HARARE – Mbare residents affected by the 2016/2017 floods are yet to be compensated two years after winning the High Court lawsuit against Harare City Council.
Residents who spoke to the Daily News said they have not received any of the $58 000 that they were awarded then by Justice David Mangota for their damaged property in the flash floods that occurred.
The residents’ complaint came after they experienced similar flooding in their homes last year, when torrential rains accompanied by a hailstorm pounded the suburb on December 6.
“When they came again last year to assess the damage that had been caused by the hailstorm, we told the council authorities that they still owed us but they did not say anything. The people who were also spearheading the lawsuit are also silent,” said Rosala Banda.
Banda added that they cannot continue to suffer losses every rainy season because of a building that was supposed to have been demolished.
Council spokesperson Michael Chideme said he could not comment on the matter as it was still before the courts.
“I cannot give a comment because the case is still at the courts as it was appealed against by council,” Chideme said.
In their lawsuit filed by their legal counsel Allen Moyo on May 10, the 43 residents argue that the suit is for compensation of loss of property valued at $57 556,70 and loss of sleep and alternative accommodation sought as a result of the floods valued at $43 000.
HCC, who are the defendants, are accused of negligently allowing the continued construction of Gulf Sunshine Bazaar along Simon Mazorodze Road which the residents argue is the cause of the flooding of their homes.
“The defendant, through its spokesperson, also admitted that there was negligence on their part as engineers did not do a proper job and were now trying to do corrective engineering to avoid further floods.”
“The plaintiffs thus contend that the defendant was negligent as said by its chief engineer Jonathan Mutimkulu that the defendant did not inspect its clogged pipes caused by construction of the complex and had they noted the fault in time they would have fixed it before any damage to property had been done.”
“As a result of defendant’s negligence in properly assessing the construction of the said Sunshine Bazaar mall, the plaintiffs suffered loss and defendant has the obligation to compensate for the loss suffered by the plaintiffs,” read their suit.
Former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere ordered the demolition of a section of the Gulf Sunshine Bazaar as the pipes that drained water from the suburb had been sealed with concrete during construction.