Supreme Court judge Justice Vernanda Ziyambi, sitting with two other judges of the court of appeal, ruled that the 1979 by-law relied upon by councils over the years to demolish properties deemed to be illegal infringes Section 74 of the Constitution.
Justice Ziyambi recently confirmed a High Court judgment of 2015 that ruled illegal the council demolitions in a case involving three Budiriro 4 families. Three members of Nyikavanhu Housing Co-operative; Mr Tawanda Mukungurutse, Mr Patrick Chikohora and Mr Cledwyn Mutete, who were represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu successfully challenged the demolition of their houses by Harare City Council. Said Justice Ziyambi:
Section 74 of the Constitution forbids in clear and unambiguous terms, the demolition of homes without a court order. The law in terms of which the appellant (council) acted, though valid in the past, became invalid when the Constitution came into effect.
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