Chitungwiza Municipality has withdrawn a demolition order which it issued on 31 December threatening to demolish “buildings and durawalls” at Town Centre Unit D Shopping Centre.
The development came after the Zimbabwe Lawyer for Human Rights (ZLHR) on 31 December 2021 wrote a letter to the local authority on behalf of Chitungwiza Residents Trust asking the local authority to withdraw the demolition order. ZLHR said in a statement:
A significant victory in the New Year! [Chitungwiza Municipality] has withdrawn a Demolition Order which it issued on 30 December 2021 and advised us that “no demolitions shall be executed in compliance with it.”
In a letter written to [Zimbabwe Lawyer for Human Rights] on 3 January 2022, [Chitungwiza Municipality] said “demolition of illegal structures shall be executed subject to the provisions of the Constitution & the Regional, Town & Country Planning Act.”
This assurance came after our lawyer [Tinashe Chinox] on 31 December 2021 wrote a letter to the local authority on behalf of [Chitungwiza Residents Trust] asking [Chitungwiza Municipality] to withdraw the Demolition Order which it issued threatening to demolish “buildings and durawalls” at Town Centre Unit D Shopping Centre.
In a notice to residents last week, Acting Town Clerk Evangelist Machona said all those who are building or have already constructed any structures at the shopping centre have to avail council papers that prove that their structures are legal. Wrote Machona:
Notice is hereby given that it has come to the attention of Council that at Town Centre Unit D Shopping Centre, illegal structures (buildings and durawalls) are in the process of being put up or have already been put up without Council approval.
Therefore, take note that in terms of Section 35 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act (Chapter 29: 12) you are ordered to: Demolish any structures erected and remove any rubble from the land and restore the land to its original state.
This order comes into operation within 48hrs and the demolitions and actions outlined herein should be completed by January the 2nd, 2022.
All those buildings without adequate council papers and inspections will risk having their structures demolished.
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