A group representing Harare residents has vowed to resist any attempts by the government to destroy illegal settlements within the metropolis.
Last week, Harare metropolitan provincial affairs minister Oliver Chidawu said that residents living in illegal settlements should leave voluntarily or risk forced evictions.
However, in an interview with New Zimbabwe on Friday, Harare Residents Alliance (HRA) cluster chairperson representing Caledonia Suburban, Knowledge Chidavanyika claimed that the planned evictions were being muted by Team Lacoste to punish suspected G40 sympathisers. He said:
We feel provoked by threats issued by Minister Chidawu that there are plans to demolish houses in new settlements within Harare and to us, we understand that the move is aimed at cleansing suspected G40 supporters who are perceived to have been resettled during former President Robert Mugabe’s tenure.
These are remarks coming from a Minister who was once demoted soon after being declared Mayor of Harare, hence the plans are more political than environmental as purported but we are ready to resist and fight back to defend our land.
Chidavanyika demanded to know why current government officials who were behind the cooperatives have not been arrested and prosecuted.
Meanwhile, it is estimated that over 10 000 homes are built on illegally acquired land in areas such as Budiriro, Crowborough and Kambuzuma.
Most of the homes are built on illegally acquired city council farms, and on Wetlands, which has become an eyesore and environmental hazard.