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Council to demolish all illegal structures

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HARARE City Council has threatened to raze down all illegally extended houses, tuckshops and booths around the city as part of its campaign to rid the capital of unwanted structures.

BY MOSES MATENGA

“The city has zero tolerance on illegal structures and settlements. We are targeting illegal extensions. All extensions on properties have to be approved by council and if they are not, then they are deemed illegal and will be removed,” city spokesperson Michael Chideme said yesterday.

He, however, declined to say when the local authority would launch the blitz although he warned owners of illegal structures to regularise their properties.

What remains of houses in Budiriro 4 after they were demolished by the Harare City Council on August 12.

The unauthorised extensions on houses have taken shape in most suburbs around Harare including Mbare, Glen View, Kambuzuma and Mufakose, among others.

Tuckshops have also been erected either within properties or outside houses in most surburbs.

This, observers say, was as a result of the high rate of unemployment and shortage of accommodation that has forced people to build tuckshops and build structures either at the back or in front of their houses to accommodate family members or to rent out.

The blitz was likely to rekindle sad memories of the 2005 Operation Murambatsvina strongly condemned by the international community as against the tenets of human rights as many people suffered during the time.

Council is also expected to continue demolishing houses built in illegal settlements, a move that will see more than a thousand families severely affected.

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