The ruling ZANU PF has accused Nelson Chamisa, the leader of opposition MDC Alliance, of being a liar after he had insinuated that the central government was responsible for the recent demolition of nearly 200 houses in Budiriro suburb.
Chamisa made the remarks after the MDC Alliance-dominated Harare City Council (HCC), equipped with a court order, razed down settlements and houses in the suburb on the pretext that they had been erected on an illegally acquired land.
The youthful leader and his party blamed the central government for the “inhumane” and “ill-timed” demolitions which left victims in the open when the rainy season has already come.
Responding to Chamisa’s utterances, ZANU PF’s acting secretary for Information, Partick Chinamasa told reporters at the party’s Politburo meeting on Wednesday that the demolitions were carried out by HCC. He said:
Let me put the record straight, the demolitions were sought and carried out by the MDC-A ran municipality but what surprises us is that Mr Chamisa, fully aware that his council was behind the demolitions went and sought to blame it on the central government, a complete falsehood, a complete lie. The record is very clear.
We were not aware that despite those pronouncements on our part, the municipal council of Harare would go ahead, with the blessing of their leader Mr Chamisa and demolish without offering alternative arrangements.
We are aware that they had gone and sought a court order.
I want to believe what colleagues of Mr Chamisa say about him that he is opportunistic.
He lacks moral fibre to accept that they erred in demolishing houses.
He clearly has no regard for the truth and we condemn this lack of principle in the strongest terms.
The land which was allegedly acquired illegally was sold to vulnerable homeseekers by Tembwe Housing Cooperative which is fronted by Caleb Kadye who is a prominent ZANU PF member.
Meanwhile, MDC Alliance claims that the court order to demolish the houses was obtained on the instructions of the Town Clerk, a central government appointee.
There has been blame shifting with both the central government and the local authority denying responsibility.
Many observers have often said political interference in the the council’s affairs by both MDC Alliance and ZANU PF was affecting service delivery.
More: The Herald