CHITUNGWIZA residents have accused their local authority of being insincere after it went on a demolition blitz targeting illegal structures last Friday, hardly a month after it pledged to regularise the same buildings.
In a statement, the Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust (Chitrest) said they were concerned by “level of insincerity” displayed by the local authority when it took the drastic decision to pull down illegal structures in the dormitory town.
“The level of hypocrisy shown by the (George) Makunde–led administration makes it difficult for residents and other stakeholders to make binding resolutions with a sly management,” reads the statement in part.
On September 10 this year, the Chitungwiza Municipality invited Chitrest officials and other stakeholders to a strategic planning workshop in Mutare where the parties agreed to have the structures regularised.
“Nothing on house demolitions was said at this platform but the local authority spoke of the same regularisation process of these so-called illegal houses,” said Chitrest.
In April this year, Chitungwiza magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa granted an interdict staying the demolition of houses which the municipality claimed were built on undesignated sites.
She ruled that council should abide by Section 74 of the new Constitution which states that no person may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances.
The ruling was made after after Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo had given residents a three-week ultimatum to demolish houses built on undesignated sites.