By Staff Reporter
HARARE Provincial Development Coordinator Tafadzwa Muguti says recent demolitions on homes in Budiriro were part of a government and council resolution to rid the city of some illegal structures.
In a long thread on Twitter Friday, Muguti warned owners of houses being on undesignated land in the city would be destroyed.
“We, as government appreciate that Harare City Council has been mismanaged for decades and Jacob Mafume (Harare Mayor) with his executive have been working with us to ensure we clean the mess and restore sanity.
“Trying to politicize the legal functions of council is just plain ignorance,” Muguti wrote on Twitter Friday.
Following the demolitions, both Harare City Council and government distanced themselves from the operation pointing fingers at each other, without one coming out to take responsibility.
Added Muguti, “Let me therefore say the statements issued by @mdczimbabwe against me and government is irresponsible as they have the majority councillors in @cohsunshinecity and shows a serious lack of leadership and professionalism. It is simply a legitimate court order served at the wrong time rainy season.”
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa Wednesday called the demolitions “cruel” and “heartless” after coming face to face with desperate homeowners whose homes were razed down.
“The heartless and cruel demolition of citizens’ homes is a violation of the dignity and security of persons. This command politics based on iron-fisted governance style must be resisted by us all. Those responsible please stop it,” he said.
Information Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana earlier in the week, told Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume that demolitions were his baby.
“Clearly only you (Mafume) and your council have the power to initiate and pursue the current process and it is you and your council who have the gain to hold processes in abeyance as you have just declared. Ndechenyu chinhu ichi,” Mangwana wrote on Twitter.
However, government Friday said Budiriro homeowners were given nine months’ notice to stop building houses and vacate the area since they occupied it illegally but ignored.
“The homeowners were given notice 9 months which expired on 31st of October 2019. The Sherriff was instructed on 13 February 2020 at which point the country went into the Covid-19 period. The Sherriff resumed work and notice of ejectment was served on the 17th of November 2020,” Muguti said.
He said land barons who parcelled out the stands illegally in Budiriro, when sued by Harare City Council and Local government, did not respond or oppose the court application which gave effect to home demolitions.
“As Harare Province, we do not get involved in court judgements. The responsibility lies with the Applicant and Respondent to settle their issues the legal route. In this case ALL 38 Housing Cooperatives did not appeal judgements some did not even defend summons. They ignored.”
Muguti warned thousands of illegally built homes would not be spared.
“All in all @cohsunshinecity has close to 38 judgements which were over land invaded by housing cooperatives. This means thousands of homes are sitting on illegal land, illegally built meaning no approved plans. This means there is no water, sewer, roads and power.”