High Court stops Harare demolitions



HIGH Court judge Justice Mary Dube on Wednesday granted a provisional order which stopped City of Harare from demolishing five Greendale houses which were supposed to be pulled down tomorrow.

The interim order was by consent between the applicants and City of Harare and the Greendale Residents and Ratepayers Association.

The residents had filed an urgent chamber application to stop the local authority from executing a High Court order which granted it permission to demolish their houses pending finalisation of the challenge against the order.

City of Harare is claiming that the residents illegally built their houses in Athlone, Greendale.

But the residents, represented by lawyers from Matsika Legal Practitioners, insisted that they lawfully purchased the land from the local authority and received offer letters between 2016 and 2018, after having fully paid for the stands.

The residents challenged the council’s claims under HC 7203/20.

According to court papers, the applicants argue that the local authority decided to evict them from the stands after the Greendale Residents and Ratepayers Association, had taken it to court for failing to get necessary legal approvals to allow  stands to be built on.

In a public notice dated February 10, 2021, City of Harare said residents, including the applicants, took advantage of the non-appearance of the department of control and housing inspectors due to the COVID-19 lockdown, and constructed illegal structures on undesignated land.

City of Harare will pay the cost of the suit.