Government accused of betrayal as demolitions begin

via Government accused of betrayal as demolitions begin | SW Radio Africa by Tererai Karimakwenda  November 7, 2013

A government ordered demolition of tuck shops and residential structures got underway in Ruwa and Damofalls on Wednesday, under the watchful eye of the riot police, as victims accused the local government of betrayal.

Despite strong condemnation from civil society and residents’ groups concerned with the welfare of families, bulldozers tore down structures as ordered by Local Government Minster Ignatius Chombo.

And on Thursday in Harare, the police are reported to have confiscated goods from informal traders and detained some street vendors in the city centre. Government had already warned that the so-called cleanup would expand to other urban areas.

Ironically, it is Chombo himself who is being accused of illegally allocating land to gain support for ZANU PF ahead of the July 31st elections, land on which these so-called illegal structures were built. The party ‘won’ legislative seats in traditionally MDC-T constituencies, fuelling debate as to why they are now evicting innocent families.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa, who witnessed the Ruwa demolitions Wednesday, said the Goromonzi Rural District Council has been officially billing residents with tuck shops on their properties at $30 per month.

“They were being billed as part of their rates just like water and refuse. Council officials also visited the tuck shops regularly and demanded bribes of between $50 up to $100 every time. So the Council regularized these businesses,” Muchemwa said.

Meanwhile a72-hour ultimatum was issued to the Local Government Ministry by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), demanding that government honor the basic rights of individuals.

“We notified the Minister that the pending evictions violate several of the key protective provisions, such as the right to shelter and freedom from arbitrary eviction, which are protected under the new constitution,” said Kumbirai Mafunda, Communications officer for the lawyers group.

Mafunda told SW Radio Africa that they have asked the Local Government ministry to explain how long the cleanup campaign will take, how many families and children will be left without shelter as a result and what measures they are taking to protect them before rolling out the campaign.

“If they fail to give people alternative accommodation, we have told them they cannot carry out this exercise without a court order, as provided for under section 74of the new constitution of Zimbabwe. It says no person may be evicted from their home or have it demolished without a court order,” Mafunda explained.

With government warning other areas to prepare for the same, ZANU PF supporters in Chitungwiza took to the streets Wednesday to protest the pending “cleanup”.

According to the Daily News, the demonstrators marched from the Council’s head office to a venue where the deputy minister for Local Government, Joel Biggie Matiza, was addressing residents on the evictions. But Matiza reportedly stood his ground and insisted the demolitions would continue.

In a statement on Thursday, the Heal Zimbabwe Trust said: “The demolition of structures, such as informal business which have become a source of income for many, goes against the empowerment drive which the same Government talks about.”

The group blasted the Ministry of Local Government and Chombo for spearheading the demolitions, saying: “The directive reminds Zimbabweans and the world at large, of the infamous Operation Murambatsvina that took place in 2005 at the instigation of the Government”.

The 2005 campaign displaced nearly one million people, destroying businesses, churches, orphanages and clinics. Heal Zimbabwe said they “castigate in the strongest of terms the abrupt manner in which the process intends to proceed with no clear alternative plan”.



  • comment-avatar
    Africanson 9 years ago

    People must have known by now that you trust a politician at your own peril. Politicians will promise you the moon before elections. Soon after they will chew you and spit you out like a gum.

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    That’s the nature of those Zanu pigs. They use you and they dump you. Ask the war vets.

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    Chivulamapoti 9 years ago

    This site won’t let me post, anyone else having this problem!

  • comment-avatar

    We should invade the zanu hierarchy mansions and evict them to the snakepit at our new chikurubi hotel

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    Gonzo 9 years ago

    Ko kucaledonia endaika tizive chokwadi.there are so many cooperatives there stealing from ple.kkk eastview and dale.investiagte lowincome hsimng cooperative if its genuine

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    farai 9 years ago

    Veli cheeky! “Where were they when you were building?” You commit a crime you get bursted then you ask the cop, “where were you when I was stealing?” Help me lord!

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    gorongoza 9 years ago

    Everytime ZANU PF “wins” an election it become retributive and destroy people’s residency and livelihoods. Why would they do that after they have “won” and election? Why the retribution when you have “won”? Maybe they know something we dont and thats why they are always hellbent on punishing the people! Do Zimbabweans deserve such a heartless leadership? Do we deserve a 90 year old with a heart of stone? We ned to stand up and be strong!

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      It’s all about total power. To achieve that you must have the majority of the population in rags and a ruling or social class of 10% of the populace. This way the rest after some time start to believe that the life they are leading is normal.Like how my kids who were still very young during the hard ships we went through did not know that breakfast was a normal basic meal. Every time we managed to make them bacon and eggs they thought it was someones party.

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    munzwa 9 years ago

    Betrayal by Chombo…NO surely not!!!!!!!!!!!

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    maranilem 9 years ago

    Minister chombo, may you please stop your team on that operation. tirima youth emusangano we zanu pf ma NYS Chaiwo hatina kwatinowana mari yekutenga mastands ema $4000-00 takakurudzira vanhu nenyaya yema stands mukahwina so hatidi nyaya yekumozambique please hatidi Ngatiitei sehurumende yakarongeka inguva yekunaya kwemvura sei mavakuda kuti zvimbwasungata zviwane chekutaura Gadzirisai kana mwari anotsamwa mukaita zvakadaro. tsvagirai vanhu pekugara mozoputsa kunzi minister tisu pasina vanhu hapana minister ndatenda wenyu mwana wemsangano.

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    farai 9 years ago

    Off Borrowdale road behind Gunhill Surburb on the land between the race course and Gunhill is a thriving community of Squatters. This is not the Zimbabwe Vince wants!

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    chinzvengamutsvairo 9 years ago


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    Mthwakazi 9 years ago

    My memory of the anti-Mthwakazi insults, slogans and burning down of houses in the 1980s for exercising their democratic right to choose a party PF ZAPU and a leader, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo of their choice are still fresh.

    For that reason alone and the fact that many have never apologised or admitted to the errors of their ways, I really have no sympathy for the victims of this ZANU PF onslaught.

    After all its the party they used to brag about to us in those years, isn’t it?

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    Vendetta 9 years ago

    People, beware of injustice. When ordinary people say “NO” to injustice, the world changes. It does not change without effort; meaningful change requires collective action, vision, and organization. Change under the law requires strategy and great attorneys. But without the courage of ordinary people who refuse to accept inequality, change is not possible for injustice shall be darkness on the Day of Judgment.

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    farai 9 years ago

    Chombo should be very careful about setting off the powder keg. Legally he could be on track but this is not the time. People are against the wall and this could be Zimbabwe’s version of Tunisia’s Mohamed Bouazizi. Don’t do it now man, there is just too much at stake!

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    The staff that ignites a revolution

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    Gukurahundi upbringing 9 years ago

    A powder keg by the Cshonah? Stop dreaming my friend. Since when have these people risen up against authority without Mthwakazi showing them how? Revolutions are never led by cowards, never.

    History has it that Cecil John Rhodes went all the way up North and put up his flag declaring the land his without a fight. He deliberately avoided Mthwakazi because he knew what he was up against. The correct history also tells us that the first wars against the white colonialists we staged by uMthwakazi, Not this first Chimurenga distortion!

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    Amanda 7 years ago

    I think its time for you people to stop thinking and start acting.Ask 5-7 years kids for opinions.