Adequate housing includes such necessities as adequate privacy, adequate space, adequate security, adequate lighting and ventilation, adequate basic infrastructure and adequate location with regard to work and basic facilities – all at reasonable cost. The above implies that the right to housing is much more than simply a roof over one’s head. Housing rights therefore also mean people must be protected from forced evictions such as recently occurred in Zimbabwe under the clean up exercise code named “Operation Murambatsvina”.
As the principal issues relating to housing rights are highly topical in Zimbabwe, it is important that this Human Rights Monthly clarifies any misunderstandings and misinterpretations that people might have surrounding the scope of the right to housing and its implications. More importantly, this Monthly seeks to discuss the inhumanness and disregard of the human rights of the evictees who are protected by Zimbabwe’s Constitution and international laws. It is not intended to address the legality or otherwise of the structures that have been destroyed.