Epworth residents resist demolitions

HARARE - Epworth residents yesterday resisted demolitions of their houses, arguing that they are being victimised for supporting the MDC.

The residents, numbering over 100, barricaded and stopped local board workers and the police from pulling down their houses in Domboramwari section.

When the Daily News crew arrived, the residents had grouped under a tree, vowing that their houses would not be razed down. A stone’s throw away, there were local board workers who watched as the MDC supporters shouted all sorts of obscenities against them, saying they are being victimised for supporting the opposition party.

“You want to destroy our homes on the pretext that they are illegal” charged one elderly woman. “But just across the road there are houses that belong to Zanu PF supporters and you don’t want to demolish those?

“No member of Zanu PF will ever build a house here. We are ready to die for our houses.”

One of the residents Elias Nyangwete said the running battles between them, the local board and police over demolition of houses, started five days ago.

“It all started four days ago when the local board workers destroyed two illegal houses,” he said.

“The residents were not happy and since then, they have blocked the local board and the police from destroying the houses.”

The Epworth local board wants to demolish the houses ostensibly because the land is for an industrial site.

“How come it’s only MDC supporters houses being targeted? Houses belonging to Zanu PF supporters are also on the industrial site. Everything has been politicised,” Nyangwete said.

Another resident Thomas Chizungu vowed that they would never allow their houses to be demolished.

“They want to resettle Zanu PF supporters here and we are not going to allow that," he said. 

“This is so unfair and we are not going to allow that to happen.

“Some of the residents have been arrested and they have been taken to the police station.”

Our crew visited the local police station and officers declined to comment saying the officer-in-charge was not around.

Harare provincial police spokesperson Tadius Chibanda referred all questions to Inspector Pamire, who was unreachable.

 

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