Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

‘Zanu PF, Chidawu responsible for cruel demolition of homes in Harare’

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

The main opposition MDC Alliance has accused the ruling Zanu PF party and its Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Harare Metropolitan Province, Oliver Chidawu of pushing personal interests by orchestrating the ongoing ‘cruel’ demolition of houses in the city.

City of Harare officials demolish illegal houses in Budiriro yesterday. — Picture: Justine Mutenda
City of Harare officials demolish illegal houses in Budiriro. — Picture: Justine Mutenda

In a statement seen by Nehanda Radio on Wednesday, MDC Alliance Secretary for Local Government, Sesel Zvidzai also accused Local government minister July Moyo, Provincial Development Co-ordinator – Mr Tafadzwa Muguti and the ruling Zanu PF party of causing the “callous, disproportionate demolitions of homes” in the capital city.

The main opposition condemned the development citing that it was initiated when Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume who is facing allegations of criminal abuse of office was incarcerated.

Mafume was released on bail by the High Court on Tuesday.

“The demolitions have resulted in people losing their homes, savings and their only available shelter in the middle of the rainy season. Families with young children, the old and the infirm have been rendered homeless by this heartless act.

Before his arrest two weeks ago, Mafume ordered a stop to all demolitions.

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“He protested against the grossly unreasonable timing of the demolitions and in view of the wet season and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. He stated that the execution of any court orders held by Council should be carried out in a humane manner and that Council should weigh in favour of regularizing settlements as opposed to destroying them.

“We are of the firm view that most of the houses being destroyed can be regularized and should therefore not be destroyed.

This comes after at least 190 illegal houses were demolished by the government in Budiriro 5, on Monday.

Affected families were left counting losses, battling the rains, with women and children crying and men battling to find safe and secure places for their property.

MDC Alliance blamed the ruling party for the untimely demolition of houses in Budiriro.

“At the centre of the crisis are Zanu PF land barons and illegal co-operatives whose corrupt conduct has led to the arbitrary allocation of land in a manner that does not comply with council by-laws.

The current demolitions have been triggered by Zanu PF in-fighting where urban land is being used as an election tool as well as a sword against those who have fallen out of favour with the system.

“Unsuspecting members of the public and bona fide buyers who have been duped by the land barons and are left to bear the brunt of the illegality. Additionally, it is reported that the Provincial Minister for Harare, Mr Oliver Chidawu has an interest in the demolition of houses because a large section of the land which the Zanu PF land barons and co-operatives raided belongs to him.

“The Provincial Minister took advantage of the absence of the Mayor over the last fortnight to push council staff to execute the demolitions. We demand an immediate end to the demolitions as they are anti-poor and their timing is causing untold suffering and indignity to people who are already victims of corrupt land barons.

“We further demand and end to Central Government interference in the affairs of the City of Harare.The Harare Provincial Ministry must stop giving unlawful instructions to council staff,particularly when this causes loss and harm to the people whom council are
meant to serve,” read the statement. Nehanda Radio