By Aleck Murimigwa
City of Harare says it has acquired a court order to evict illegal occupants at Crowborough paddocks along Bulawayo Road and has urged 23 Housing cooperatives who duped desperate home seekers to evacuate their members before their homes are demolished.
In a statement on Tuesday, Harare City Council said Housing Cooperatives who took advantage of the Covid-19 induced lock down and settled their members unlawfully must act with speed and evacuate their members before council moves in to demolish the illegal structures.
“Some of the illegal structures are on road verges and public spaces. The unsightly structures are not helping especially when it rains because some of the structures are causing flooding as they block runoff.
“Occupants of the paddocks are advised to move out and allow the paddocks to be used for their intended purpose,” Council wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
Council said if the the illegal occupants at Crowborough do not evacuate by end of March 2021, their homes will be razed down.
“Included are illegal dwellings which have been built without approval. There are residents taking advantage of the lockdown to build illegally.
“The removal of illegal structures at council Crowborough paddocks begins on April 2, 2021.”
The Crowborough case is peculiar because the residents were allegedly settled there with the full knowledge of Council.
Among the listed Housing co-operatives are Takunda Housing Co-operatives, United We Stand Housing Co-operative, I deal Housing Co-operative, Bantu Housing, Igarwe Housing Co-operative and Nyabira Housing Co-operative.
Housing cooperatives and land barons recently came under spotlight after heavy rains that left some houses in danger in Chitungwiza and around Harare.
It has since came out that the majority of homes affected by the recent rains were built illegally.
City of Harare has also secured a Court order to evict illegal occupants in Belvedere West under Kudakwashe Mukusha, Vatema Vatonga Housing Co-operative, Greendale Residents and Ratepayers Association along Latimar Road.
“The above proprietors and any other persons (organisations) who have illegally constructed structures within Harare City’s confines are therefore advised to demolish such illegal structures on their own and salvage some valuables or risk the structures being demolished by the City,” reads part of the court order seen by Open Council Harare.
When reached for comment, Harare City Town Clerk Prosper Chonzi said he was not privy to the details of the court order to evict illegal occupants.