Resident sues council over wetland stands

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Harare City Council

A HARARE resident has petitioned the High Court seeking an order to interdict the city council from allocating residential stands and authorising construction of buildings on the Mabvuku/Tafara wetland.

BY CHARLES LAITON

James Mutami, who resides in Tafara is arguing that such activities are destroying the wetland in question and pose a high risk in spreading waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery.

Mutami filed his court application on Tuesday, citing the City of Harare and Prime Bricks (Pvt) Ltd as first and second respondents respectively. The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.

He is also seeking another order to bar Prime Bricks (Pvt) Ltd from constructing and moulding bricks in the same wetland, arguing that the firm’s activities are drying out some parts of the wetland.

“This is an application for a prohibitory interdict prohibiting the first respondent (City of Harare) from allocating stands and authorising construction of buildings on the Mabvuku/Tafara wetland in ward 20, Harare and the second respondent (Prime Bricks (Pvt) Ltd) from constructing and moulding bricks in the same property,” Mutami said in his founding affidavit.

“The inhabitants of the area, our families face real risk of suffering from waterborne diseases like cholera, typhoid, and dysentery if the housing developments are allowed to continue,” he said.

Mutami also accused the council of allocating residential stands on the wetland without approval of the Environmental Management Agency. He said activities on the wetland are having a negative impact on the Mabvuku/Tafara residents.

“The construction of the new structures on the wetland is damaging our water and sewer lines and blocking our drainage pipes,” he said.

“The houses being built rely on shallow wells in the wetland for water supplies and the houses are served by septic tanks and soak away, a phenomenon unheard of in a high-density area where all houses should be served by sewer pipes provided by the first respondent.”