Demolition of illegal Chitungwiza homes delay

Chitungwiza council is delaying demolishing 10,000 houses and other structures built without its authority until council committees were formed.

The local authority received a directive from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to pull down the illegal buildings.

Town mayor Philip Mutoti, told The Zimbabwean that they had not started the demolition work as they were yet to form committees.

The committee for housing would have the responsibility of deciding the way forward. According to council sources, buildings sprang up after stands were sold illegally by council officers and councillors.

Some were built under power lines, on top of sewer pipelines, in wetlands and in areas reserved for social amenities such as football pitches and playcentres.

The demolition exercise would spare 1,647 houses built on land sold by Zanu (PF) councillor Fredrick Mabamba.

Chombo directed that the Mabamba houses be regularised.

In Harare, the council has indicated it will raze all structures built by cooperatives and individuals without its approval.

Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said council would not legalise the illegal.

“We want to preserve Harare’s sunshine city status and all illegal structures will be pulled down,” he said. If local authorities around the country proceed with the planned demolitions, there are fears that thousands of families will be left without shelter.

Human rights defenders have warned government and local authorities against destroying people’s homes without providing them with alternative shelter.

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