Harare council to lose property

HARARE - Harare City Council (HCC) risks losing its property as Mbare residents, who successfully sued it after blocked drains caused flooding of their homes, have secured a writ of execution.

Speaking to the Daily News this week, the lawyer representing the 43 residents, Allan Moyo, said they were moving to submit the paperwork, then attach the local authority’s property.

“I cannot pre-empt when the attachment would be done but once it happens, you will know. The writ is already there. It is only a matter of time,” Moyo said.

On Tuesday, High Court judge Justice David Mangota ruled in favour of the aggrieved residents, who wanted compensation for the clothes, food, and household goods damaged by flood waters in January.

“It is ordered that defendant is ordered to pay the plaintiffs sum of $57 556,70 together with costs from date of summons at the rate of five percent to date of full payment. Defendant to pay costs of the suit,” read Mangota’s judgment.

Residents, who spoke to the Daily News, said while it took more than four months to have their case finalised, at least they can now move on.

One of the residents, Tressie Taruvinga, said for some time, she had lost all hope of getting any compensation from HCC.

“Justice has now been served. We can now replace the stuff that was damaged. Most of the people had given up hope and had looked for alternatives to what was spoiled.

“But we want council to uphold the order by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere to demolish part of the complex to avoid future floods,” she said.

HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme was not reachable for comment on whether council would appeal the decision or not.

At the height of the floods, Kasukuwere ordered that the shopping complex constructed adjacent to the affected residents’ homes be demolished.

“The water that usually flowed freely is now backwashing into their homes. That complex should be removed if it does not meet the Environmental Management Agency approval,” he said.

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