Human wall blocks Chitungwiza demolitions

bulldozerHerald Reporters
Chitungwiza residents yesterday blocked their town council from demolishing illegal structures after a hired bulldozer destroyed a house in the area.Scores of residents stood in front of the bulldozer and threatened to harm the driver if he dared go further.

The bulldozer reduced one house into a pile of rubble before residents made their stand. The owner of the house was away when his property was demolished.

More than 14 000 residential stands allocated in Chitungwiza and Ma- nyame Rural District Council are illegal and structures built on them should be demolished.

Of these, 8 260 stands are in Chitu- ngwiza and while 6 200 are in Seke communal lands under Manyame RDC. The land had been earmarked for other purposes such as clinics, churches, schools, cemeteries, recreational activities and roads. Some of the stands are under high voltage electricity pylons.

In an interview with The Herald, the supervisor of the demolitions, Mr Tendai Zvobgo, said he was directed by town planner Mr Conrad Muchesa to raze some structures on illegally allocated land.

“Mr Muchesa gave me an order to only destroy houses which are under construction in this area but when people saw us they thought we were going to destroy all the houses in the area”, he said.

Chitungwiza acting town clerk Ms Priccillar Vengesayi yesterday said the council intended to demolish more than 200 properties.
“We gave the residents an order stopping them from developing properties which are deemed to be illegal. When we started the exercise we notified the police but they declined to be part of our exercise.

“It was difficult for the council to continue with the demolitions because it was now life threatening to our workers who were carrying out the exercise,” she said.

She said residents had built the houses without council’s approval. Residents, however, said council did not give them prior warning and argued that they were paying rates.

“We were not notified by the council before the demolitions. Where should we go if all our houses are demolished? We pay rates and rentals to the same council which wants to demolish our houses today. Our houses are registered by the council,” said Mr Lonely Tembo.
Mr Maneku Khumalo, another resident, added: “We bought our houses from registered housing co-operatives but we are surprised that the council wants to demolish our houses in the rainy season. Council should first relocate us to other areas instead of ambushing us.”

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  • Cde Jairos Tapfuma

    Lawlesness is taking center stage in this country. People give temselves unrealistic salaries whilst the masses suffer. Even individuals seen as reasonable like Cuthbert Dube and Happison Muchechetere are found behaving like they are dying tomorrow. On the other side the public is busy going against the law and they actually stand up against the state to protect the houses they built on undesignted land. And we expect to move on as a country. Mahwani chaiwo.

    • kurait

      can be the beginning of revolution when people unite against an unrully gvt,

      • mwanawevhu

        Lawlessness started at the top.The masses are only trying to survive.

      • Mfanekhaya

        More like uniting against an MDC-T town council. These councilors illegally parceled out land to desperate home seekers and now want to make a statement to save their own skin by punishing the same home seekers.

    • kurait

      imba yachinotimba haana kupazwa wani. the chinese wetland buiding havapaze zvakare.

  • Chamupidigori

    Uyuwo anemunyama!

  • Thumani

    The Zimbabwean government has been on the international market looking for money through loans & donations – it does not make sense to hear the same government which is begging for money is destroying houses. Just give the people a chance to make their houses legal rather than destroying the houses. I want to think it is small corrections that have to be made to bring these houses in compliance with the law. If Chitungwiza Municipality destroys 200 houses today are they going to build 200 houses by the end of the year? I doubt that the Municipality has that capacity to re-build.

    My heart cries for my country, what will it take to make our country work as well as it did at the start when we got independence? Oh LORD the God of heaven and earth help us in whatever way you will.

    • bill gates

      Younger, you don’t get it do you? Its not a “small correction” as you might think it is, ask us experts on how these things work. ALL construction has to be done in accordance with the building code of that jurisdiction, full stop. If pple were building structures without following the proper codes then that is illegal and ofcourse action is taken against such pple. Now if they did follow the appropriate codes then these residents should sue the Chitungwiza municipality and use the court system to rectify these issues with their municipality. These things aren’t peanuts and madora as you think younger, its a bit more complicated than that.

      • Chris

        Sue the Chitungwiza Municipality and use the court system? AS IF WE HAVE A COURT SYSTEM.

      • Thumani

        Understood mukoma. .

  • Mimi

    Why only destroy one house among the many that have been mentioned in this very paper? Someone needs to explain this anomaly. If Chitungwiza Town Council is to destroy the houses build on illegal spaces then let all the houses be destroyed. Singling a single house is as unfair as everything else that happens in Zimbabwe.

  • Farai

    This is excellent work by the Chitungwiza Council and I hope they can finish the job!! Zimbabwe is a civilised country and we don’t want slums like Dar and Nairobi, the demolition process needs to be ramped up and completed immediately.

  • zolex

    Bill Gates u r heartless full stop so u support demolitions may God gv u a fatherly heart full stop,…………..