Harare City Council is set to evict 114 of its former employees from its Norton, Waterworks houses despite their contestations that they were promised ownership of the houses.
The Waterworks residents used to work at Morton Jaffray water works but have since retired whilst others are now dead leaving behind their orphans and widows who are all claiming the rights to own the houses as earlier promised.
A January meeting facilitated between the former workers led by their chairperson Andrew Chavengwa Masango, Organizing Secretary Kenneth Muruki and Harare officials led by Mayor Gomba, Acting Town Clerk Nhekairo and legal advisor Mrs. Ziyemura had agreed that evictions be stopped.
However despite this Council has since started sending out eviction notices.
Harare Council Director of Housing Mabhena Moyo dismissed the former worker’s arguments saying their contracts of employment had no such clauses of ownership.
“Council policy states that 3 months after you leave employment you are then supposed to vacate the Council house which you would be occupying”.
“Their contracts of employment stated that and there is no such agreement that they would own the houses”, Mabhena said.
Asked how the workers had remained in the houses for over two decades without vacating them Mabhena said he was not privy to the specific reason for that.
“I’m not aware of the specific modalities for that but there is no such thing as owning them. Those houses are specifically there so that at any given time we know where workers can be found”, he said.
The former Council employees have since sought for the intervention of local legislator Temba Mliswa as they are likely to be evicted during this rainy season.