Council demolishes illegal structures

16 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Council demolishes illegal structures Mutare City Council has started demolishing illegal structures in residential areas, including tuck-shops, churches and houses constructed in spaces that were not sanctioned by the local authority

The ManicaPost

 

Ray Bande
Senior Reporter

 

MUTARE City Council has started demolishing illegal structures in residential areas, including tuck-shops, churches and houses constructed in spaces that were not sanctioned by the local authority.

 

A drive around Dangamvura and Chikanga suburbs this week revealed that some tuck-shops and churches had been razed down by municipal security officers.

 

Rubbles from demolished structures are visible mainly in areas around Mukwena Shopping Centre in Area 16 of Dangamvura, as well as Hobhouse Turn Off area in Chikanga Phase Three.

 

In Gimboki, a church had erected illegal structures and constructed blair toilets on a site that is meant for a school. The illegal structures have since been demolished.

 

Mutare City Council’s acting Town Clerk, Mr Blessing Chafesuka said the development seeks to restore sanity in land allocation and usage.

 

Mr Chafesuka said some of the illegal structures were disguised as vegetable markets when they were in fact havens for drug peddling and abuse, hence the need to raze them down.

 

“Government said all illegal structures across cities and towns should be demolished to restore sanity. This includes people who had allocated themselves spaces in different areas to operate tuck-shops, churches or vegetable markets.

 

“Government made the pronouncement and we are simply executing the directive. It is sad that some of the illegal structures were constructed in a manner that is detriment to the environment, therefore the need to redress the anomaly.

 

“It is also important to note that some of the illegal structures were disguised as vegetable markets while they had actually become havens for drug peddling and abuse, hence the need to remove them.”

 

Mr Chafesuka said those in need of space for whatever purposes should follow the right procedures and approach the local authority’s relevant offices.

 

 

Asked on whether the local authority will also demolish tuck-shops that have mushroomed in other sections of the city, Mr Chafesuka said: “Anything that does not have proper documentation as per the laws of the country, will be deemed an illegal structure and demolished accordingly.

 

“The only challenge that we are having at the moment is that of manpower, hence the slow progress in demolishing illegal structures. Otherwise, the operation will raze down all illegal structures,” he said.

 

The acting Town Clerk said their officers are encountering resistance from residents as they execute their duties.

 

“It is important for members of the public to know that our officers are simply executing their duties as assigned by the local authority. Therefore, the acts of resistance that our officers are currently facing on the ground, in most cases, are unwarranted,” said Mr Chafesuka.

 

However, those affected bitterly complained about the municipal officers’ heavy handedness.

 

Mr Desire Chemwandoita of Chikanga Phase Three, whose vegetable market stall was demolished said: “We are fully aware that these men and women are at work, but at times they need to have a humane face when confronting such issues on the ground. Surely, how can you destroy my vegetable market stall and confiscate everything?”

 

Ms Eugenia Sithole of Area 16 in Dangamvura said: “I strongly feel that we should have been given enough time to make amends through official notices. This is just unfair. The other unfair part of it all is that they seem to be selective in their approach. My tuck-shop was demolished, but my neighbour’s tuck-shop is intact and operating. How do you reconcile that? Is this not a clear case of corruption?”

 

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