CHITUNGWIZA Municipality on Sunday 11 October 2020 resolved to stop the demolition of some residents’ houses after Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) threatened to sue the local authority for violating people’s fundamental rights.
In a letter written on behalf of Chitungwiza Residents Trust
(CHITREST) by Paidamoyo Saurombe and Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of ZLHR to
the Chamber Secretary at Chitungwiza Municipality, the residents
association protested against the local authority’s issuance of a
purported Demolition Order on Thursday 8 October 2020, where it
identified some places in St Mary’s, Zengeza, Seke and Nyatsime
suburbs ordering people occupying houses in these areas to depart from
the land, remove property from the land, demolish any structures
erected, remove all the rubble from the land and restore the land to
its original site by Monday 12 October 2020.
Saurombe and Chinopfukutwa stated that the issuance of a purported
Demolition Order by Chitungwiza Municipality is a violation of
residents’ basic rights protected under section 74 of the Constitution
and which provides that no persons may be evicted from their home or
have their home demolished without an order of court made after
considering all the relevant circumstances.
Saurombe and Chinopfukutwa gave Chitungwiza Municipality an ultimatum
lasting up to 9:AM on Monday 12 October 2020 for the local authority
to furnish them with a court order authorising the eviction of people
and demolition of their houses or else the human rights lawyers would
pursue legal remedies to protect the rights of the residents.
But in response to the letter written by CHITREST, Chitungwiza
Municipality on Sunday 11 October 2020 said it had resolved to suspend
the demolition exercise hence the demolitions will no longer be
effected as per its Demolition Order which it had issued on 8 October