Courts and Law

High Court stops demolition and eviction of car dealers premises

THE High Court has granted temporary relief to car dealers from eviction or demolition of their premises along Robert Mugabe Road and Enterprise Road.

The Pre-owned Car Dealers Trust, Edmore Sakarombe, David Matsatsa and Perseverance Chivandire had approached the courts to halt Harare Municipality, Harare Metropolitan Provincial Development Coordinator, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Harare Metropolitan Province, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage and Commissioner General of Police from evicting them or demolishing their properties.

Justice Edith Mushore granted an interim relief in which the respondents were interdicted from arbitrarily demolishing and or evicting applicants’ members from the areas of business operations.

The interim relief was granted to stand number 19553 in the name of Foltune Investment Private Limited, Stand number 41450 held under Ruth Machakanja, Stand number 41451 held under George Makata, Stand number 41506 held under Mark Grey Marongwe and a portion of Railway Reserve land along Robert Mugabe and held under Northland Enterprises, a portion of Railway Reserve land along Robert Mugabe, Hillside, measuring 2814 square metres.

Last week, Harare Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC) Tafadzwa Muguti declared war on informal traders who operate car sales, some tuck shops and have also built shacks and shelters on road verges in Harare Metropolitan Province.

Municipal police officers from Harare, Chitungwiza and Ruwa led the demolition recently while Zimbabwe Republic Police assisted through making sure there was no violence.

According to the government, illegal facilities had mushroomed on road sides, selling building materials, furniture, garden supplies and car sales posing a grave danger to road users and preventing work needed in many areas to regulate traffic and widen roads to ease congestion.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, on behalf of Chitungwiza Residents Trust, applied to the High Court to halt the demolitions on the grounds that people were not notified in advance.

An order to stop the demolitions was granted.

Government, however, intends to appeal the court decision.

Recently, Muguti, said while there was a temporary relief on demolitions, the applicants quoted the wrong Act when they approached the courts.

Muguti since last year has been in running battles with land barons across Harare who had been illegally parcelling out state land for personal benefit.

He was appointed PDC last year by President Emmerson Mnangagwa where one of his roles was to assist Harare Metropolitan Province Minister Oliver Chidawu.

Muguti has been instrumental in the fight against land barons who have also been parcelling out land on wetlands in Harare Province.

There are also indications that the government will soon demolish structures that have been constructed on wetlands across the City of Harare without permit as it seeks to clamp down on sprouting land barons who have been abusing their proximity to City Fathers. ■

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