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Justice Mathonsi Reserves Judgement on Epworth House Demolitions

Hundreds of residents have been left homeless in Chitungwiza and Epworth following the house demolitions Friday. (File: Courtesy Photo)

High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi on Tuesday reserved judgment after hearing an urgent chamber application filed by some Epworth residents seeking an order to stop the Epworth Local Board and the Zimbabwe Republic Police from demolishing housing structures they charge were illegally constructed.

Justice Mathonsi, who heard arguments from the Epworth residents’ lawyer and the Epworth Local Board and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri’s legal practitioners, indicated that he will try his best to hand down his ruling on the application either on Thursday or Wednesday next week.

The Epworth residents, who are represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) through its member lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara of Mupanga Bhatasara attorneys, filed an urgent chamber application last month seeking an order stopping the demolition of houses belonging to some Epworth residents and to stop their eviction.

The decision to file the urgent chamber application came after the authorities launched an operation to destroy illegal houses in and around Harare.

But the Epworth residents through their lawyers petitioned the High Court seeking to put a stop to the demolitions and evictions from their homes without due process which they deemed illegal.