Eyestone settlers yesterday accused Harare South MP and Zanu PF provincial political commissar Shadreck Mashayamombe of being behind the demolition of houses built by members of Mvurachenachena Housing Co-operative.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Municipal police accompanied by the riot police squad on Thursday moved in with bulldozers and demolished the houses without giving settlers time to remove their belongings.
“The MP (Mashayamombe) caused the problems we are having here and he is saying the land has been sold to council,”
Idah Sumburero said. “We came to these stands in 2000 and this was State land. Local Government officials have been here and they told us that the land was unsuitable for habitation because it was close to the airport. However, we were shocked when the municipal police said the land would be allocated to people who have money, not us the poor.”
Sumburero has four children with the youngest aged six and the eldest 20. She and hundreds other families were now living in the open.
However, Mashayamombe yesterday denied the allegations, saying Harare City Council was behind the demolitions.
“This is being done by the City of Harare. Where do I come in? In the past I have warned them not to build on that land,” Mashayamombe said.
All the affected families have remained in the open on their stands and some were still trying to recover their belongings from the rubble when the NewsDay Weekender news crew arrived at the settlement.
Most of the families were bitter that their MP had not come to assess the situation or assist them in any way after the demolitions began.
City spokesperson Michael Chideme also said the land belonged to the council.
“It is municipal land and we want to do proper layout designs and plans for proper allocation. The current residents would be considered. We asked them to pave the way for proper planning so that they would be considered for allocation,” Chideme said.