Section 74 of the country’s constitution grants freedom from arbitrary eviction and states that ‘No person may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances’.
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) is deeply concerned over the continued demolition of houses by the Harare City Council on the basis of full council resolutions.
On April 26, 2019, CHRA held a situational meeting with Dzivarasekwa residents and officials from the City Of Harare’s Town Planning Department following the council’s threat to demolish illegal developments on council rented houses.
The move by the City of Harare would see thousands of residents being left homeless.
In as much as we do not condone illegal developments at council rented houses, we are very much concerned about the fact that due process is not being followed before executing the demolitions.
It came out during the Dzivarasekwa meeting that the City of Harare is acting based on the provisions of Enforcement Order Section 32 which is as a result of a full council meeting.
The move by the City of Harare is a flagrant disregard of the constitution and CHRA calls upon the relevant authorities to uphold the constitution.
Public litigation also remains an option given the high number of residents who are facing eviction.
CHRA will continue with sensitization programmes aimed at educating residents about their constitutional rights that include freedom from arbitrary eviction.
CHRA has also started community programmes aimed at educating residents over the need to regularize developments at council rented houses.