THE International Coalition against Coronavirus for Africa Development (ICAC-AD) has petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government over the demolition of houses in Harare’s Budiriro suburb last week.
BY SILAS NKALA
This was after 134 houses were demolished in Budiriro, leaving dozens of families including children, the elderly and the sick without food and alternative shelter at a time the country is grappling with COVID-19 and the rainy season.
In the petition, the ICAC-AD third president Chandangwinyira Chose cited Mnangagwa, his deputies Vice-Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, the Local Government minister July Moyo, and the Harare mayor Jacob Mafume as respondents.
“We, as the ICAC-AD, are concerned over the demolition of houses in parts of Harare, done at the wrong time, and which is putting people at risk of contracting the coronavirus. This has happened at the onset of the rainy season and there is no shelter planned for the affected. Government has not considered the need to investigate or inform the suffering people that are now without shelter at all. Our request is for you to consider the human rights of the little children and their mothers now exposed to the pandemic, for which you have even banned the elections,” the petition read.
Chose said his organisation was not in support of illegal structures, but wanted government and the Harare City Council to observe people’s right to shelter. “Your Excellency, please stop these demolitions as a father of the nation. ICAC-AD is appealing to all international organisations to give shelter to the suffering victims in the affected areas.”
Opposition Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphose also said: “As has become the norm, the demolitions always take place during the onset of the rainy season. It is regrettable that both the government and the Harare City Council did not provide alternative shelter for the victims. This is a serious violation of the most basic right to shelter and decent living to the victims.”