Council, co-operative clash

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The dispute between Mutare City Council and a suspected Zanu PF-aligned housing cooperative over 760 housing units which the local authority claims were illegally built has spilled into the courts.

The matter is set for today at the Mutare Magistrates Court.

According to documents submitted to the court by Mutare town clerk Obert Muzavazi under case number 110/12, Homeless Federation Housing Scheme built the houses in Dangamvura high-density suburb without approval from the local authority.

The case is likely to cause a storm between the MDC-T-dominated council and cooperative members, most of whom are believed to be Zanu PF members.

The respondents are occupants of the stands allocated under the Homeless Federation Housing Project 2.

The respondents took occupation of the stands without meeting the minimum requirements set by the applicant in its planning and building by-laws, Muzavazi said.

The buildings erected by respondents are shacks, unfit for human habitation.

They fail to meet the minimum requirements provided in the first schedule of the Housing Standards Control Act Chapter 29:08.

The applicants gave notice to respondents to remove the nuisances and to tear down their illegal structures.

Despite being afforded ample notice, the respondents have failed, refused and neglected to vacate the area and to demolish the illegal structures.

In a supporting affidavit, Mutare city engineer Donald Nyatoti added: The respondents have gone on to erect structures without obtaining necessary compliance and completion certificate from applicant and without applicants confirmation that the structures are in compliance with the model building by-laws.