Council demolishes more homes

HARARE - The Harare City Council has demolished several houses in Harare’s Aspindale Park in Marimba, leaving hundreds of families homeless following a High Court order sanctioning the demolitions.

When the Daily News arrived at the scene yesterday morning, two bulldozers were razing down several completed houses, together with others that were still under construction, belonging to members of Nordville and Vineyard Housing Co-operatives.

The co-operatives are embroiled in a bitter ownership wrangle with Marimba Industrial Properties Limited, which claims to be the rightful owner of the property.

Emotional residents could be seen wailing as the bulldozers mercilessly “mauled” their houses.

Some residents could be seen making frantic efforts to save their property, which they were taking outside their houses, before the bulldozers moved in to destroy the structures.

At the site, the Daily News saw the country’s and the Zanu PF’s party flags.

Council spokesperson Michael Chideme yesterday told the Daily News that the demolition exercise on illegal structures would continue in Harare.

“We were pulling down illegal structures. We pulled down 200 structures on a wetland at corner Highglen and Kambuzuma Road.

“Our message is very clear and like we warned before, the exercise to remove illegal structures will continue in Harare.

“We urge residents not to buy land from land barons because doing so would result in them losing their money,” Chideme said.

Many land barons have been in the habit of using the Zanu PF party’s name to allocate desperate home seekers land in Harare, while collecting monthly contributions that they would in the end pocket for personal gains.

During yesterday’s demolitions, the residents showed the Daily News court papers, showing that they had challenged the court’s decision sanctioning the demolitions.

According to the court papers filed at the Supreme Court, the residents argued that the High Court judge erred in okaying the demolitions. “The learned judge erred in ordering the demolition of structures on the disputed land when it had been specifically set aside for acquisition by the State and the State had not sought such demolition,” the court heard.

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