Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Council to demolish illegal houses

By Yeukai Karengezeka

Harare City Council (HCC) is set to demolish illegal houses that were built on council farms in Crowborough following a court order to take action.

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 in 2015
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 in 2015

Since 2012, several housing cooperatives illegally took occupation of council land and allocated stands to their members.

In an interview, the city works director Engineer Zvenyika Chawatama said all the people occupying council farms will be evicted.

“We have got issues on council farms, particularly the ones used for the treatment of sewage,” he said.

“These farms were invaded, but they are not designed for residential purposes and their occupation is in violation of the Urban Councils Act.”

It is alleged people occupying the farms in that area are vandalising council property on the land by blocking sewer pipes, destroying sewer holding ponds and building on top of major sewer and water pipes.

Eng Chawatama said although council would regularise some structures, they will not compromise on any structures that are directly affecting service provision.

He said Budiriro was one of the most invaded areas and so is Harare South where all the land set aside for institutions was already developed by illegal settlers.

Eng Chawatama said the city will be guided accordingly on settlements on wetlands as there was a document that was compiled, which indicates the exact affected areas.

A source at the town house said the processes of demolitions usually hit a snag because some council officials were involved in the parcelling of the land.

“Destroying most illegal structures is a challenge because the land is parcelled out by some council officials,” said Eng Chawatama.

“They work in connivance with land barons and for that reason they also fight from within to ensure that things like evictions and demolitions do not happen so easily.

“A fortnight ago, council failed to destroy structures at the farms due to lack of support from the police.” The Herald