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City of Harare is behind illegal structures: CHRA

By Takunda Mandura

Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has accused the Harare City Council of failing to respect the Constitution of Zimbabwe when it comes to demolishing of illegal structures.

CHRA also says Harare is responsible for the sprouting of illegal settlements in and around the city.

Addressing a press conference recently, CHRA director Loreen Mupasiri said they are concerned by the conduct of the city council.

“CHRA is deeply concerned by the complete disregard of the law by the City of Harare when executing house demolitions around the capital and in as much we do not condone illegal housing structures, we note with concern that the Harare has failed to respect citizens’ constitutional rights of freedom from arbitrary eviction as enshrined under Section 74 of the country’s supreme law,” she said.

Mupasiri added that the city planning department is behind the illegal stands allocation and must take the blame for the illegal settlements.

“In terms of the so-called illegal housing structures, the City of Harare’s Planning Department is equally to blame as they have been complicit on issues of double allocation of stands and the allocation of housing stands on wetlands, corruption and abuse of political affiliation has remain a major challenge regarding the sprouting of illegal structures in Harare,” she said.

Harare City Council Mayor Councillor Hebert Gomba is on record saying that his council will not demolish any structure without a court order.

The city is currently regularising illegal housing stands in various suburbs which fall under its jurisdiction.

City council corporate communications officer Michael Chideme called on residents who are staying in illegal settlements to visit the council offices to regularise their housing stands.

“We are dealing with individuals on an individual bases we are not going to do block regularization and we are encouraging all people in the areas that we have been written down for regularization to come forward and the city will deal with their cases on merit and this is also to eradicate cases of people who have built on areas designated for schools, businesses and hospitals…,” he said

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