Chitungwiza residents decry demolition of illegal structures
Illegal structures being erected at Chitungwiza’s Unit D Shopping Centre have to be demolished within 48 hours according to notices issued by the local authority, with reaction to the move divided.
On one side, Chitungwiza Residents Trust wants to see the demolitions delayed to after the rainy season and wants council to obtain a court order in any case.
But on the other side the Chitungwiza Progressive Residents Association and Residents Association of Chitungwiza Trust feels the council in this case is justified, and that some of those building are trying to get their construction done to claim the title deeds promised by central Government to those who were sold plots by land barons.
Chitungwiza Residents Trust director, Ms Alice Kuvheya said the council was being unreasonable and inconsiderate given the time frame.
“We have engaged our lawyers and we drafted a letter to the council addressing the facts that the demolition order does not comply with section 32 of the Regional Town Country Planning Actand the Administrative Justice Act,” she said. Ms Kuvheya said they have requested the council to bring in a court order that approves of the demolition of the illegal structures. “In terms of Section 74 of the Constitution, it is imperative that Chitungwiza Town Council obtains a court order authorising it to demolish the affected residents’ houses. Suffice to state that, as far as residents’ homes and dwelling places are concerned.”
Chitungwiza Progressive Residents Association secretary general Mr Gift Kurupati said as law abiding citizens they encourage people to get approval for any structure that might be constructed in Chitungwiza.
Mr Kurupati said some rogue elements were taking advantage of a directive from Central Government that illegal structures will be given title deeds.
Residents Association of Chitungwiza Trust secretary general Mr Stanely Makwiramiti said the municipality’s move to demolish illegal structures at unit D shopping centre opposite town is a justified move.
“We cannot afford to justify lawlessness in Chitungwiza town. Whatever that is illegal should be totally condemned.
“Illegal structures are mainly created by space barons using their political influence,” he said
In a notice, Chitungwiza acting town clerk Mrs Evangelista Machona had said “Notice is hereby given that it has come to the attention of the council that at Town Center Unit D Shopping Centre illegal structures come (building and durawall) or have already been put up without council approval.
“Therefore, take note that in terms of Section 35 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act you are ordered to demolish any structures erected remove all the rubble from the land and restore the land to its original state”.