High Court orders Chinhoyi municipality to rebuild demolished structures

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By Mary Taruvinga

HIGH Court Judge, Jacob Manzunzu has ordered the Chinhoyi Municipality to stop demolishing vending stalls and also repair a shade which was damaged by council employees as they pulled down structures owned by informal traders.

The order was granted in favour of the vendors following an application filed earlier this month.

The informal traders were represented by Kudzai Choga and Obey Shava of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

The application was filed on behalf of informal traders who include Tafadzwa Marimo, Emmanuel Ngwaru, Richard Svosve, Pepukayi Marega and Devis Shopo.

They operate from Gadzema Flea Market in Chinhoyi and have been paying fees and levies to the local authority.

In their application, the traders argued that, “The demolition of their vending stalls amounts to compulsory deprivation of property in violation of the fundamental rights to property enshrined in section 71 of the Constitution.”

Manzunzu also ordered the Chinhoyi Municipality to renovate Shade Number Two at Gadzema Flea Market, which had been damaged by some municipal police last week.

The judge stated that in the event the municipality wished to carry out renovations of some vending stalls at Gadzema Flea Market, it should comply with the provisions of Section 32 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act.

“The provisions require proper notice of any proposed demolition of illegal structure to be given to the owner of such a structure and for an appeal against the notice to be filed with the Administrative Court within 28 days, during which period no action may be taken on the basis of the notice until the appeal is either determined or abandoned,” said ZLHR in a statement.