Some families in the Chizhanje section of Mabvuku, a populous Harare suburb, faced eviction from their homes in a municipal housing development Wednesday following the expiration of a seven-day eviction notice served on the families last week.
Harare city officials have said they need the houses to accommodate city employees, but critics said the eviction process is intended to pressure opposition members. One tenant said she has paid her rent on time, so the city has no cause to evict her.
The city council since last year has been pressuring the tenants to move out, but the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights defender group has prevented their eviction.
Spokesman Precious Shumba of the Combined Harare Residents Association told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his organization suspects a political motive behind the city's effort to evict the residents.