By Anna Chibamu
MORE people in Harare could soon find themselves homeless as government Friday warned of pending demolitions on illegal structures.
The demolitions, according to Information ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana, will be accompanied with arrests of those involved in illegal activities.
The said clean-up exercise, which could rekindle memories of the much condemned 2005 Operation Murambatsvina will come at a time when most people are struggling to feed themselves and even afford medical expenses.
With the onset of the rains, most of those living in illegal structures are set to be affected in a big way as schools just opened this week.
Mangwana on Friday warned that illegal structures would be razed down, coupled with arrests on illegal vendors and land barons.
Any other activities deemed unlawful will also be accounted for.
In a tweet, Mangwana said, “Expect demolitions of illegal structures, arrests of illegal vendors, land barons, sand and water poachers, money changers, closure of unregistered businesses and closing of unlicensed shops in Harare. Lawlessness is being clamped on.”
Human rights defenders have in the past criticised government for the “unlawful” demolitions of illegal structures.
Many of those who have lost their structures are victims of Harare City corrupt systems of parcelling out land.
In recent weeks, police have arrested several Harare Council officials and councillors over corruption claims.
Of concern to government is the haphazard planning nature of the city by the authority that has led to unsightly settlements to the once ‘Sunshine City’.