Zimre Residents Stranded As Council Demolishes Houses

Top Stories Zimbabwe

Kimberleigh Jiro

Some residents of Zimre Park Extension in Harare have been left homeless after Harare City Council demolished their houses. The demolitions started yesterday (Wednesday).

One of the residents of Zimre Park Extension who identified herself as Mai Tendai, told ZTN that the demolitions took them by surprise.

“We have been staying here for more than a year. We were surprised to see earthmovers arriving to demolish our houses. We have nowhere to go. Hiring trucks is expensive. I can’t afford to rent a room in the neighbourhood. l am stuck here.”

The other resident who identified herself as Mai Matipa (not her real name), said, “Council had assured us that we now own the land since we had requisite paperwork. We were not given notice. Our young children and
property are exposed. They demolished our houses while it was raining.”

Harare mayor, Jacob Mafume said the affected houses had been built illegally on land reserved for other purposes.

“There is no way council will destroy someone’s house if it has tittle deeds, there is no way council will destroy your house if they had given you an offer letter properly to go ahead and build. There is no way council will destroy your house if you had submitted your plan to council and it had been approved by council before you finish building. If it is something that they legally and legitimately own, then it’s either they should have gone to court to stop that or they will be compensated.”

City authorities destroyed about 10 residential buildings yesterday and were expected to move in again today to demolish the remaining houses which were built on illegal land.