Residents of Dzivarasekwa today, September 7, 2017 held protests against the decision by the Harare City Council to evict them from council rented houses.
Yesterday, September 6, 2017, there were clashes between the residents and Harare Municipal police as the former resisted orders to vacate their houses.
Today (September 7, 2017) a community meeting meant to deliberate on the issue of the evictions and map a possible way forward was hijacked and turned into a political campaign platform.
The residents were first addressed by Ward 39 Councilor, Gilbert Hadebe (MDC-T) who gave a hint that the issue of the evictions was somehow political and not necessarily reflective of council’s policy.
Later on, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Dzivarasekwa, Honorable Omega Hungwe (Zanu PF) addressed the meeting and blamed “the MDC-T controlled council” for approving the eviction of the residents.
In her address, Honorable Hungwe told the residents to vote wisely in 2018, in a clear sign that she had taken advantage of the meeting to campaign for Zanu (PF) candidates.
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) is concerned that the agenda of residents has apparently been hijacked by political hawks seeking to sway potential voters ahead of the 2018 polls.
CHRA is a NON-PARTISAN association of residents and as such, we abhor any partisan or political approach to issues affecting residents.
We implore politicians to desist from hijacking the residents’ agenda for selfish political gains.
CHRA reiterates that a non-partisan and collective approach is critical a far as resolving issues facing Harare residents is concerned.
In light of the impending evictions in Dzivarasekwa, CHRA implores the Harare City Council to consider all the relevant circumstances before approving any form of eviction.
As CHRA, we will be engaging human rights lawyers to ensure that due course is followed before the evictions are carried out and above all, to protect residents’ constitutional right to shelter and freedom from arbitrary evictions.
CHRA is also mobilizing residents who owe the Harare City Council to approach the local authority and make payment plans.
Source: Combined Harare Residents Association