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issue ultimatum on planned forced evictions and demolitions
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
November 08, 2013
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have given a 72-hour ultimatum
to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing
to furnish them with detailed information on how the government
will honour its constitutional obligations before rolling out its
planned forced evictions of residents in some parts of the country.
In a letter
delivered to Local Government, Public Works and National Housing
Minister Hon. Ignatius Chombo’s offices on Wednesday 6 November
2013, lawyers from ZLHR demanded assurances from the ministry that
they will follow the dictates of the law in executing the planned
evictions and demolition of property given the fact that Zimbabwe
has entered a new constitutional dispensation, which provides for
the protection of the basic human rights of the people.
ZLHR said it
is of the considered view that the planned
evictions and demolitions which evokes memories of the May-July
2005 slum clearance known as Operation
Murambatsvina violates several of the key protective provisions
such as the right to shelter and freedom from arbitrary eviction
among other rights.
The human rights
organisation said Hon. Chombo’s ministry must comply with
the provisions of Section 74 of the new Constitution
which states that: “No person may be evicted from their home,
or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after
considering all the relevant circumstances.”
that Hon. Chombo’s ministry furnishes them with the total
number of households that will be affected in particular how many
children will be left without shelter and the duration of the notice
period given to the affected families and persons and in what form
shall the notice be.
by ZLHR follows Hon. Chombo’s recent proclamation that the
government will soon demolish some “illegal structures”
in Chitungwiza and Seke communal lands because there were “gross
malpractices” in the allocation of land to the extent that
this has spawned environmental risks.
that the proposed evictions and demolition of housing structures
will not only violate the Constitution but impair the rule of law.
Chombo, ZLHR demanded to be advised of the steps that the Ministry
of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has taken
to ensure that all families and people are provided alternative
accommodation by the ministry and local authority concerned considering
the ministry’s obligations in terms of Section 28 of the Constitution.
Section 28 of the Constitution states that: The State and all institutions
and agencies of government at every level must take reasonable legislative
and other measures, within the limits of the resources available
to them, to enable every person to have access to adequate shelter.
ZLHR gave the
Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing
72 hours to furnish the required particulars, failing which ZLHR
will take appropriate legal action against the minister and some
Visit the ZLHR
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