Harare braces for demolitions

via Harare braces for demolitions | SW Radio Africa by Tererai Karimakwenda on Monday, November 11, 2013

Residents in Zimbabwe’s capital were on Monday bracing for a government ordered demolition of tuck shops and “unplanned houses”, deemed illegal by the Ministry of Local Government, which are due to begin Tuesday.

The Harare Council warned residents in high-density areas to remove their valuables before its team demolishes illegal structures in areas including Budiriro, Kuwadzana, Mbare and Dzivaresekwa.

There were mixed messages from officials as Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, who ordered the demolitions, insisted government would destroy all illegal structures. But his deputy Joel Biggie Matiza told a meeting last week they were only after structures built on wetlands, sewer mains and electric cables.

Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi told the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper that all illegal tuck shops and unplanned houses would be torn down as they were “causing chaos” in the city.

The demolitions are due to go ahead Tuesday despite condemnation from the Crisis Coalition, Heal Zimbabwe Trust, Chitungwiza Residents Trust, Combined Harare Residents Association and the Zimbabwe lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

The lawyers group last week gave the local government ministry a 72-hour ultimatum to put measures in place that would protect families and individuals who would be affected by the demolitions.

In a letter addressed to Minister Chombo, the lawyers warned government to respect the right to shelter of every individual, as guaranteed by the new Constitution, and make alternative plans for those about to be evicted.

As of Monday there had been no response from Chombo or the Ministry, according to Kumbirai Mafunda, communications officer for the lawyers. He said lawyers had been to Ruwa and Damofalls, where the demolitions began last Wednesday, gathering evidence that can be used if legal action is pursued.

Mafunda said: “The lawyers were furnished with materials that should help them once our clients give the green light to proceed with litigation against these defiant authorities. We are considering several approaches because this is also a matter of public interest.”

ZANU PF officials allocated plots of land illegally ahead of the July 31st election, in order to boost political support. With the election now over, the beneficiaries are now being labeled “illegal” and their homes and tuck shops demolished.

The MDC-T has also condemned the demolitions, and some ZANU PF officials have reportedly expressed their concern that beneficiaries would turn against the party if they lost their homes and livelihoods.

The state run Herald newspaper said Chombo has appointed a task team, led by his deputy Joel Matiza, to investigate the illegal allocation of land by officials in the Manyame Rural District council and Chitungwiza Municipality.

The paper neglected to mention that Chombo himself has been implicated in illegal land deals around Harare. Despite evidence presented by MDC-T councillors that he later suspended, Chombo has remained a key figure in the allocation of land in the capital, and now is ordering the destruction of buildings on land he may have given to party supporters.



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    hazviite , chikwata chepatop hachina basa nesu, makanga muripi nhai vachombo pakutanga, paradzai henyu, ndezvepasi , ishe wedenga achava nesu,

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    Why not build accommodations and move people in a civilized way. Use the money from the diamonds. Where is this money the people have a right to know

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    Kusvikazvanaka 10 years ago

    Who is surprised? The leopard will never change it’s colors! We talking Zanu Pf here, the guys that perfected their rigging machinery while MDC was crying for changes in the new constitution. The guys that chased the white men from their farms and the country went hungry. The guys that are enjoying the unstoppable looting of minerals while industries are closing. The guys that installed 100kW diesel sound proof generators are their homes while the country goes for days without electricity. These are the same guys who are using Japan Made 4 x 4 cars in roads that are nothing but potholes…are you forgetting the guys whose boreholes are perennial while the city has no running water. Well they will destroy the shacks of the homeless and tell them to build better homes because the ‘queen’ is coming…these are the same guys that have at least 3 farms each and all in their cousins’s names. Cry the beloved country. these are the same guys whose 90 year president will never walk with a ‘third’ leg and his head never turns grey in a country where the life expectant is no-more than 40. We have Created a Devil that has become too big to destroy…we just Wait for God to take care of us all…meanwhile they will loot until they can not hide anything from diamonds to government tenders…

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    /./././????;: 10 years ago

    CHOMBO thank you so much for the move .you are doing this for the next generation.Is this not rule of law?USACHEUKE MURIDZO KANA KUDZORA TSVIMBO NEKUTI GUDO RAMAMA ROVA MUMAHOBI IMOMO.KEEP IT UP MY MINISTER.HAIKONAI KUNGOMERA KUNGE HOWA

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    Did you vote for ZANU PF 31 July , 4 months down on the line who is not regreting , is this really what you voted for . ZANU PF is rigging our homes . How can the government of ZANU PF evict such disadvantaged people from their shacks without an alternative place them . They must build houses for the people before evicting them , today the people who voted for ZANU PF must learn and they must not repeat this come 2018 . Thanks my house is in Nkulumane , ziyaduma empumalanga -shonaland .

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    Mr Mixed Race 10 years ago

    I remember my Germany friend from the former East Germany saying to me,the people in Zimbabwe have not suffered yet because when things go very bad they will learn not to be cheated easily using things like cheap plates and pots from China.He told me that when the suffering in the former East Germany reached unbearable levels the masses new what to do without external interference.I really agreed with him because how can people with five senses get easily cheated by cheap politicians every time there are elections unless they are also guilty of the same crime.How come we do not have this happening here in Matebeleland? Are we better than our brothers and sisters from Mashonaland in understanding politics?Maybe our past experience in the eighties taught us not to be naive when we deal with these politicians.The minister must go ahead and demolish all the illegal structures to teach them another lesson so that they will wake up.Who wants to see a dirty tuck shop near his or her house with uncontrolled radio noise and hooligans drinking and urinating on durawalls?In this case the minister has my full support.Human Rights Organisations should educate the masses of their legal and lawful rights not to support those who commit illegal acts eg building on stream banks,wetlands and illegal tuck shops.

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      TadaDee 10 years ago

      Mixed Race your friend was right and yes you guys in Mat. are far much better when it comes to know how these politicians play with our brains. How can politicians support illegal structures? Yes because those illegal structures were only authorised by politicians of the other party…that is playing with the peoples minds.

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    Davy Mufirakureva 10 years ago

    People easily forget. I never thought anyone could vote for zanupf by now.

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      Mouce 10 years ago

      BUT, did the people vote ZANUpf?

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        Angel 10 years ago

        YEAP. Zimbabweans voted for Mugabe’s Zanu-PF. They did so for different reasons. For some, memories of the violence after the 2008 elections meant a “safety” vote for the party which could best guarantee – or take away – their physical security. Some MDC voters, incensed by having unelected candidates foisted on them for the elections, went for a bhora musango (protest vote) in favour of Zanu-PF. More important is the fact that Zanu-PF started their 2013 electoral preparations as soon as the 2009 government of national unity was formed between Mugabe’s party and the split MDC, one part led by Morgan Tsvangirai, one led by Arthur Mutambara and Welshman Ncube. While the two MDCs were slowly learning how government functions, Zanu-PF quickly moved ahead to prepare a strategy for an electoral counter-strike. Over the last four years the party

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          Angel 10 years ago

          has worked hard to rebuild its base, localise its message and register its voters.

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    gorongoza 10 years ago

    How come the Chienes build on wetlands and nothing is done to them…but mwana wevhu anorohwa netsvimbo! Are the Chinese now more indeginous than us. Mugabe watirasisa nemaChina ako aya! tademba demba!

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    takakuudzai kuti vhairai ma election achapera tichafanana imi mukati hee tavana ma stands emahara handiti munokanganwa chazuro ne neusiku humwe kunge pwere.