New Murambatsvina wave hits Harare: Council to demolish illegal settlements

HARARE – Harare City Council (HCC) has given illegal settlers a short notice to leave the land they occupy before it moves in to demolish the illegal houses.

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In an interview with the Daily News HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme said all new land invasions are not being considered for regularisation.

Between September and December 2015, HCC demolished over 200 illegal structures across the city and arrested land barons implicated in the property invasions.

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A schedule released by council in June showed that 128 cooperatives have illegally allocated themselves land around the city in Mabelreign, Mabvuku, Mufakose, Glen Norah, Glen View, Budiriro, Warren Park, Kuwadzana and Kambuzuma, with 17 of them before the courts.

Chideme said the illegal invaders on Porta and Churu farms should make way for proper planning of the land which will be used for its original intended use.

“Porta Farm is a council farm used for sludge disposal and is to be reverted to its planned use.

“The sludge is from the Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant.

“Churu Farm is State land that is in the process of being transferred to council for housing development. We are in the process of preparing layout plans for housing development and attendant ancillary facilities like schools, clinics, creches, recreational centres and churches,” Chideme said.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum director Lloyd Kuveya condemned the evictions arguing that they are unlawful and a human rights violation.

Kuveya said instruments such as the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights which Zimbabwe has ratified prohibit such actions.

“The state should not evict people from their homes and land without their consent or obtaining a court order.

“If the State is planning to evict them there must be consultation and they must be provided with alternative housing, compensation or access to productive land,” Kuveya said.