and other government officials characterize the operation as a crackdown against illegal housing
and commercial activities, and as an effort to reduce the risk of the spread of infectious disease in these areas.
However, the campaign has met with harsh condemnation from Zimbabwean opposition parties, church groups, non-governmental organizations, and the wider international community. The United Nations has described the campaign as an effort to drive out and make homeless large sections of the urban and rural poor, who comprise much of the internal opposition to the Mugabe administration.
The stone-carved Zimbabwe Bird is a national emblem of Zimbabwe, appearing on the national flags and coats of arms of both Zimbabwe and Rhodesia, as well as on banknotes and coins (first on Rhodesian pound and then Rhodesian dollar). It probably represents the bateleur eagle.
The famous soapstone bird carvings stood on walls and monoliths of the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe built, it is believed, sometime between the 12th and 15th centuries by ancestors of the Shona. The ruins, which gave their name to modern Zimbabwe, cover some 1,800 acres (7.3 km²) and are the largest ancient stone construction in Zimbabwe.
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