Last month, the UNDP Zimbabwe Office denied the allegation that they are in bed with the GOZ regime, but the issue seemingly will not go away. In an article in this week's issue of the Zimbawean newspaper, The Financial Gazette, the UNDP denied hobnobbing with the Mugabe government. UNDP Zimbabwe has consistently portrayed itself as a "mediator" between the GOZ and civil society and has been noticeably silent on the increasingly anti-democratic and repressive measures taken by the regime including the 2005 programme of mass forced evictions and demolition of homes and informal livelihoods, dubbed by the GOZ "Operation Murambatsvina". (Operation Murambatsvina, which translates roughly from Shona to "clear the filth", resulted in the forced eviction of 700,000 persons from their homes, indirectly affecting another
1.2 million2.4 million--according to the United Nations' own report. Amnesty International sent a strongly worded letter of protest to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. Unfortunately, to this day, neither the U.N. nor the African Commission has taken any steps in response to the damning evidence contained in these reports.) UNDP Zimbabwe apparently does not believe it is required to take a clear stand in defense of the core UN charter values--which are so blatantly being violated in Zimbabwe--including the right of a population not to be denied housing, their right to assembly and expression, the right of an independent press to operate free of state coercion and interference, and, most fundamentally, the right of a people to determine its government and leaders through democratic means. What business does UNDP have posing as a "mediator" between an outlaw regime and its people?