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Demolitions continue despite restraint order

by Staff reporter
30 Jun 2021 at 17:03hrs | Views
HARARE City Council yesterday continued with the demolition of informal business structures in Glen View highdensity suburb, a day after the ruling party Zanu-PF ordered a stop to the destruction of all illegal structures in the country.

Demolitions started a fortnight ago in Mbare, Chitungwiza and spread to Melfort, Mashonaland east province, last week despite a High Court order which bars local authorities from destroying residents' properties.

On Monday, Zanu-PF secretary for administration obert Mpofu said the ruling party had ordered a stop to the exercise, which he described as inhumane.

This forced some informal traders to ignore a three-day notice by Harare City Council officials prior to destruction.

Most of them lost wares after failing to remove their goods following the declaration by Zanu-PF that demolitions resulted in unwarranted loss of shelter and sources of income, hence should be stopped.
the local authorities also destroyed tuckshops erected illegally within the residential areas.

Efforts by the vendors at the Glen View 8 and 3 shopping centres to stop the council officials from destroying their structures were in vain as police, armed with guns and batons, dispersed the crowds from the shopping area.

the vendors said they were religiously paying rates to the local authority, hence they should have been offered an alternative place for vending.

"The council should not have accepted the monthly fees we paid in rates if they were fully aware that we were operating illegally," Tsitisi Chinyoka, an affected vendor, said.

"Will they reimburse the money we have been paying for years now? We were shocked when the local authority proceeded with the demolitions today (yesterday) when we thought the ruling party had fought in our corner to stop the demolitions.

"We could have removed our stalls and saved the material from destruction yesterday evening but we heard that the ruling party had ordered all the demolitions to stop, so we thought they would not proceed."

Last night, Zanu-PF supporters wearing party regalia were milling around the area trying to help residents whose properties were destroyed and give an impression the demolitions were carried out by the opposition.

Vendors Initiative for economic transformation, a national union of vendors formed to spearhead progress of street hawkers, condemned the demolitions and said authorities ought not to have destroyed the stalls without providing alternative vending places.

"Humanity should be the guiding torch for any decisions made by public officials. the demolitions in Glen View today (yesterday) are a continuation of what we deem as callous heartless actions as they are done with no alternative in place," it said.


Source - newsday

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