Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Harare begins demolition of ‘illegal’ structures

By Abigail Mawonde

HARARE – Thousands of people in the capital will soon be homeless as Harare City Council has embarked on a massive demolition of illegal structures in 19 undesignated settlements that have been identified.

A Harare City Council front-end loader destroys an illegal brick-under-tile house belonging to a Morning Glory Housing Cooperative member in Warren Park D yesterday
A Harare City Council front-end loader destroys an illegal brick-under-tile house belonging to a Morning Glory Housing Cooperative member in Warren Park D yesterday

Council officials claim the demolitions are meant to bring sanity as some structures were being erected without approval from the responsible city departments.

Owners of the demolished structures will foot labour and other costs incurred in pulling down their illegal houses.

The city’s principal communications officer Mr Michael Chideme yesterday confirmed the development, saying at least 19 illegal settlements dotted around Harare would be razed down.

“We have identified all the areas with illegal structures in Harare and we have informed all the people who are on these areas that they should pull down their structures, failure of which council will do it for them,” he said.

“Council is also going to ensure that people whose houses they demolish meet the necessary labour costs involved given that they have been defying a lawful order.”

The city demolished 25 illegal houses in Warren Park and Westlea yesterday, leaving several families homeless.

The houses were built on land belonging to the City of Harare, which had been invaded by Final Hope Co-operative, Josiah Housing Co-operative and Makomborero Housing Co-operative.

Mr Chideme said the occupants proceeded to build houses even after being warned against doing so.

He said council recently gave the illegal settlers 48 hours to pull down their structures and when they realised their orders had been defied, council officers visited them onsite and verbally informed them to demolish their houses.

He said the occupiers still defied the order, hence the council decision “to assist them to pull down the structures today (yesterday)”.

Of the demolished houses, one had reached roof level and had been tiled, two other houses were at roof level and the rest of the houses were at different stages of construction.

Last week council flattened 11 houses built on undesignated land in Glen Norah, belonging to a bogus housing co-operative.

The houses were at various stages of construction and had been built along Makonye and Kunzekweguta Roads.

Mr Chideme said notices had been sent out to the illegal settlers beforehand ordering them to demolish their homes but they ignored the order prompting council to take action.

He urged home seekers to desist from buying land from individuals or co-operatives without consulting the council for vetting and approval.

Mr Chideme said the demolition was ongoing.

“We are saying that if we allow this to continue, we are breeding a disorderly city so we want order in Harare and we will make sure we have an orderly settlement that adheres to our world class city status by year 2025,” he said.

In 2005 a countrywide cleanup, code named Operation Murambatsvina, left hundreds of thousands of people homeless after “illegal” structures were demolished by soldiers and police on the orders of the ruling ZANU-PF government.

The demolitions were widely seen by analysts as the punishment of city-dwellers for giving their overwhelming support to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

  • miszmannaz

    I do not understand Zimbabwe. We are already down in the dumps, they burnt vendors wares both in Bulawayo and Hre, they have just introduced legislation that could mean thousands will be out of work, record unemployment levels, now this?!

    • bhauwa

      And you still have a few idiots in full support of the imposing government and their stupidly destructive strategies. Is it just plain cruelty, selfishness or silliness that makes certain myopic individuals find satisfaction in the suffering of fellow Zimbabweans.

  • The decision to demolish the illegal structures during winter smacks of a lack of conscience for the welfare of fellow humans. This could have waited till summer.

    • James Bond

      The law is being used to keep the poor poorer! Surely, these people could have been slapped with hefty fines but allowed to keep their properties. If HCC could regularise Sam Levy’s Village, surely they same could have been done in this case too!

      • prodigy712

        Amen my brother. Simba pakuita utsinye vachisiya service delivery, my blood is boiling at this as HCC fails water, roads, cleaning but very quick to bring a dozer to raze down houses.

  • bhauwa

    World class city by 2025, at this pace? I wonder what sort of weed these guys are smoking? Most South African world class cities have informal settlements dotted around them, what’s so special about Harare or Bulawayo? You encourage development of the city by the residents not forcefully declare that the city is on a developmental course. Ask anyone in his right mind, they will tell you that Harare is going nowhere fast, infact it is depreciating to an extent where it should earn zoo status by 2025. That’s exactly what happens when a lot of people build homes for themselves in a place where there is no industrial development.

  • Demolitions

    KKKKKKKKK MDC responsible for the mess bcz they are running all local authorities I am yet to see a Cooperative under MDC Umpits with names like Tongogara Coop / Chitepo Coop / Gore Remasimba Evabhu/ Nyanhongo Coop/ this is a blantant lie please editors and journalist write proper news not being creative.

    • Domboshava

      Ko ku Hatcliffe Ext variko here Invaders occupying land belonging to bonafide developers Building unapproved structures City of Harare go and see almost 820 illegal structres

      • cc

        chances they are not under City of Hre jurisdiction!! in any case why are you spying on them? asi vakakunyima stand!?

        • Domboshava

          Not spying asi unogara ikoko kkkkkkkkkkkk inini ndiri ku Glen Loan a house with 50 bedrooms

          • Joevharazipi

            ok Glen Loan??????…lol mazimba lol… kuGlen Norah here kwaunoroja????

  • Zimabwe

    Surely people of Zimbabwe are very stupid and very ignorant. how can a ressponsible government destroys what people stood up themselves to create accommodation for themselves only those houses to be demilished by government of Zanu PF what a shame. What lessons does this man brings to Africans since 35 years except murdering, descruction, stealing, nepotism , tribalism, corruption at the highest degree, dictatarship, fear, people dissappearing without trace at the expense of the nation. People of Harare and mashonaland as a whole you put this man in power through tribalism when he managed to convence you that J Nkomo was a dwiti , dissident and can not rule over the shona country but now he has turned against the very same people whom he fooled and made them worship him

  • Zimabwe

    Nonagenarian Robert Mugabe

    The Adolf Hilter of the 21st Century , Idi Amin of the 21st Century with 7 degrees but still surronded by the worst mamapara proffessor jojo moyo. People’s lives destroyed by the nonagenarian

  • Cde Viper

    Evil, evil and more evil.. Another Matibili legacy to the black people of Zimbabwe!!

  • Smart

    Yes very good news indeed, let the baboons go back to the mountains. Just want to shit everywhere without paying rates, no! Hit them hard, thats where you find most of the muggers residing. Continue hitting the vendors again, am now happy we are becoming a normal country.

    • SUNSHINE

      Hatcliffe needs to be re visited they is no order please-please????????????????

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