Reprieve on illegal structures

Evelene Taadira Herald Reporter
HARARE City Council has given residents a two-month reprieve to negotiate with council the way forward regarding their illegal structures before demolition begins. Council recently said it would demolish all illegal structures as part of efforts to restore the city’s sunshine status and meet its target of making the city world class by 2025.

Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi yesterday said the grace period would allow residents to come and negotiate with council on the way forward.

“We are not demolishing the structures tomorrow (today) as some media reports have said. Rather, within the next weeks leading into next year residents can come to council to ascertain the way forward.

“Those who have built structures in areas that are suitable for such structures, but without council permission will get an opportunity to regularise their construction, while those who have put up buildings in inappropriate places without council permission are being asked to remove them within the set period,” Dr Mahachi

Dr Mahachi

Dr Mahachi


Illegal structures had begun mushrooming in the city in recent years due to the growing number of people in informal employment, delays in the allocation of proper places by council and its failure to enforce city by-laws.

After the two-month period, Dr Mahachi said, council inspectors would move around the city and those who would not have complied in removing their illegal structures would be issued with orders to demolish.

“We will give them orders telling them to demolish their structures within a given period,” he said.
Dr Mahachi expressed hope that when Government finally brings its audit of housing structures, the city would already have liaised with its residents.

The reprieve comes as a relief to residents as many feared for their backyard businesses since the announcement that council would pull down all illegal structures.

“The rains are upon us and it would have meant working in the open had this tuckshop been demolished and that is not ideal for the perishables we sell. We are relieved for the time we have been given,” said Mr Tendai Matikiti from Glen Norah.

Meanwhile, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Deputy Minister Cde Biggie Matiza said the audit report on housing developments in Chitungwiza and Ruwa would be released in a fortnight following which necessary steps would be taken.

“There are no demolitions that are being done by Government at the moment. There is nothing like that, rather we are waiting for the audit which is to be released in two weeks time,” he said.

Ruwa Local Board last week demolished illegal structures as part of sanitising the environment.

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  • Sekuru Timba

    “Council recently said it would demolish all illegal structures as part of efforts to restore the city,s sunshine status and meet its target of making the city world class by 2025″
    Thats a very ambitious goal by the city fathers,in order for Harare to be world class city,how about starting by investing in new water treatment plants to supply the growing population with clean drinking running water rather than trying to piece together the Jaffray morton water plant, that the Smith regime constructed to cater for 150 000 residents? The same plant is now expected to cater for 3 million residents currently living in Harare.How about investing in new pipes so you can stop the sewage leaks that have become a daily occurance?Collecting garbage? How about working with ZESA so we can have normal power supplies? As for the illegal structures the city fathers are guilty of looking the other way when these residents started building these illegal structures,as a matter of fact some council members were responsible for allocating some of these stands without following proper procedures,City fathers should not give these pple a false sense of hope, the sooner they demolish the illegal structures the better.If every resident who is not a home owner starts allocating themselves land and building homes then it will be a receipe for disaster.Pasi nedhisinyongoro.

    • Big Daddy

      Truly speaking 2025 is just a year these guys came up with. There are no concrete plans about this 2025 vision. Where is it? Please publish it so that we can review your progress as residents!

  • Sekuru Timba

    With our life expectancy at 44 i wonder how many of us we live to see the restored world class Harare in 2025?

    • Fongora

      When you attain the age 44 and are still alive, what are you going to do? Suicide is a good option for you.

  • Ndareva

    They are expected to remove their structures? Asking a family man to demolish his own house? Yet all these was caused by the council’s inconsistencies and fraud.
    World class hamuite nekupunza zviripo, u first build then people opt for the better. Haungati mwana arase hembe dzake dzekupfeka nekuti hadzina kunaka iwe usati usingamutengere dzimwe! Doesn’t make any sense!

    #Cry my beloved country

    • rukudzo

      You have a point my brother. How about rephrasing that same point and put it in a more positive way that is likely to get buy in? Sometimes its how we say things which make people switch off.

  • observer

    politics at play now . the matter could die out just the way Masimirembwa was let off the hook .

  • Mimi

    Quite a mature way in trying to handle the construction of illegal structures. Team ZANU-PF is shining once again by being reasonable and fair. It is up to those who erected illegal structures to take up Council’s offer.

    • Common Sense

      Blowing the Trumpet for ZPF again!

      But the horse has already bolted, it is the same councilors which have raked in millions to their own wallets in payments from these ‘illegal’ dwellers…. and now they demolish them. And they try to look like the good guys by giving a ‘reprieve’ telling the people to make them ‘legal’. Well if the council and ZPF ministers didn’t illegally award the stands and approve the dwellings in the first place, there wouldn’t be this mess.

  • Popiro

    World class is provision of Water and Sanitary utilities without interruption

  • citizxen

    the sooner they erase the ill legal structure better ,becoz to destroy z easy bt kuzoti allocater more room for corruption to city fathers,for birds for prey anenge awanda makaoma .l understand these pple have papers ane mastamp enyu n signatories fm yo dept saka ingoitai tione???????>?????????????????????????????????

  • dzikaz

    Ruwa, was the first council to demolish , yet it is the worst and corrupt council after it has failed to provide the small community with water for the past 7 years, it was given usd 2 million to take a project that would solve the problem permanently , but decided to share the money among them self and leave only 600 thousand dollars that left the project halfway, havatonyari

  • YOWE78

    zvakaoma izvi…tipeiwo mvura yakachena yekunwa apa

  • Nicholas Utaunashe Makumana

    Now the council is talking of demolition, my question is, where was it (council) when these people were building these illegal structures? Because of corruption people were given illegal stands and now the council should do something before embarking on its programme. Housing cooperatives are also failing to provide decent houses, what are the people going to do with the situation at hand? Think twice before taking action.

  • chiendambuya

    this is inviting corruption thru the front door chairo.

  • makwavarara

    how illegal are they legal?

  • mai maka

    mvura madhaka chaiwo. kutozvivakira pako zviri nani wocheresa mugodhi .becoz kugara p[amba palandlord anoda mari yake yemagetsi neyemvura apa kubasa kungoindawo vanhuwe zvakawoma vanhuwe apa woputsirwa futi