House demolitions are illegal

EDITOR — The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) yesterday disrupted a residents’ meeting held at Unit L Community Hall in Chitungwiza around 17:45 hours.

The meeting was organised by Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust (Chitrest) as a platform to give its members and residents a chance to get feedback after Chitrest had represented residents at an all-stakeholders meeting which was held in the morning at Chitungwiza Municipality at the behest of the Town Clerk, George Makunde.

The other purpose of the residents’ meeting was to consult residents on their views so as to map a way forward in respect of responding to the sensitive issue of house demolitions in Chitungwiza which was started last week on Friday.

The public meeting which, attracted a gathering of close to 800 residents started at 1500, hours with one speaker drawn from the legal fraternity to give a perspective on the house demolitions.

The legal aspect was given by Marufu Mandevere, a legal practitioner from Kadzere, Hungwe and Mandevere law firm as seconded by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

Other panelists who spoke at the meeting include George Makoni from the Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ), Felix Chihoro from the Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Association (Chirra),
Kanavheti from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), Taurai Nyahuye from Manyame Rural Residents’ Trust, Simbarashe Moyo from the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and Tinashe Kazuru representing Chitrest.

As the meeting was coming to an end police from Chitungwiza Police Station entered and instructed the convener to immediately end the meeting.

The more than 20 ZRP officers alleged that the meeting was inciting public violence and likely to cause public disorder and unrest.

Some residents were forced out of the meeting as they were threatened with arrest by the seemingly overzealous police officers.

This resulted in six people being arrested for allegedly inciting public violence when they addressed the meeting. Those that were arrested are Messrs Kazuru and Jacob Rukweza from Chitrest, Moyo from CHRA, Makoni from CCDZ and Kanavheti from ZimRights.

These five are detained at Chitungwiza Police Station apparently without any charge.

The public meeting however managed to achieve its objectives of giving feedback to residents on the house demolitions in Chitungwiza following an all-Stakeholders meeting held in the municipality chamber yesterday morning and coming up with resolutions on the course of action to be taken by residents against the illegal house demolitions. The resolutions of the meeting are as follows:

- Residents unanimously declared the house demolitions illegal and agreed to offer community resistance to them.

- Petition the Chitungwiza Municipality, ministry of LocalGovernment, Public Works and National Housing, minister of Provincial Affairs for Harare Metropolitan Province, the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe to stop the illegal house demolitions forthwith.

- Peaceful marches to the Chitungwiza Municipality and the Parliament of Zimbabwe in follow-up to the petitions on illegal house demolitions.

- Approach the courts in partnership with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) to stop the house demolitions through an interdict.

Chitrest was mandated by the residents to coordinate the above resolutions into a course of action that it will run together with other strategic partners.

This includes running a media campaign against these illegal house demolitions.

Our lawyers are currently working on the paperwork to file an urgent court application against the house demolitions.

Chitrest

Comments (1)

Our fellow country men have been subject to a lot of abuse of power exmplified by leaders and insititutions like the ZRP intended to safeguard law. ZRP will accompanypeople to detroy people homes. for a food on the table they collude to continue to repress our people XANU must go.

Zim Beloved - 5 February 2014

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