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We’ll demolish all illegal structures from 18 February: City Council

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  • The Council says from 18th February going forwards, its workmen will move around and demolish the illegal structures without further warning.

By Mutsa Makuvaza

HARARE City Council has advised all owners and operators of illegal tuck-shops that they have up to next week Thursday to wind down their operations.

The Council says from 18th February going forwards, its workmen will move around and demolish the illegal structures without further warning.

“All illegal tuck-shop owners across town should stop operations and remove their structures before 18 February, 2021. An operation to remove illegal structures is coming soon.

“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,” warned the council in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Council said illegal dwellings will also be razed down, adding that most of the illegal structures had cropped up during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Said the City of Harare: “Included (in the warning) are illegal dwellings which have been built without approval. There are residents taking advantage of the lockdown to build illegally.

“Removal of illegal structures at council Crowborough paddocks begins on 2 April, 2021.”

Early last year, local authorities across the country demolished vending stalls and tuck-shops following an instruction from Local Government minister July Moyo, who said it was meant to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Informal traders represented by the Chitungwiza Residents Trust and Kushinga Epworth Residents Association then approached the Harare High Court to “interdict local authorities and central government from demolishing any tuck-shops and vending stalls.”

The traders argued in court that they had been paying fees and rates to local authorities for their tuck-shops and stalls and they argued this was an acknowledgement that their operations were lawful.

The High Court then ruled the demolitions illegal. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, which represented the groups in court, said they believed “this ban should serve as a warning to the rest of all councils that demolitions will have repercussions on them.”

It was not immediately clear if council now had court approval to carry out the planned demolitions. – Zimbabwe Voice 🔺

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