300 families face eviction

BULAWAYO - More than 300 families under the Umguza District Council’s Reigate Compound face destitution if council proceeds with plans to demolish their homes to make way for commercial ventures.

Umguza council served residents with notices for them to vacate the houses by end of last month or face being booted out.

“This letter serves to inform that plans are underway to demolish Reigate houses due to developments taking place,” read part of the letter without specifying the kind of developments. In what seems as a threat the letter further reads: “We therefore urge you to save yourself from embarrassment.”

The decision has riled residents who feel that council should at least offer alternative accommodation before booting them out.

Despite the threat, a visit to Reigate Compound by the Daily News revealed a sorry sight as visibly worried residents showed no sign of preparedness to leave “their homes”.

Only five families had packed their bags. On Tuesday, council workmen had already started removing the roofing on some of the vacated houses.

Residents said a letter they wrote to council chief executive Collen Moyo airing their concerns has been ignored.

The Reigate Compound comprises 75 houses. Sikhanyisiwe Mpofu, the Umguza Council chairperson referred the Daily News to Moyo.

“You can talk to those who are in the office. I cannot talk about it because it is something that is yet to be approved by council,” said Mpofu.

Efforts to get a comment from Moyo drew a blank with a secretary in the office saying he was holed up in marathon meetings for two consecutive days.

His mobile also went unreachable.

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