HIGH Court Judge Justice Esther Muremba on Tuesday 10 March 2020 ordered a property developer to stop construction of a wedding venue on a wetland in Harare following objections lodged by some aggrieved residents.
In February 2020, Glorious All Time Functions started developing and constructing a wedding venue at Hillside Park wetland in Harare’s Hillside suburb despite being barred from doing so by High Court Judge Justice Owen Tagu who, on 22 May 2019, prohibited the property developer from undertaking such work.
This compelled Hillside Park Association, represented by Memory Mafo, Paidamoyo Saurombe and Fiona Iliff of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), to file an urgent chamber application for execution of Justice Tagu’s judgment, to suspend all development on the wetland pending the determination of an appeal filed in the Supreme Court by Glorious All Time Functions challenging the High Court’s order.
In terms of the order of Justice Tagu, which is now in effect in terms of the order of Justice Muremba of Tuesday 10 March 2020, the planned development on the Hillside Wetland has been ruled unlawful and Glorious All Time Functions have been ordered to permanently cease all construction work related to the development and remove all machinery on site.
The Hillside suburb wetland is the latest to be saved by ZLHR after the human rights organisation has intervened on several occasions to prevent unlawful developments on wetlands, which are important ecosystems and a critical source of water for City of Harare.