Monday, 12 October 2020

CHITUNGWIZA DEMOLITIONS HALTED

CHITUNGWIZA Municipality has shelved plans to demolish houses and other buildings in 35 illegal settlements across the town after a special full council meeting held at the weekend resolved to halt the contentious exercise.

The resolution came after Paidamoyo Saurombe and Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), representing the affected residents, wrote to the local authority demanding to be furnished with a court order for the demolitions, which they contended were unconstitutional.

The national charter prohibits the demolition of houses without providing the affected with alternative accommodation.

"May we kindly remind you that section 74 of the Constitution provides that no person may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished without a court order. After considering all the relevant circumstances, your purported order is not in terms of the Constitution and is a violation of a basic right of the Constitution," the lawyers wrote.

"We kindly ask you to furnish us with an order of court that has given you the permission to evict and demolish houses in the areas you mentioned in your public notice. Failure to furnish us with a court order by Monday October 12, 2020 will leave us with no option, but to pursue legal remedies without any further notification to yourselves."

The Chitungwiza Municipality chamber secretary one Mvere responded that the demolitions were put on hold after a special full council meeting was convened.

"Reference is made to the above subject matter in which you represented Chitungwiza Residents Association as per your letter dated October 10, 2020. Please be advised the council, in its special full council meeting, resolved to put the demolition exercise in abeyance, hence the demolitions will no longer be effected as per the cited order," Mvere said.

The council, in its public notice, had said the structures that would be demolished were houses built on wetlands, sewer lines, under electricity power lines and on road and railway servitudes.

Most homeseekers bought land from land barons and were assured by the criminals that the required authority for building had been obtained.

The houses, which were supposed to be demolished in St Mary's, are those built on Macheke Square, a school site, behind St Mary's Police Station, behind Zengeza Main Primary School, near pump station number 3, St Mary's Council Creche, St Mary's Primary School site, wetland adjacent to and behind St Mary's cemetery, the site from Seke Road Bridge along Manyame River, St Mary's Administration Offices entrance and Chaminuka Main Road.

In Zengeza, the houses were built in Zengeza 5 along Chitungwiza Road, Zengeza 5 wetland on Rockview Extension, Zengeza 4 Pagomba wetland along the stream and a wetland under high voltage Zesa power lines opposite Girl Child Network, Zengeza 3 Cone Textile opposite Delta and Zengeza 4 wetland, known as PaChief.

In Seke, the structures were built on Unit J wetland, Unit K Key College and at Chirunga Shopping Centre, Along Mharapara Road, Unit A wetland from Chibuku to Tafa Shops and adjacent to Chibuku Stadium, Unit G Road buffer along Harare-Dema Road servitude, Unit O along Duri River, Unit NOP extension, Unit P wetland, wetland between Unit Ns and F, areas between Garikai/ Hlalani Kuhle and Unit L extension, wetland adjacent to Unit L cemetery and Zanoremba. Newsday

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