FOUR Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust (Chitrest) officials were on Tuesday summoned and quizzed by the police in connection with the survey the trust is currently carrying out in the dormitory town to assess the impact of the proposed house demolitions on children.
Chitrest is carrying out the survey in partnership with the Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC).
Chitrest programmes director Marvellous Khumalo yesterday confirmed that he was summoned to Chitungwiza Police Station together with vice-chairperson Cynthia Roya, secretary Tinashe Kazuru and treasurer Brighton Mazhindu.
“The leaders were interrogated for 30 minutes by officers from the Police Internal Security Intelligence. It was then later concluded that the survey does not require any police notification,” Khumalo said.
He added that the police wanted to get clarification on the nature of the survey whose main purpose was to determine the impact the proposed demolition of over 14 000 houses built illegally in Chitungwiza would have on children below 18.
About 14 446 houses are set to be razed to the ground after Chitungwiza Municipality filed a High Court application seeking permission to evict families that were allocated stands in areas declared illegal by government in a land audit.
ZNCWC national director Reverend Taylor Nyanhete said they wanted to come up with data that would help them chart the way forward for the affected families.
“We want to establish the exact number of children likely to be affected and find out what the families think about the development,” he said.
The 30 enumerators carrying out the survey were using a three–page questionnaire focusing on background information, household demographics, household size breakdown, school attendance by children and coping mechanisms in case of the house demolitions being allowed to proceed in Chitungwiza.