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Harare Council Demolishes 'Illegal' Houses

FILE: Hundreds of residents were left homeless in Chitungwiza and Epworth early this year following the demolition of illegal houses. (Courtesy Photo)

The Harare City Council today launched a blitz on illegal structures and demolished some properties in the city’s Glen Norah high density suburb.

Some Glen Norah residents said they were shocked to learn that houses they were building had been demolished by council workers without any warning from authorities or even a court order.

One affected home-builder is Tecla Nyamundanda who told Studio 7 her incomplete house which had reached window-level was reduced to rubble.

Another affected resident, Mathew Nyanyiwa, claimed that he bought his residential stand through a Zanu PF-linked cooperative called Five Greater Heights headed by one Tafadzwa Machemedze.

He claimed that he did not know that he was constructing a house on land that was not approved by council.

Studio 7 failed to get a comment from Machemedze as he was not reachable on his mobile phone.

Reacting to the demolitions, council spokesperson, Michael Chideme, said all the affected people were notified before the demolitions took place today.

Chideme warned residents against buying properties from land barons, adding that his council will destroy all illegal structures.

Today’s demolition of the eleven houses was reminiscent of 2005 Operation Murambatsvina or Operation Clean Filth, which left more than 700,000 people homeless.

According to the United Nations, more than 2,4 million people were indirectly affected by this operation.

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