Community Development

City of Harare’s Demolitions unlawful: CHRA


By Tatenda Mujeyi

The Combined Harare Residents Association, CHRA, has cited the proposed demolitions  by the City of Harare as unlawful and against United Nations provisions.

The proposed demolitions were announced by the City Council as a measure against wetlands occupation and illegal settlements and are against the statutory laws of Zimbabwe.

“In as much as we do not condone illegal housing structures, we note with concern that the city of Harare has failed to respect citizens constitutional right of freedom as enshrined under section 74 of the countries supreme law” the CHRA press statement read.

CHRA argues that council has not been considering the law but their council meeting resolutions in adopting these demolitions without Considering the constitutional rights.

“Instead of being guided by the constitution, the City of Harare has been implementing house demolitions on the strength of enforcement orders coming from full council resolutions yet Section 68 of the  country’s constitution is clear that every person has the right to administrative Justice which is both ‘ substantively and procedurally fair” CHRA further read

CHRA, urged Government to implement their monitoring role as it is Government who can guarantee human rights enshrinement.

“CHRA  calls upon the government of Zimbabwe to uphold the recommendation by the United Nations (UN) Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in it’s general comment number 7, freedom of arbitrary eviction is a fundamental right,” CHRA also said.

The demolitions which propose to create new settlements on existing settlements as in the case of Tembwe Budiriro shows council’s double standards in land allocation, reflecting corruptive tendencies.

“ We resided at Tembwe in 2010 and we’re offered a letter confirming our occupation by a Mr W Tafireyi in 2010, only to be told in 2016 that the land was offered to Events Hosing Pay Scheme in 2016” a resident of Temper, Budiriro who declined to be named said.

“With the people of Tembwe having lived in the area for 8 years, imagine the development they have contributed to the area and such a big community bieng affected,” CHRA also said.

The Harare City council has argued the occupation on wetlands, illegal occupation among the reasons for the demolitions which will take place across the city.

The Harare City Council public relations office could not be reached for comment 

“Arbitrary evictions not only violate the right to shelter but the right to life which is enshrined under section 48 of the constitution.” CHRA further said.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende