Mutare — At least 25 families that were displaced from their homes by government's Operation Murambatsvina over eight years ago were offered decent accommodation by a charitable organisation last week.
The families that have been staying in a run-down bar since the displacement were rescued by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) which constructed 2-roomed houses for each family.
Following the demolition of their houses in 2005, Mutare City Council accommodated the families in one of its properties, Mushando Bar in Sakubva high-density suburb.
But there had been fears of an outbreak of diseases as the families were sharing a single toilet which also doubled as a bathroom.
City Town Clerk, Obert Muzawazi said the council availed land for residential stands for the displaced persons while the NRC funded the constructing of the houses.
Muzawazi said the families went through untold hardships for nearly nine years that they had been living in the dilapidated bar.
"The residents of Mushando bar have been living in squatter-like, refugee conditions," he said. "Vulnerable groups, such as women and children, were exposed to abuse and poor health and social conditions."
He added: "As council, we are indebted to NRC for a clear show of kindness towards less fortunate members of the society."
NRC has been active in Zimbabwe since 2010, providing protection and humanitarian assistance to refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees.