via Humanitarian crisis looms in Redcliff – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 12, 2015
A MAJOR humanitarian crisis is looming in Redcliff’s Torwood suburb following council’s recent move to evict over 600 tenants from its properties over unpaid bills.
by BLESSED MHLANGA
Over the past two weeks, council has evicted 19 families from its houses claiming they owed over $1 million in unpaid rates.
Most of the affected families have resorted to sleeping and relieving themselves in the open saying they have nowhere to go.
Tendai Tsikira (22), whose family was evicted over a $622 debt, said they had resorted to sleeping in the open together with her one-year-old baby.
“We have lost all dignity because of these evictions, for the past two weeks my family has been staying in the open in these harsh winter nights and nobody has offered us any help. This is the only home I have known and therefore have nowhere else to go,” Tsikira said.
Redcliff mayor Freddy Kapuya has, however, vowed to press ahead with the evictions adding that council was also planning to sell the houses to raise $13 million for service delivery. Kapuya said the houses were built by Ziscosteel and handed over to the local authority 25 years ago.
Area councillor Clayton Masiyatsva yesterday distanced himself from the decision to evict the residents and appealed to well-wishers to provide temporary shelter to the affected families.
“Humanitarian organisations have let down our people because they are being exposed to harsh weather with young children facing the risk of contracting diseases. I humbly appeal to lawyers to offer these poor people some help, NGOs please give us some shelter,” Masiyatsva said.
Torwood Residents and Ratepayers’ Association president Michael Maphosa appealed to Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere to intervene and stop the evictions.
“The problem is the people who are sleeping on the streets don’t even have the money to afford justice, we can’t afford lawyers or to have the default judgment rescinded, only a directive from the minister can save us,” he said.