Demolitions ‘callous, inhumane’

via Demolitions ‘callous, inhumane’ – DailyNews Live by Fungi Kwaramba  21 NOVEMBER 2013

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has demanded that the Zanu PF-led government stops the “madness of destroying people’s homes and livelihoods.”

Speaking to the Daily News on Tuesday after touring suburbs in Ruwa, Zimre Park and Damafalls where police demolished tuck shops, the former prime minister described the planned demolitions of thousands of houses in the capital as “callous and miscalculated”.

“It is overzealous, callous and inhumane and in some cases it is actually vindictiveness,” Tsvangirai said.

The MDC leader, who enjoys popular support in urban areas, distanced his party — which controls Ruwa council — from the demolitions saying the government is punishing urbanites for voting MDC in the July 31 vote.

“It should be sensitive and must have a conscience in view of the suffering that the people are facing,” Tsvangirai said.

He said he was happy that the Ruwa Town Council was working on easing the residents’ hardships by constructing corner shops and ensuring that informal and formal traders co-exist.

Tsvangirai said instead of destroying houses, the government should first build alternative shelter for the affected.

“Sometimes there is no rationale, we experienced this during Murambatsvina, and the clean-up had no rationale,” Tsvangirai said.

“At the end of the day, they did not provide people with alternative accommodation. It is the same state of mind now that, we destroy then build. Why don’t you build and then ask the owners to destroy their illegal structures.”

Government, which is currently battling a massive housing backlog, is planning a second clean-up campaign that is likely to hit the poor hardest.

“I had been invited to Ruwa by the local board to inspect shops that had been destroyed by the police who had been given orders by the government and what I saw is very sad,” said Tsvangirai.

An elderly man, who is taking care of eight orphans had his shop — his only source of livelihood — destroyed.

“They destroyed my shop and now I don’t have any other source of income, what am I going to give these children?” asked a distraught Joshua Chipeyana from Ruwa.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC spokesperson, who accompanied Tsvangirai on the tour, said the “second Murambatsvina” was a sustained political programme aimed at paralysing urban areas.

“The problem of destroying people’s homes is aimed at harassing urban voters through a systematic creation of poverty,” Mwonzora said.

“Zanu PF wants to create poverty so that at the end of the day they are able to control people through handouts.”

Government insists that structures that are to be destroyed are illegal as they do not appear on town plans while residents say they were legally given the land by local authorities.



  • comment-avatar
    Bhola 10 years ago

    Mr Former Prime Minister. The rains are now upon us. Many of these structures have been constructed over sewage pipes etc. The rains will cause a humanitarian disaster in these areas. And then when there is a cholera or Typhoid outbreak, you will be the first to point fingers again at the Government. You were in the office of the Prime Minister when people were issued these peices of land, and your councillors were the ones issuing fake permits to build. What mechanisms did you have in place to ensure that these councillors were performing their duties? If anything, this should be a big embarasment to your party and there should be a lot of soul searching going on. How do you let members of your party perform so poorly? Many of them sold the same pieces of council land to multiple land buyers. I am shocked and sadened that this story of Murambatsvina is not asking the tough questions. These things happpened on your watch and you and your party are responsible for the suffering of these people!

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    jethro zuwa 10 years ago

    Please Mr or Ms Bhola lets face facts here and remember that MDC or ZANUPF do not have people but Zimbabwe has people. Tell me the questions you said needs to be asked should be answered by all. Its so sad you are now talking about the possibilities of diseases outbreak but you never talk about that when the water system have been systematically being neglected since 1980 and the one Minister responsible for Urban development for a very long time remains presiding over the same ministry that has been systematically alienating itself from the same people. Jimmy Kunaka who was even reminded by Cde Mutasa about his activities in Mbare has been rewarded by a Ministerial post. The suffering of Zimbabweans did not start 10 years ago but you are just trying to bury your head in the sand. Please if we want Zimbabwe to prosper and enjoy peace we need to come together and embrace each other and where we made mistakes we accept responsibility and then find the way forward. Zimbabwe needs people who take responsibility for it to move on. This issue of MDC ZANUPF will not get you anywhere

    • comment-avatar

      I agree with you Jethro, a party or religion or race or gender should never come before the welfare of even one human being. Do unto others as you would want done unto you. Please lets respect and take responsibility for the human life, it is so precious.