By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
The decision by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to demolish houses in Chitungwiza without an alternative for the homeless victims, claiming they were illegal structures is “devilish,” says former cabinet minister Fortune Chasi.
Last week, an order was issued through the Chitungwiza Municipality by the Local Government Ministry for the demolition of houses and other buildings in 35 illegal settlements across the town, a move that could leave hundreds of families homeless.
Structures that will be demolished are houses built on wetlands, sewer lines, under electricity power lines and on road and railway servitudes.
But the former Energy minister, Chasi expressed concern that the government would order a demolition of well finished structures, leaving many homeless when it is a rainy season.
He was also worried that the “devilish” decision was made without alternatives for the victims.
“Is there an alternative plan to accommodate these people?
“What is the effect and cost of this to the economy? Brand new materials all put to waste!
“To me this is not right at all! And it shows a vindictiveness which is very very primitive!
“The choice of the time for demolitions is devilish in my view. Just when the rains are upon us! Where do these people go mvura ichinaya?” Chasi said on Twitter.
Local authorities in Harare are run by the main opposition MDC Alliance but through the Ministry of Local Government. This means that the government has direct influence on the local authority.
Meanwhile, the MDC Alliance has already renounced responsibility in the demolitions and slammed Mnangagwa’s administration for over the “unconstitutional” move.
“The MDC A unreservedly condemns the arbitrary demolition of homes in Chitungwiza following a Central Govt directive.
“The demolitions violate section 74 of the Constitution which outlaws arbitrary demolitions. We call upon the Minister of Local Govt to comply with the Constitution,” MDC said in a statement. Nehanda Radio