KWEKWE City councillors averted what could have been the second Operation Murambatsvina when they blocked an attempt by management to destroy tuck-shops and other illegal structures in the high-density suburbs of Mbizo and Amaveni.
Report by Blessed Mhlanga
Management, led by town clerk Emmanuel Musara, last month issued a warning that it would destroy illegal tuckshops and houses that have sprouted around the city over the past five years in line with municipal by-laws.
However, during a full council meeting last week, the MDC-T-dominated council condemned the move by city managers.
Councillor Weston Masiya accused management of “politicking” by dragging the MDC-T council into the “heartless operation” especially towards an election.
Acting town clerk Lucia Mkandla however denied the allegations, saying instead management was merely implementing municipal by-laws which did not allow illegal structures to be erected.
Masiya wanted to know why management had found it prudent to implement the by-laws towards an election when the council did not have any remedial arrangement in place.
Mkandla said over the past five years, council did not have adequate manpower to deal with the sprouting illegal structures and therefore had left it late to deal with the problem.
Mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa said destroying people’s homes and sources of livelihood was the legacy of Zanu PF and had no place in the “dictionary” of his party.
“We will not destroy people’s homes. That is a Zanu PF way of thinking. As the MDC, we are not here to bring suffering to our people and watch them go homeless, but we are there to aid them and ensure that they improve their lives,” he said.
Council resolved not to go ahead with the operation.