Chitungwiza residents set to lose properties

File photo: a bulldozer demolish a house in Harare while homeowner painfully looks on.

Thousands of property owners in Chitungwiza are set to lose their properties after a leaked council document revealed that properties built under undesignated sites are to be demolished.

This comes barely a month after Harare City council demolished hundreds of homes, causing widespread condemnation from concerned citizens.

In the leaked internal Memo, Chitungwiza’s Director of Works Eng. David Duma wrote to the acting Town Clerk informing him about planned demolitions.

This memo serves to submit the list of proposed demolition sites derived from a meeting held on 21 December 2020 at 14:15hrs in the council chamber and chaired by Mr Mvere the CSO.

“I cross-checked with the one earlier submitted by the housing department and they are similar in most respects. l have noted the absence of the commercial list, reads the the Memo.

40 sites that have approximately 11 000 properties have been identified by the council for demolitions.

These sites have houses and commercial properties that have been illegally built on them including wetlands, railway and sewer lines and under ZESA power cables among others.However, the council said demolitions can only be effected after a court order has been obtained as required by section 74 of the Constitution.

The proposed demolitions are most likely to take place in May since the government ordered that all demolitions must be put on hold and must continue after the rainy season.

Last year, Minister of Local Government and Public Works July Moyo said the government had halted the demolition of houses built on undesignated land.

They (Harare City Council) got court orders. It’s only the timing, and we are now saying don’t carry out the rest of the evictions until there is an appropriate time when there is no rain, he said.

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