Families refuse to leave homes due for demolition

People who built houses illegally on top of a drainage channel in the central Mozambican city of Quelimane, are refusing to leave – even though they have received compensation for the houses, which are due to be demolished.

The houses are obstructing the project to build a new drainage system for Quelimane, financed by the United States aid programme, the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).

According to a report in Monday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”, the households say that the Quelimane municipality can only demolish half of their houses, since that is the value of the compensation they received.

The head of the Chirangano neighbourhood, where the houses are located, Costa Maneta, denies this claim, and says the money was given to the families affected, after agreements had been reached with them.

“The bad attitude of the people who are refusing to leave the houses after receiving money to do so is lamentable”, he said. If the houses were not entirely removed, “we, as a Municipal Council, are afraid that, after the conclusion of the work, we will find it difficult to maintain the drainage channel”.

The compensation procedure included an assessment of the value of the houses. Each family had a choice – it could receive the compensation in cash, or it could ask for a new house. The unprecedented idea that just half of a house could be demolished was never considered.

The municipality seems reluctant to use force to remove the families, and has continued a dialogue in a so far fruitless attempt to persuade them to move.

The MCA has no intention of providing any money for further compensation, and regards it as the responsibility of the Municipal Council to remove the houses, so that the contractor can work without any problems.

Post published in: Africa News

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