Since independence on 18 April 1980, Zimbabwe has had a troubled existence. In the early 80s Mugabe clamped down on oppositi8on by the minority Ndebele people, under the leadership of Joshua Nkomo, with security forces causing an estimated 20,000 civilian deaths. Since the mid-80s Mugabe's policy of land redistribution as well as two sets of elections declared to be severely flawed (neither free nor fair), and the physical intimidation of members of the opposition party and the press, has led to outspoken international condemnation. In 2005 Mugabe implemented Operation Murambatsvina
(Otherwise known as Operation Drive Out Rubbish) which moved 300,000 people from urban areas and left them relatively unsupported in the countryside – a program of forced removals somewhat reminiscent of Apartheid era South Africa.
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