1 500 Mbare informal traders face eviction . . . as council issues 48-hour ultimatum

Mr Chideme

Mr Chideme

Melody Mashaire Herald Reporter
About 1 500 traders in Mbare have been served with 48-hour eviction notices as they are using land owned by the Harare City Council without a lease or permission.

The traders were last week served with eviction orders from the city’s development control (enforcement) section and the eviction is being done in terms of the Urban Council’s (Use and Occupation of Land and Buildings) By-Laws (1979).

Chishawasha Grounds has 1 500 traders.

Reads a notice served to the traders: “Take notice that you are using council land illegally as you do not have either a lease with or the permission of the council.

“Further take notice that within 48 hours from service of this notice upon you, you must depart the land, remove all your property from the land and remove all the rubble from the land”.

Council said it would demolish structures of those who refuse to comply with its notice.

“If you fail to comply with this notice, steps will be taken by either council or its appointed agent to summarily evict you, demolish any structures and impound any property from the land and you will be liable to all the expenses incurred.

“Impounded goods may be claimed after 48 hours of their impoundment upon payment of administration cost (penalty) and storage charges,” reads the notice.

Harare City Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said the traders should move to designated areas.

Some of the affected traders said they were not going.

“We are not going anywhere because its just as good as they want to send people into the streets. We survive through selling and what will happen next if we leave?” said one trader, who did not want to be identified.

Zanu-PF District 6(a) chairperson Cde Andrew Chamunorwa said the affected areas should be regularised so traders could stay legally.

“There are about 1 500 traders at Chishawasha grounds, meaning 1 500 families will be affected. To us the exercise is not bad, but we are saying they should regularise this area so that people can pay to the council,” he said.

“We are prepared to follow council orders as long as our people are trading and sustaining their families. If the council comes to demolish we will not resist as it is exercising the law.”

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