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Briefing paper

BP29: Public Perceptions of Operation Murambatsvina in Zimbabwe

Afrobarometer Briefing Paper No. 29
3 Mar 2006 Zimbabwe
Download (English)

In mid-May 2005, the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) launched, with little advance warning, a massive ‘urban clean up’ campaign. The exercise was code-named “Operation Murambatsvina/ Restore Order” hereafter referred to as OM. Murambatsvina is a Shona word meaning literally: “one who refuses dirt.” Initially, there were two separate ‘operations’, one on “Murambatsvina” and the second on “restoring order” but the two imperceptibly fused in the process of implementation and the twin campaigns are now commonly referred to as one.  What do Zimbabweans think about this crackdown? Do the direct victims of OM think differently about the critical issues troubling the country compared to the ‘mainstream’ public opinion? These are only two of the many questions that Round 3 of Afrobarometer survey of adult Zimbabweans sought to answer.