Turmoil as council razes down illegal structures in demolition blitz


Mutare City Council commences demolition of illegal structures in residential areas

Mutare City Council has embarked on a campaign to demolish illegal structures, including tuck-shops, churches, and houses that were constructed without approval from the local authorities. The operation, aimed at restoring order in land allocation and usage, has seen several structures razed down in the Dangamvura and Chikanga suburbs.

Municipal security officers have been at the forefront of the demolition efforts, resulting in the destruction of tuck-shops and churches. The remnants of demolished structures can be seen in areas surrounding Mukwena Shopping Centre in Area 16 of Dangamvura, as well as the Hobhouse Turn Off area in Chikanga Phase Three.

One particularly concerning case was discovered in Gimboki, where a church had erected illegal structures and constructed blair toilets on land designated for a school. The unauthorized constructions have since been demolished.

Mr Blessing Chafesuka, the acting Town Clerk of Mutare City Council, emphasized the importance of adhering to proper procedures for land allocation and usage. He explained that some of the illegal structures were disguised as vegetable markets but were actually being used for drug peddling and abuse, underscoring the necessity to dismantle them.

In line with the government’s directive to remove all illegal structures across cities and towns, Mr Chafesuka stated that any structures lacking proper documentation would be considered illegal and subject to demolition. However, he acknowledged the challenge of limited manpower, which has resulted in slower progress in the demolition process. Nevertheless, the operation aims to eradicate all illegal structures.

Resistance from residents has been encountered by council officers during the execution of their duties. Mr Chafesuka urged the public to understand that the officers are merely carrying out their assigned tasks and that acts of resistance are unwarranted.

However, affected individuals expressed their dissatisfaction with the heavy-handedness of the municipal officers. Mr Desire Chemwandoita, whose vegetable market stall was demolished, called for a more humane approach in dealing with such issues. Similarly, Ms Eugenia Sithole raised concerns about the lack of sufficient notice and perceived selective targeting, questioning the fairness and potential corruption in the operation.

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