The Harare City Council demolished at least 39 houses in Arcadia, on Tuesday, accusing the homeowners of illegally building on service land meant for pipes and sewage systems. Most of the houses were built 20 years, a development which did not go down well with the residents who claim that it was the city of Harare itself, which allocated the land to them.
Council spokesman Michael Chideme said that the residents had been given adequate warning. Said Chideme:
We know they were there, but that is not an excuse. The warning letters were there to let them know of our intentions.
African National Council of Zimbabwe national chairperson Victor Noormahomed compared the council’s actions to operation Murambatsvina. Said Noormahomed:
Council authorised everything and now they have made a mistake just like what they did with Murambatsvina
They (council) are only doing this because Chombo was fired. When he was Minister of Home Affairs and later Minister of Finance, the council was okay with the houses. But because there are new leaders now they are destroying people’s houses. It’s not right.
A resident who spoke to NewsDay said:
We are not happy with what has been done. They knew we were here. We were not given time to vacate. They just came this morning with their bulldozer and told us they were bringing down the houses. The corruption is now too much.