The Harare City Council on Tuesday served five Tembwe Housing Co-operative members in Budiriro with 48-hour eviction notices, dealing a double blow to the affected families, whose houses were previously demolished twice.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
The affected families, who were now living in makeshift houses, were yesterday desperate and pondering where to go next as rains pounded the area.
One of the affected residents, only identified as Machokoto, said the families were frantically trying to secure the assistance of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to stop their evictions.
“We understand that there are members of the co-operative who were initially settled on school land and they are the ones that are now earmarked for our stands,” Machokoto claimed. “We have said it before that it is one lady (name supplied) from Town Planning at Cleveland House, who wants to settle her relatives here and I do not know why she has become so untouchable.”
Sharon Mapope, who stays with her parents and three younger siblings, said their lives were doomed as two of their previous structures were demolished by council last year.
“I do not know what we are going to do. My mother and other affected residents have been called somewhere in town, where they hope to get assistance, but as you can see, there is little hope,” she said in despair.
Council spokesperson Michael Chideme said he was not in the office and promised to respond later.
According to the eviction notice, the families have to vacate the land, demolish their structures and remove the rubble by today, failing which council would demolish the structure on its own and impound the property.
“Take notice that you are using and/or occupying council land illegally, as you do not have either a lease with or the permission of the council. Further, take notice that within 48 hours from service of this notice upon you, you must . . . depart from the land, remove all your properties from the land and demolish any structure you have erected on the land and remove all the rubbles from the land,’ part of the notice read.
“If you fail to comply with this notice, steps will be taken by either council or its appointed agent to summarily evict you, demolish any structures and impound any property from the land and you will be liable to all the expenses incurred.”