Mutare council to raze Chikanga slum

MUTARE - Mutare City Council has issued a public notice for a razing drive in Chikanga high density suburb.

The city council plans to demolish 300 shacks in the slums saying it poses a serious health hazard as the rains set in.

Mayor Tatenda Nhamarare urged a full council meeting on Tuesday to vote in favour of prioritising demolishing the shanty settlement, composed mainly of disgruntled Dangamvura’s Homeless Federation Housing Project dwellers, who have been swindled of their housing contributions.

“I propose that we put all our efforts to demolishing illegal structures on the illegal Devonshire squatters because they pose a serious health risk to the city,” Nhamarare said to the approval of the entire house, except councillor Crispen Dube.

Dube argued that council should instead sympathise with the families after they were defrauded of their stands in Dangamvura’s Homeless Federation Housing Project suburb.

Nhamarare cautioned that while their situation was regrettable a reprieve would not only endanger their own health but that of the entire city.

“Councillor Dube, you will not stand with that decision when there is a cholera or typhoid outbreak and people start dying,” the mayor cautioned, adding that they should not have had to break another law to correct the injustice done to them.

Housing director Stenard Mapurisa said intervening in the slum dwellers’ housing dispute was likely to be challenged in court as it was beyond council’s mandate.

Residents of the new settlement are drawing water from unprotected wells and streams.

The families were used by Zanu PF to beef up its numbers by controversially adding them onto the Dangamvura-Chikanga constituency during the June 2015 by-elections.

After the elections, they were moved to Chikanga from Dangamvura.

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