Demolitions point to Zanu PF misgovernance

via Demolitions point to Zanu PF misgovernance – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 14, 2015

Harare City Council intensified its demolition of illegal structures with close to 100 houses razed down in Budiriro 4 on Wednesday this week after the local authority adjudged they were constructed on land reserved for a school.

As if to add insult to injury, council spokesperson Michael Chideme accused residents of disregarding the local authority’s land use policies.

We believe all that is happening in Harare is nothing short of posturing and to all intense and purposes politicking perhaps a result of Zanu PF’s factional fights between the ruling party’s senior officials.

Sadly, the demolished houses in various locations in Harare and elsewhere were built right under the watchful eye of the local authority and, in most cases, council officials were paid money before parcelling out the residential stands.

In some cases, people paid for the stands after having been assured that the transactions were above board, only to realise years later that they had lived in the houses now deemed illegal.

It is not that these people want to be fleeced of their hard-earned cash. All they want is their stand and often they have official documents with council stamps.

We are aware that Zanu PF is struggling to deal with the economy hence will do everything within its power to divert the population’s attention from the crippling economic and social problems besetting the country by focusing on trivia and destroying the majority homeless aspirations of owning a house in the capital using various tactics.

Clearly, what is happening in the country is manifestation of a government failing on its deliverables and resorting to antagonising its citizens.

Is it not an open secret that the majority of housing co-operatives in major urban centres are fronted by
Zanu PF apparatchiks and there is often a lot of palm-greasing in the corridors of power before land is accessed?

We believe that everyone has a fundamental human right to housing, which ensures access to a safe, secure, habitable and affordable home with freedom from forced eviction. Therefore it is the government’s obligation to guarantee that everyone can exercise this right to live in security, peace, and dignity.

But what is happening is a denial of the majority to live with dignity. Government should introspect and find out why these people decided to go it alone if indeed they had not been allocated the land through the rightful channels.

In fact, those behind the sprouting of slums around Harare and elsewhere should be arrested regardless of their standing in society.

No one should be denied their right to adequate housing.

It is unfortunate that people living in slums experience a staggering number of human rights violations and are routinely denied adequate housing, safe water, sanitation and drainage, electricity, health and education.

We urge government to avoid constantly threatening the homeless and home-seekers with violence and forced eviction.

It is a fact that disinvestment in rural areas, the shrinking economy, joblessness, climate change and other factors continue to force people to migrate to urban areas where affordable housing is scarce.

We challenge both government and local authorities to put their machinery in order and ensure that the governance system is spruced up for that is the only way they can win back the residents’ confidence and faith.

Zanu PF should not fight citizens, but focus on rebuilding the economy.