BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
CLOSE to 10 families were left stranded at Juru Growth Point on Tuesday after their houses were demolished by the Messenger of Court to pave way for the new land owner.
The demolitions affected mostly families who had erected houses opposite the growth point, popularly known as PaBhora. The families had occupied the area for close to 10 years.
By yesterday, some of the families were still in the open together with their property, while others were going through the rubble to recover some missing goods.
The area councillor Kondwakuenda Magaya confirmed the demolitions. He said he was yet to assess the situation.
“Yes, some people lost their houses around that area. I am yet to visit them and assess the situation. You can talk to officials from the rural district council,” he said.
In a WhatsApp message gleaned by NewsDay, Magaya revealed that the victims approached him to resolve the matter but their plea was in vain.
The local authority’s chief executive officer Trust Madhovi was not picking calls yesterday.
According to a council official who refused to be named, the victims purchased the residential stands through a co-operative.
“The victims were under a co-operative called Eastdale Heights and they secured residential stands on land that was sold to a private individual. The Messenger of Court was armed with a court order. The buildings were destroyed as they had illegally occupied the land. The unfortunate thing is the timing of the demolitions as the rainy season has already started,” the official said.
The victims said the Messenger of Court ignored a High Court order to reverse the demolitions.
Government this week warned land barons over invading open spaces and selling residential stands in the name of Zanu PF saying perpetrators would be arrested and brought to
Scores of home owners in Chitungwiza have also been warned by the municipality of impending demolitions.
The exercise was, however, halted following the intervention of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.