Multimedia: 100 Budiriro houses demolished

via Multimedia: 100 Budiriro houses demolished – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 13, 2015

THE HARARE City Council on Wednesday intensified its demolition of illegal structures with close to 100 houses razed down in Budiriro 4 after the local authority said they were constructed on land reserved for a school.

Council spokesperson Michael Chideme accused the residents of disregarding the local authority’s land use policies.

“Harare residents should learn to respect land uses. There is land meant for schools, clinics and recreation. We should make sure we do not tamper with such land,” Chideme said.

“Everything that council pulled down today was illegal.”

Some of the affected families, who are members of Tembwe Housing Co-operative, were battling to come to terms with their losses and accused council officials and their co-operative leaders of corruption.

Watch residents speak below:

“If they are sincere, why did they demolish just a few houses? This side, they demolished just 13 houses and it is clear that they want to give our stands to other people,” a resident, who identified himself as Nemiah Magure, said.

“As you can see, there are heaps of bricks here implying that in a few weeks’ time, someone else would have built their house here.

“I paid up to $2 500 and I have lost a lot of money. All my property has been destroyed and I do not have anywhere else to go.”

His neighbour, Happymore Tarwirei, said most of the affected residents had lost their jobs following the recent Supreme Court ruling that has seen well over 20 000 people dismissed from work on just three months’ notice pay.

Deputy chair of the co-operative Dominic Shuche said they had unsuccessfully tried to seek audience with Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere to stop the demolitions.

Meanwhile, council also said it had intensified its water disconnections to recover about $165 million owed by residents in unpaid water bills.

In a statement, Chideme said: “As a measure to ensure that residents and business pay for the municipal water service delivery, the city has intensified water disconnections citywide.

“While acknowledging that water is a basic human right, the City of Harare is convinced that the right should be guaranteed, but at the same time, consumers of the water should pay for the service to ensure continuity in supply.”