By Staff Reporter
MUTARE-Zanu Central Committee member and losing candidate for Dangamvura/Chikanga parliamentary candidate has instructed illegal settlers living along Sakubva-Chikanga railway line servitudes to stay put on the site in defiance of a High Court order.
On October 20, 2017, the High Court handed down a judgment under case 9722/16 ordering the settlers to vacate stand numbers 4483, 4483 and 6808 Chikanga Township and portion of the 90 metre railway line servitudes within five months of the granting of the order.
Addressing party supporters during a meeting in Dangamvura recently, Mupfumi said there was no need for the settlers to move.
“Don’t be intimidated or panic because the current councilors belong to the opposition MDC. Those staying in Chikanga, Hob House, Gimboki, Federation and those at the railway line servitudes don’t be afraid no one will evict you. Don’t lose sleep over that matter,” he said.
The move sets the former MP on a collision course with the local authority but Mupfumi bragged that with Zanu PF in power “nobody would interfere with their stay.”
Mutare City Council public relations officer, Spren Mutiwi warned the squatters will be evicted soon.
“It is a matter of time before we remove them. We have a judgment that was granted in our favor and it only needs to be enforced by the Deputy Sheriff,” Mutiwi said.
He added the space belonged to the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and its proximity to railway tracks made it unfit for human habitation.
Mutiwi however said people who settled themselves in the other areas like Gimboki and Federation only needed to “regularize their stay.”
The squatters illegally occupied the area arguing the local authority had failed to provide them with stands in Federation Phase 2 under the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation in 2016.
Council under the leadership of then Town Clerk Obert Muzawazi tried to demolish the shacks but met stiff resistance from the squatters who had support from local politicians who wanted votes in the 2018 elections.
The local authority then took the matter to the courts for redress but has not enforced the order.