BY PRIVELEGE GUMBODETE/HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
HARARE Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti has been given a 48-hour ultimatum to withdraw his threat to demolish houses built near Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
Muguti was quoted in the State media saying the houses were constructed in a red zone.
In a letter addressed to Muguti, Arlington Estate homeowners through their lawyer, from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, argued that the construction of the houses was done in accordance with the law.
“All the necessary inspections were done and approved by the Local Planning Authority which in this instance is the City of Harare,” the letter read in part.
“Our clients obtained title deeds to their respective properties in Arlington Estate and as a consequence of the foregoing, the said properties belonging to our clients are private properties protected from compulsory deprivation through demolitions or otherwise.
“In terms of section 71 of the Constitution, no person may be compulsorily deprived of their property. It is our considered view, therefore, that your intended demolitions constitute a violation of your clients’ property rights as provided for in terms of section 71 of the Constitution.”
Arlington Estate said Muguti should retract his statement within 48 hours or risk being dragged to court.
“In light of the foregoing, our clients, therefore, take the utterances that were attributed to yourself in The Herald newspaper seriously and have instructed us to demand as we hereby do that you, within 48 hours of your receipt of this letter, give us your written undertaking that you are not going to proceed with the said demolitions as per your statements and utterances.”
Last year, Muguti was barred by High Court judge Justice Edith Mushore from demolishing informal traders’ structures in Harare and Chitungwiza.