DEMOLITIONS of houses built along Airport Road continued on Friday amid tears and a sense of helplessness from affected families.
BY MOSES MATENGA
By lunchtime, at least 15 more houses had been razed to the ground by Harare City Council. Municipal officers said once the demolition of plush houses was completed, they would move to makeshift structures, which are home to more than 3 000 people, mostly Zanu PF supporters.
Zanu PF supporters, who watched in horror as council graders struck down the houses, said it was sad to realise that their own party had “used” and abandoned them at their time of need.
Most of the houses had up to nine rooms, with some saying they had spent more than $50 000 to build them.
“We were assured that we would not go anywhere by our party leadershipin the province. Even after President Robert Mugabe spoke on the matter, there were assurances that we would stay and what is now happening is shocking,” said one resident.
NewsDay witnessed several affected people desperately trying to salvage their belongings from the rubbles of houses demolished on Thursday, while others were busy loading their property in vehicles.
However, Zanu PF Harare provincial commissar and Harare South MP Shadreck Mashayamombe absolved the ruling party of any wrongdoing while shifting the blame to people abusing its name to fleece residents.
“It’s not about the party. The party has never supported that and everyone using the name of the party will face the consequences and it should come as a wake-up call,” Mashayamombe said.
Mugabe, who was expected in the country last night from a month-long holiday in Dubai and the Far East, last year ordered the eviction of people settled along Airport Road saying it painted a wrong image of the country to visitors.
Council spokesperson Michael Chideme said the demolitions were on-going as the city wanted to clear Harare of all illegal settlements.