Back to Index
No demolitions yet – Chombo
Nyashanu / Everson Mushava, NewsDay
November 11, 2013
minister Ignatius Chombo Sunday distanced himself from reports
that the government would demolish illegal structures in urban areas
starting with Harare Tuesday, saying his ministry was still awaiting
findings of a probe team tasked to investigate the gravity of the
In an interview
with NewsDay last night, Chombo said his deputy Joel Biggie Matiza,
an engineer by profession, was scheduled to present a report of
his team’s findings over the illegal structures on Thursday.
not know where these reports (of demolitions) are coming from. My
deputy will make a presentation this week after analysing the situation
in Chitungwiza then give us recommendations. Any demolition would
be done after taking into consideration numerous aspects,”
remarks were in stark contrast to statements attributed to Harare
town clerk Tendai Mahachi who was quoted in State media reports
saying the crackdown on illegal structures would start tomorrow.
targeting tuckshops, unplanned buildings and all other structures
that are illegal. The sprouting of these structures has created
chaos in the city and we have been left with no choice, but to pull
them down,” Mahachi reportedly said.
of the targeted structures in Harare and Chitungwiza were in panic
mode following reports of the looming demolitions this week.
visited some of the targeted areas in Budiriro, Glen View and Manyame
Park in Chitungwiza yesterday, despondent residents said they would
not abide by the government’s directive to pull down their
so-called illegal structures.
interviews, most of them claimed to have procedurally acquired the
land on which they built their properties and blamed local authorities
for their calamity.
On the outskirts
of Budiriro 4, the 45-member J&B Housing Cooperative last year
erected two-roomed houses on an unserviced piece of land claiming
council had given them the green light to do so.
told us to put up temporary toilets on our households. Even our
homes are temporary structures. Our (cooperative) leaders are in
the process of acquiring documents to legalise the temporary structures.
We have a letter of allocation from council,” said cooperative
member Wellington Madzivire.
could not produce the said council letter.
of the cooperative who refused to be identified said the whole exercise
pointed to an insensitive government, which did not have the poor
of demolishing our homes, government should construct houses and
relocate us. This is another episode of Murambatsvina
(the 2005 demolition of illegal structures) which left about 700
000 homeless,” she said.
In Glen Norah,
on the vlei between the suburb and Glen View, where another settlement
recently mushroomed, residents were in panic.
how much I invested to bring this house to this stage. Our question
is why did they allow construction to come this far when they knew
they would bring them down. I for one will not destroy what I laboured
for - let them come and demonstrate their insensitivity,”
said the resident who only identified himself as Cde Fearless.
Manyame Park, Chitungwiza, it was all gloom when NewsDay arrived
at a settlement along the banks of Manyame River.
to have received the blessings of the local town council to build
the homes while others said they bought them after verifying the
legality of the structures with the local authorities.
this property for $17 500 and verified all the information pertaining
to it with town council. I will not resist any move to repossess
it, but I have to be compensated accordingly,” said Tendai
battle between Chombo and the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights over the looming demolitions appears
set to intensify.
Chombo of ignoring a 72-hour ultimatum they gave him to produce
statistics on the number of families likely to be affected by the
consult with our clients (the affected families) tomorrow morning
and see what action can be taken,” ZLHR director Irene Petras
a new Constitution
that gives rights to citizens. Certain procedures should be taken
to avoid violation of fundamental rights. The move will have a knock
on effect on a lot of families. The proposed demolitions will deprive
many people their rights to shelter, education and health, among
rubbished the ultimatum saying: “They should go and find out
the numbers of the affected people themselves.”
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.