via ‘Demolitions: Zanu PF revenge mission’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 12, 2013
THE move to demolish illegal structures in Harare and elsewhere is Zanu PF’s mission of avenging its electoral loss in urban areas, the MDC-T party said Monday.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora also said his party was opposed to the demolition programme spearheaded by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.
Mwonzora distanced his party’s councillors from the move saying it was a Zanu PF ploy to set the city fathers against the people.
He said the MDC-T-dominated councils were not responsible for the clean-up exercise.
“The MDC is against these demolitions. Destroying people’s property during the rainy season without providing an alternative is sadistic, cruel and inhumane.
It can only be done by a government that is meting revenge on the people,” Mwonzora said.
“Government has failed to provide jobs and the unemployment rate is at 85%. The only option left is the informal sector. The directive did not come from councillors, it came from the government that wants to set the MDC council against the people, but Zimbabweans know the truth.”
MDC-T Harare provincial spokesperson Obert Gutu also said: “The threatened demolition of the so-called illegal structures is a direct and unmitigated attack on the Bill of Rights enshrined in the new Constitution of Zimbabwe, in particular Section 74 of the Constitution that specifically provides that no person may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances.”
Gutu added: “Put alternatively, no sane and democratic government should proceed to cruelly and indiscriminately demolish the so-called illegal structures before undertaking a holistic due diligence exercise to ascertain why, in the first place, the said structures were allowed to mushroom all over the place.
“The government should not victimise the people simply because they are poor and vulnerable and also because these poor people have been misled by unscrupulous politicians. Be that as it may, the government has a duty to respect and uphold the doctrine of constitutionalism.”
Ironically, the MDC-T dominated councils last year called for demolition of illegal structures, the same way the Zanu PF government was now pushing.
Former Harare deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto was quoted last year as saying: “People should stop building illegal structures. We are a council that loves its city more than we love votes. We won’t allow people to do what they want because we want votes. We won’t allow lawlessness. These people should run around and try and regularise their structures, lest they would be destroyed.”
Meanwhile, MDC-T MPs have indicated that they would raise the issue in Parliament next week.