14 000 houses face demolition

Top2Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Reporter
At least 14 000 houses in various parts of Chitungwiza and Seke rural face demolition after Chitungwiza Municipality yesterday filed a High Court application seeking permission to demolish them and evict families that were unprocedurally allocated stands on areas declared illegal by a Government land audit.The structures were at different levels of construction, with others being completed houses.

Council, at some point, tried to demolish the illegal structures without a court order and was stopped by a Chitungwiza magistrate.

This prompted the municipality to approach the High Court through their lawyer, Mr Rodgers Matsikidze of Matsikidze and Mucheche law firm.

Although the court application does not state the number of properties earmarked for demolition, Chitungwiza Town Clerk Mr George Makunde, said council was seeking the eviction of people from 14 000 stands and structures.

“About 14 000 stands were declared illegal in Chitungwiza and Seke rural and the court application covers all the stands in question,” said Mr Makunde.

In the court application, three housing cooperatives and some individual entrepreneurs who allocated stands to thousands of people were cited as respondents.

Former Chitungwiza councillor, Dr Fredrick Mabamba’s United We Stand cooperative, was listed together with Yemurai Disabled Co-operative and Chitungwiza Ruvimbo Housing Co-operative as respondents.

Marvellous Khumalo, Innocent Hamandishe and T Marufu were individuals cited for spearheading illegal construction on the undesignated lands.

Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi and Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo were cited in their official capacities.

The municipality wants the court to declare the allocation of the stands illegal and to order the eviction of the occupants and the demolition of all the structures in question.

Between 2012 and 2013 thousands of people were allocated stands by individual land developers and housing cooperatives.

The stands, according to council, were illegal and that they did not have proper stand numbers.

Council argues that it did not authorise occupation of the land and that the areas in question were not earmarked for residential purposes.

Most of the affected areas are wetlands while other stands were under electricity pylons.

Some stands were allocated on top of sewer lines, road buffers, water ways and on some open spaces.

In November last year, council notified the occupants to stop construction but they defied the directive.

“Despite such notices, the members of the respondents did not take heed of them.

“They simply failed, neglected and or refused to stop the construction,” read part of Mr Makunde’s affidavit.

Council argues that there were environment concerns arising from the illegal settlements and as the settlers are dumping waste anywhere.

Settlers, according to council, were drinking water from unprotected wells, posing a health hazard.

Mr Makunde, in his affidavit, invited the court to visit the areas in question for an inspection in loco.

The housing co-operatives and land developers are yet to respond to the High Court application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • tadiwa

    ko dzivarasekwa extension

    • Sorojena

      iwe tadiwa,Chitungwiza council does not have jurisdiction in Dzivarasekwa,use common sense.

  • truth0001

    how do you have 14 000 erected and then have some WAKE UP ONE MORNING ANS say ILLEGAL!!!??? the houses were not built OVER NIGHT!! The council tolerated the construction of the houses and it cant just turn around and ruin lives and investments. These people have a legitimate expectation to being treated better and thats a legal basis. also, you see the lack of creativity and IDIOTICNESS OF COUNCILers and council employees, in thier minds the ONLY SOLUTION IS TO DISTROY!!?? really, no other ways of dealing with the matter??? can levies be rised to deal and prevent the negatives created by the situation? can the people be given time to relocate and starting by giving them stands else where. We have a leadership that lacks the basic aspects of common humanity and common sense

    • Sorojena

      Utter nonsense,you should never encourage lawlessness,Asking council members where they were when these pple were comitting crimes is no defence.I bet after investing in building materials and labour they will not do this again,some pple believe in learning the hard way.Vanhu havangameri pese pese kunge hohwa.

    • Winds of Change

      What is illegal is illegal. Ukadziya moto wembavha unosungwa. Zvinorwa but the right thing has to be done its like a judge passing a life sentence. The sentence will be painful but it will be the right judgement. people should make plans because eventually the houses will be destroyed. unotoona umwe achishingirira kuramba achivaka.

  • mabamba and chombo

    This is a clear disastrous move Mr Chombo, if you think kuti Mapositori anopenga muchaona worst than what happened we will burn those catrpillers! Asi makanga makrongana naMabamba kuti mutibire mari dzedu? iye mabamba ndiye achatanga kufa tamurova mirai muone! 14000 houses? what where you doing, drinking coffee? basa richapera gore rino. Murambatsvina takauonaz but not this time we are not fools!

  • Why killing us?

    There is NO house to be destroyed said our President before 31 July 2013 at the Chibuku Stadium Chitungwiza grounds during a campaign rally. What does new constitution define. We have a parliament and it should enornemously agree for these destructions. We don’t allow people who are poor service providers to cause people to suffer. The council should ratify and legalize the current situation and ensure people are properly cited in both Chitungwiza and Seke Rural Lands. Mr Matiza and all council officials should understand the plight of the general public who want own homes and not act barbarically.

  • baba bev

    first of all give them new stands and arrest the Mabambas

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    A very sensitive issue that must be sorted out. ! I rememnber in 1994 when I was Investments Manager and Chairman of the Mortgage Bonds Cttee with a financial company , I refused to allow an application by a staff member who wanted a loan to extend his house in Chitungwiza. The reason was that the planned bedroom extension was going to be above a sewage pipe. The applicant argued that the plan had been approved by the council official and showed Cttee the council stamp on the documents… As Chair I shot down the argument becoz that was illegal & going to be a problem . I am the least surprised that the Chi-town planning system went to the dogs over the yrs! Driving past the Town HQ going towards the industrial area overlooking the Hospital , one would see houses being constructed on the wetland to the left. Senior council officials and even govt ministers passing by that area never bothered about the issue until today when they appear to have seen Heavenly holy light like St PAUL! My foot!
    Pane kamwe ka culture kekumusha kwatakurira kanoita kuti tifunge sema sabuku ari kwa Dotito kana kuti Chendambuya anoti “Ah muzukuru vakira hako umba yako ipapo hazvinabasa dii! “ Asi tine ma degrees and high literacy isina professional training and integrity! Nehanda forbid!

    • CHIMEDZWA

      well said prof

  • Chonglong

    That bulldozer risks a landmine blast, bring it on!

  • Duzvimupoto

    Pane akateya nzvimbo iyi ari kuda kuzotengesa chete ma stands acho

  • Figo

    Kupedza nguva nemari kuri kuita kanzuru. How can they say a stand is illegal yet the council has been receiving rates from the owners. Who allocated stand numbers? Who send building inspectors to inspect those houses during construction and why?. Kana kuri high court kanzuru haina win. No competent court under the sun will issue such an order.

  • Col Sibangilizwe Khumalo

    There is a term called REGULARISATION. The council can look and regularise the settlements. Government did the same in Cowdray Park ,Bulawayo after the Murambatsvina nosense and this Chitungwiza council can take a leaf from that experience

  • masvukupete

    “The stands, according to council, were illegal and that they did not have proper stand numbers.” I think this is not such a big problem allocate them stand numbers its not so difficult.

    “Most of the affected areas are wetlands while other stands were under electricity pylons” From where I am standing a mall in Borrowdale is under “development” on a wetland so small houses which have less weight can also be constructed. There was a special permission to the Chinese near National Sports why cant we give our own people “special permission” or is it a case of Chinese greasers vs Zimbo greasers.

    Those under electrical transmission lines can be relocated including those on top of sewer lines can be relocated but not necessarily everyone.

    However be that as it may how can a government (through the councils) that is failing to provide stands (iyo nyika takatora) want to destroy shelter for 14 000 families (approximately 70 000 people). How long after the demolitions will the government take to provide shelter for that big a number. The councils have been sleeping on the job. The councils should be competing against the land developers in selling stands. Handiti nyika takatora here, ko irikushorta sei to the extend that people have to buy and build on “illegal” places. Anyway who defines “illegal”, it is us the people who decides what we term illegal and legal. We can so much as turn an illegality into legality if we so wish. Land reform ministry should be working to provide land to urbanites while the council sells the land at development cost + 20% thereby competing with land barons and removing the need for people to build on top of sewers, “open spaces”, wetlands, and under power lines.

    Vanhu vekwa kasekera kuda kutaura tumatechnical terms as if they know how to plan. The councils have failed dismally yet they know how to destroy when people have build. I thot they have policing powers and whenever some illegal structures start mushrooming up they should be able to police it from the beginning.

    The councils should adjust that the laws of yesteryear when things were formal are a thing of the past. We have a new era of “lawlessness” therefore they should also accept that is the condition of the times we live in. The only way to stop the issue is to solve the shortage of stands “handiti nyika takatora” according to our “clever, never wrong president” we have busted sanctions, so let people build wherever they want.

    • simon

      its unfortunate this madness was allowed to continue to the extent some houses are completed. stands were allocated in breathing spaces in front of my house. i had a mazda b1800 truck . i could not drive into my house if construction had continued unopposed. if i was in and the person allocated that stand builds over night i was not going to be able to come out of my house. i was going to be locked in. could not leave my house by that truck. councils should employ professionally minded people who can check any illegal structures and report them so that they can be stopped immediately. in the case these contructed houses do not affect sitting residence directly in that case regularisation can be the option to demolishing. but not blocking my gate, not under electricity lines or tower lights, not even in breathing spaces.

  • iwewe

    zvakaoma

  • caution!

    keep it up! you dont just wake up and start building a house without proper papers. some of these things need common sense. why cant you just do the right thing than wasting money?

    • fodza

      ***, sei une mwoyo wakaipa iwe. nyora zvimwe zvakadhakwa futi ndikuudzurudze

  • takudzwa

    shame, zim is fallen no more to rise.why these were built ?where was the council?thats committing crimes against humanity

  • MAFIRAKUREVA

    kuchitungwiza ndokwaita sei endai kuEpworth kana kuHopley uko munoona zvakwakaita

  • Worried Chitungwiza Resident

    Its absurd that Mr. Mabamba owns all wetlands; playgrounds and open spaces! When Mabamba sold these stands to people the Municipality was mum, they were quiet. People built their house and ZESA put power in some places, and now the same Municipality that Mabamba and cronies worked for is now threatening defenseless citizens. It defeats me! Starting from 2008, Fredrick Mabamba connived with people at the Municipality to “sell” or “give” him the land which wetlands and the ones are within 100 metres from the Head Office. Our children and boozers no-longer have social amenities like soccer playgrounds and any other open spaces; they allocated people under electricity pylons and sewer lines as if they didn’t know. It utter madness to continue inflicting pain on these citizens. How could an ordinary person know tht trhere is a sewer line here! nxaaa this is disappointing and the courts should make the Municipality compensate these people. They have to compensate them!

  • UDOGO

    WHY CAN’T THEY MAKE THOSE SETTLERS PAY SOME SORT OF FINE AND MAKE THEM CONTRIBUTE AND FIND OTHER PLACES BCZ THEY LET THEM SETTLE AND COUNCILORS ARE TO BLAME

  • Zvazoita

    Nzvimbo dzekuisa vanhu dziripo-the problem is ,vanhu vacho vanoda zvemahara-hanzi ivhu nderedu-Zimbabwe is now brightening up-the rule of law is now taking its course,if you are doing illegal activitities its time to take the right way-there are lot of illegal structures in Harare as ,so watch out the rule of law is pounding on you soon,be prepared-Ushewokunze-Joshua Nkomo Kambuzuma-Highglen Road opposite Marimba pama tank emvura,garai makagadziririra ,manje manje chiri pamuri,mapepa enyu eeviction akatogadzirwa kare

  • Thetruthwillcome

    Who is responsible for registering cooperatives? Is it the council or the govt? What procedures are in place for registering cooperatives? What are th requirements for one to register a cooperative? Under Zimbabwean law what is the definition of a cooperative? What criteria is used to provide the checks and balances to these cooperatives? Am really surprised with this figure of 14000 being s earmarked for demolition, how did we come to have such a figure? We have too many questions to be answered than just demolish these houses.
    Do we really know what we are doing when we say we are the council or we are the ministry for local govt, where is Mr Chombo? Who benefited when these houses were being constructed? I cannot, unfortunately am not God! God have mercy!

  • Chinotimba

    Policy wise it could be better to regularize these settlements that spark civil unrest.

  • MADZIBABA

    THEY IS A GROUP OF THUGS SELLING INDUSTRIAL STANDS

    DESPERATE PEOPLE IN WARREN PARK D, PLEASE , KANZURU BATAI VANHU, VA SATI VATIZA NE BEG.

  • ivor payne

    It is improper to seek a blanket order for all the houses. The court should be asked to issue an order for each individual house so that each occuppant and owner has a chance to respond.

  • Nkulumane Ncube

    Where was council when this construction started and were the courts closed when this happened. Why should Council which seemingly is soo concerned about the correct things and safety of the people, environment et al want to do such a humanely immoral act? there may not be murambatsvina without garikai!! Whilst Council might have legal recourse on this matter, it is necessarily not just! Legality and justice are not synonymous though inter-linked in a way. It should be realised that Council tolerated this nonsense to happen and as such has a quasi liability to the proliferation of such intolerable occurrances. They are party to the corruption thereof because they were sleeping on dity all along!! Rather than take this action Council ouht to come up with a planned proposal of how not to leave these home-ownersas homeless street dwellers. The co-ops have an issue but let it be understood that tolerance was exercised therefore the parties involved must go back to the drawing board and be PEOPLE befor ethey can be legal creatures.These are ZIMBABWEANS and we cannot be draconian in a sense. I am not convinced all that should and must have been done is or/and has been done in seeking both legal and moral recourse on this matter. Like West Africans would say: Haaaa whats this now…!!???. Honestly are this structures tantamunt to the Kenyan Kibera slums? there must be a way for FAIRNESS in this case!! DEAL WITH THE CO-OPS FIRST AND ASCERTAIN FAIRNESS TO THE RESIDENTS BEFORE YOU SEEK TO PULL DOWN THE HOMES. NDIHO HUNHU IHOHO; KANTI KWENZENJANI BANTU??!!

  • obama

    i like the bit when they cite some of the structures having been built on wetlands. i am just curious on what will befall such structure near the ZNSS… will this give reprieve to the Monavale wetlands issue.

  • Itai Mushe

    I’m quite disturbed by such developments. What people should know about this mess is the issue of politics. Even structures in places designated for stands in Hatcliffe Extension are not being inspected by the Local Authority. Several meetings were held by high ranked politicians in these places assuring people that they are safe. Constituency delimitation recognized these settlements and allowed people to register and vote using the new addresses and MPs now sit in parliament. It’s nothing more than ZANU PF/MDC-T conflict in City administration. After the Surveyor General finished his job in some places, the land was not handed over to the City Fathers for administration- why? Because the City Fathers are wholly MDCs. It is now like MDCs chasing out ZANU PF supporters. What Cooperatives need is legitimacy not this hogwash political nonsense. Zimbabweans are Law abiding but they are not being given the chance by this lengthy political nonsense in the Country.

    • gwaya

      The real question is why does Chombo through the local government provide state land to his cronnies like Mabamba and the other one in Dzivaresekwa Extension instead of the Councils. He wanted political mileage and he got it therefore he needs to deal with the consequences. ZANUPF created this problem and today you hear Fengu telling you that Chombo has availed land for them across the country when councils are in dire need of land to provide those in the waiting lists. Something is amiss.

  • tafi

    ENDAI KUGREEN VALLEY UKO KUNE VANHU VARIKURAMBA VACHINGOVAKA PASINGADIWI MUSIYANE NESU VECHITOWN NEPAMBERI PEHATFIELD KWADUSTAN VACHADONHERWA NENDEGE

  • Wasu Pa Internet

    ndo-ozvinoita zvinhu zvemahara….it can be snatched from you any time, kwekundomhangarira hakuna!!