SIX settlers at Caledonia squatter camp on the outskirts of Harare have approached the High Court, seeking to interdict Finance deputy minister Terrence Mukupe from interfering with the distribution of their stands.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Some of applicants recently appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court, facing charges of threatening to assault Mukupe.
Tawanda Dzamara, Gift Jeche, Rejoice Simango, Claris Makiwa, Brian Madzorere and Mercy Marufu, who all belong to Tasanganiswa Housing Co-operative Society, accuse Mukupe of invading and taking over their stands, claiming he wanted to build state-of-the art offices for Zanu PF.
The six said they, therefore, wanted the court to issue them with a court order, so as to enable them to evict the minister from their pieces of land.
In their urgent chamber application, which they recently filed at the court, the six said they had been left with no option, but to approach the court for recourse since the law enforcement agents at Mabvuku Police Station had been threatened with loss of employment if they attempted to remove the minister.
“It is, therefore, only through this court order that all applicants (Dzamara and others) can get the genuine relief we need, which is to interdict respondent (Mukupe) from further conducting himself illegally pending interrogation of the real issues between the parties, if any,” the applicants said.
“The police (Mabvuku) have, however, failed to arrest or stop respondent and his workers from illegal conduct due to the fact that respondent, who is a high ranking State official, has threatened the police with loss of their jobs if they executed their mandate in terms of the docket.”
According to the settlers, on February 6, this year, Mukupe and his workers besieged and occupied the co-operative’s land with some construction equipment namely a front-end loader and a concrete mixer.
The settlers said the minister and his workers immediately laid a concrete slab on one of the stands after, and they also took over a water well, where the settlers used to get water and barred them from accessing it.
However, when the settlers reported the matter to Mabvuku Police Station, the latter’ officers failed to take action, but instead the settlers later became victims of Mukupe’s police report.
“Later, on the same day, the applicants made a police report against the respondent, the respondent prevailed upon the officer-in-charge of Mabvuku Police Station to arrest the first to the sixth applicants for alleged act of disorderly conduct in a public place….,” the settlers said.
“Applicants, me included, have been irreparably prejudiced by respondent’s conduct in that they have been permanently deprived of their common water supply and they have been prevented from continuing with their building activities on their stands. The respondent’s intentions of building on applicant’s stands will irreparably ameliorate all the improvements effected by applicants on the stands, thereby, prejudicing them financially in a permanent way.
“We have no other remedy other than this application because they have opened a criminal report against respondents’ conduct, herein, but the police have been threatened by respondent and failed to discharge their mandate to protect citizens from clear acts of criminality.”