The Harare city council has been ordered to stop illegally built houses demolition until the end of the rainy season.
The government has ordered the Harare City Council to stop effecting court orders that give it the right to demolish illegally built houses until the rainy season is over thus house demolitions will resume sometime in May next year since Zimbabwe’s rainy season lasts from the second half of October to April.
According to The Herald, after the rainy season, there will be regularisation of unserviced lands that have proper layout plans but demolitions will proceed on houses build on wetlands or land reserved for social amenities.
The cabinet resolution was triggered by the recent demolition of 190 houses in Budiriro that left hundreds of families homeless during this rainy season.
In a post-cabinet briefing last night Minister of Local Government and Public Works Hon. July Moyo said the government was in support of the 23 court orders to demolish illegal structures but only wanted the City Council to carry them out after the rainy season.
“As Government, while we support the court orders and we respect the orders given by the courts after the application by the Harare City Council.
“For the avoidance of doubt Harare City Council is the one which applied for those evictions. They got court orders. It’s only the timing, and we are now saying don’t carry out the rest of the evictions until there is an appropriate time when there is no rain,” he said.
Minister Moyo said the Government has prepared temporary shelters for the evicted families but stressed that they will not be allowed to rebuild their demolished houses.
“Harare City Council took illegal occupants to court. To date it has secured 23 court rulings in its favour and 22 are yet to be executed. The executed one is against Events Housing Cooperative which is a splinter group from Tembwe Housing Cooperative,” he said.
He also commented that all those who were served with eviction orders should comply with them or seek legal recourse and that the government will not interfere with court orders.
“At the same time, all those who have been given eviction orders should know that these eviction orders are legal instruments and therefore cannot be defied by individuals. As Government, we uphold the rule of law. Unless individuals have gone to court to rescind these court orders those court orders will be effected at the appropriate time.
“That appropriate time must take advantage of the situation where there is no rain. We don’t want, as Government, to throw people in the rain,” he said.