Rights lawyers on Sunday secured the release of 10 Epworth residents who were arrested and detained on Friday after chaos ensued during the demolition of houses in the area.
Report by Tapiwa Zivira, Online Reporter
According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), the 10 were released into the custody of their lawyer Marufu Mandevere of Kadzere, Hungwe&Mandevere Legal Practitioners pending their appearance in court on Monday on yet to be confirmed charges.
Police accuse the residents of violently resisting the destruction of their houses under a new wave of evictions and demolitions that has left hundreds of Epworth and Chitungwiza families homeless.
The police anti-riot squad was on Friday forced to fire warning shots into the air to disperse an angry crowd resisting eviction from their homes in the sprawling informal settlement after the Epworth Local Board ordered them out.
In Chitungwiza, a nearly completed new shopping complex in St Mary’s suburb was demolished while hundreds of families were rendered homeless after the local municipality stormed the area bulldozing houses in the early hours of the morning.
The police were called to Epworth after a group of about 25 people had reportedly razed several houses to the ground claiming to represent the rightful owners of the residential stands on which the houses were built.
Hundreds of residents who were resisting the eviction, however, forced the police to briefly retreat before calling in reinforcements after which several gunshots were fired into the air before the crowd was successfully disbanded.