Chombo ordered the council to demolish within 21 days all homes built near power lines, water and sewage pipes and on wetlands.
Mayor Phillip Mutoti said Chombo had issued the demolition directive to ‘create an orderly city’. “As we speak, one of the farms named Dunnotar is still a bush. There is nothing indicating that this is the place where people are supposed to be resettled,” he said.
According to Chombo’s order, residents are supposed to destroy their houses and then go to the town council to get a certificate proving that they had demolished their property. They would then be eligible to start applying for a stand.
The Chitungwiza Residents Trust Board Secretary, Tinashe Kazuru, said the minister’s directive was ‘unfortunate and illegal’ and holds no water without a court order.
“The minister’s statements are prejudicial to the situation on the ground,” said Kazuru. “Residents do not take orders through press statements. There has not been any communication to the residents and their representative organisations to that effect.”
Kazuru said because residents were protected by the Constitution, the local authority could not effect the demolitions without going through the normal court processes.
“The residents have an interim relief that says there should be no demolitions so they cannot be forced to destroy their properties, said Marufu Mandevere of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
Betty Fusutwa from Unit J in Seke told The Zimbabwean: “They should give us the stands first before they destroy our houses. It is winter and for us to be out in the cold is highly inconsiderate. Alternative accommodation first before they even start thinking of demolitions.”Post published in: News