ZLHR intervenes to stop local authority from demolishing villagers’ homestead

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has asked Mudzi Rural District Council to stop demolishing some villagers’ homestead in order to pave way for the construction of a road.

Authorities at Mudzi Rural District Council in Mashonaland East
province recently contracted the state-owned Central Mechanical
Equipment Department (CMED) Private Limited to construct an
alternative road to the one that was already situated at the edge of
Mr and Mrs Chirambadeya’s property and in the process encroached onto
the couple’s piece of land.

The Chirambadeya family had in February 2021 invested over US$1 500 in
the planning and construction of their property on their piece of land
and had constructed the footing in the foundation of the building.

The couple attempted to stop the illegal act by CMED officials by
writing a letter of complaint to Mudzi Rural District Council
registering their displeasure over the manner in which the local
authority had commenced construction and protesting that none of the
usual legal formalities required to be taken before a person can be
dispossessed of their property were followed.

While Mudzi Rural District Council undertook to “investigate the
matter appropriately to address the situation” and provide feedback to
the family, CMED returned to continue with construction of the road
and thereby causing more damage to the couple’s property.

Faced with an obstinate local authority, the Chirambadeya family has
now engaged Agnes Muzondo of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who in
a letter which was recently dispatched to Mudzi Rural District
Council, demanded that the local authority through CMED, its
contractor, should cease all construction on the family’s homestead.

Muzondo warned that if Mudzi Rural District Council continues to
encroach on the couple’s land and proceeds with construction of the
road, she will have no choice but to seek a legal remedy which will
claim damages for all the losses which the Mudzi family has suffered
as a result of the actions of the local authority.

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