EDITOR — The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has learnt that, there was never a full council resolution to demolish houses deemed to be illegal.
However, there is a standing full council resolution on the illegality of structures built incognito, without any council approval.
Further to that, a local daily paper carried an article which quotes the town-clerk saying that demolitions have been parked to allow engagement.
“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,” said Dr Mahachi.
The Combined Harare Residents Association released a press statement condemning the demolitions as an inhuman act of governance which bluntly shows the lack of accountability from government officials.
CHRA information team caught up with the deputy mayor, Councillor Muzuva who professed ignorance as to whether there has been a full council resolution on demolishing illegal structures.
“As a full council, we have never resolved to demolish people’s houses. If we were going to make that resolution, we would first make provisions for alternative accommodation or raising tents for people to stay. We are a council elected by the people and we have them at heart and we can’t be seen razing down people’s homes considering now that we are in the rainy season.
“However, I can attest to the full council resolution on illegal structures of which we have not resolved that they should be broken down.
“We understand the socio-economic situation and the current liquidity crisis we are in hence we are taking one step at a time” said the deputy mayor who is from the Morgan Tsvangirai-led Movement for Democratic Change.
CHRA has been calling for stakeholder engagement before demolishing people’s homes and if the town clerk’s remarks in the media are anything to go by, we will welcome the development and endeavour to mobilise residents to regularise their properties in line with the municipal by-laws.