Disabled men kicked out by Leonard Cheshire now living on the streets

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Three men living with disabilities who were evicted from the Masterton Leonard Cheshire home in Harare are now living on the streets.

By Vanessa Gonye

Robert Chite in his makeshift shelter along Baines Avenue in Harare

Robert Chite in his makeshift shelter along Baines Avenue in Harare

The three were evicted from the home in Harare’s Avenues area in April together with 13 other disabled persons.

The group had been resisting eviction since 1999 but they finally lost a court battle against the Leonard Cheshire Disability Zimbabwe Trust on March 10.

Intervention by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare saw them being offered $800 relocation allowance each.

However, some of the tenants turned down the offer and continued sleeping outside the premises at the height of winter.

Those who tried to resist eviction include Lewis Garaba, Robert Chite and Wonder Mukanganise, who now lives on the streets.

“The $800 that we were offered was too little, it could not cover rentals as well as projects for long-term sustenance and not everyone got the money,” said Chite, who lives along Baines Avenue — close to what had become his home.

The men said those who had taken the money had also fallen on hard times and were now homeless.

Across town, along Fourth Street, Rungano Matanga said he received the $800 but the money had since run out.

“I have been living on the streets for nearly four months since our eviction,” he said.

“I have been degraded into homelessness. Life on the street is very hard; there is no safety sleeping on pavements. It is especially hard given my disability.”