Chiredzi to destroy all illegal settlements

Chiredzi town council has resolved to destroy all illegal buildings in the city against the wishes of residents who remember the horrific experiences of Operation Murambatsvina.

The council has passed a resolution to have all illegal structures demolished, among them tuckshops and makeshift houses, to “restore sanity” to the city.

The council said it was disheartened by the increasing number of illegal structures mushrooming in the city as residents try to make a living from buying and selling wares.

Council chairman Francis Moyo said the problem was being handled by the council’s public works and planning committee, and the building or expansion of illegal structures had stop with immediate effect.

Some councillors are opposed to the idea, arguing that the developments are the result of the current economic situation.

Enock Makamba said: “We have to wear a human face and ensure that what we do is not detrimental to the lives and welfare of human beings.”

However, Chiredzi district administrator Clara Muzenda, who acts as the council’s chief advisor, urged the local authority to take action.

“We have by-laws that need to be adhered to, so any structure constructed illegally should be destroyed,” she said.

Residents of Chiredzi have opposed the move by the local authority after it emerged that most of the targeted structures were those of poor families trying to earn a living.

One resident, Amos Mukova, said they would resist the move because buying and selling was their only means of survival.

“We have families to look after and the country is facing a serious unemployment problem, so where do they think we can get the money to survive,” said Mukova.

“We have already mobilised other residents and we are going to fight for our rights to live a decent life.”

During Operation Murambatsvina, the Zanu (PF) government embarked on an exercise of demolition. Thousands were left homeless and jobless in major cities and towns. The programme was condemned nationally and internationally.

Post published in: News

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