Over 10 000 houses in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza face demolition after it appeared that the owners either acquired the land illegally or erected structures that had not been approved by the local authority.
Four months ago, the council issued a notice ordering the residents to produce documents confirming their legal rights and warned of the impending demolition of structures illegally built in the area and eviction of illegal settlers.
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Council gave the settlers up to a month to produce their offer letters, approved lease agreements, valid service clearance certificates, approved site plans, signed surveyor general’s diagrams, approved and valid building plans, copies of peg forms and copies of stage forms showing all the stages of the building were approved.
Trustees of the Nyatsime Beneficiaries Association Trust appealed the order at the Administrative Court, which ruled this week that the council’s decision was above board.
Administrative Court judge Justice Hebert Mandeya said eviction and demolitions will arise when the occupants fail to produce documents showing their developments were approved by the council.
Justice Mandeya also emphasised that the council should first obtain eviction orders for the occupants before demolishing or ordering them off the land.
The Administrative Court’s ruling paves way for the council to institute eviction and demolition proceedings against all illegal occupants.
This comes as thousands of more houses have so far been razed down by local authorities across the country.
Observers say the demolitions are exposing poor governance by authorities who wait until home seekers have invested huge amounts of money and then destroy the structures.