Harare, Zimbabwe(News of the South)- Over 700 houses in Eyestone, Harare South have been demolished by the Harare City Council on allegations of being illegal erections.

 

Reports say graders from the City Council arrived in the area on Tuesday and began demolishing the houses without any prior notice leaving many stranded and in the open.

 

 

Residents from the area however are complaining that they are an affiliate member of the Harare South Housing Apex Cooperative Society which is legally recognised and allowed to offer stands.

 

A quoted resident said,”We were never given any warning. If they had told us a week before or even in the morning, I would not have left for work.

 

“I had to be phoned by my neighbours and I rushed here only to find them already knocking down our house. These stands were advertised by Government Workers Association and we signed contracts and paid our money, never knowing it would end up like this,” she said.

 

However, the society’s chairperson, Mr Tonderai Nkomo, said he wasn’t aware of how the stands were allocated.

 

“We never gave out stands there. These are people who were short-changed by other dubious co-operatives and we took it upon ourselves to represent them and made them pay a fee to be affiliated to us.

 

“We have been in and out of courts over the issue. Last week, we were told council cannot just demolish without showing us a court order allowing the demolition, but today they didn’t even want to hear of it; they just demolished,”said Mr Nkomo.

 

The occurrence evokes memories of the infamous Murambatsvina operation that also resulted in the demolition of thousands of houses in 2005.

 

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