Armed police forced people to demolish their own houses, destroyed small businesses (often the only source of income for a household), and confiscated goods - often accompanied by political intimidation and beatings.
The evictions were often carried out in cold and wet weather, yet no provision had been made by the government to accommodate, rehouse or resettle the thousands displaced by the Murambatsvina campaign.
Thousands have been left homeless and their means of livelihood destroyed.
In March this year, OutRage! supported the Archishop of Bulawayo's call for a popular uprising to topple Mugabe. Peter Tatchell said:
"While I normally have little sympathy for the Catholic Church, the Archbishop of Bulawayo has taken a courageous, defiant stand against Mugabe. His call for non-violent rebellion deserves international support and solidarity."
Selected quotes from the testimonies:
"[T]hose at the business centres were given only about 10 minutes to remove their things before their shops were bulldozed. This is a crisis because around 60% of those in Chitungwiza are not gainfully employed and rely on informal trade to support themselves."
"The police did not even show any respect for the dead. In one house there was a funeral and a dead body was inside. The mourners were forced to move the body outside to make way for the destruction of the house."
"I approached my landlord about the matter who told me not to worry. He showed me a bill for that month from the City Council which stated that $232,000 had been paid for the ‘illegal structure’. It actually stated ‘illegal structure on the bill."
"[T[he bulldozers came with an armed police escort of more than 30 military police."
"They offered me no assistance or alternatives. They were offensive and dismissive to everyone who was there. I saw them beat up someone, the owner of a flea market between Julius Nyerere and Inez Terrace who was demanding his stuff back."
For the full story, see: http://www.outrage.org.uk/pressrelease.asp?ID=309
OutRage! News Service