ZLHR Intervenes to Stop Local Authority from Demolishing Villagers’ Homestead

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has asked Mudzi Rural District Council to stop demolishing some villagers’ homestead in order to pave way for the construction of a road.

Authorities at Mudzi Rural District Council in Mashonaland East province recently contracted the state-owned Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED) Private Limited to construct an alternative road to the one that was already situated at the edge of Mr and Mrs Chirambadeya’s property and in the process encroached onto the couple’s piece of land.

The Chirambadeya family had in February 2021 invested over US$1 500 in the planning and construction of their property on their piece of land and had constructed the footing in the foundation of the building.

The couple attempted to stop the illegal act by CMED officials by writing a letter of complaint to Mudzi Rural District Council registering their displeasure over the manner in which the local authority had commenced construction and protesting that none of the usual legal formalities required to be taken before a person can be dispossessed of their property were followed.

While Mudzi Rural District Council undertook to “investigate the matter appropriately to address the situation” and provide feedback to the family, CMED returned to continue with construction of the road and thereby causing more damage to the couple’s property.

Faced with an obstinate local authority, the Chirambadeya family has now engaged Agnes Muzondo of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who in a letter which was recently dispatched to Mudzi Rural District Council, demanded that the local authority through CMED, its contractor, should cease all construction on the family’s homestead.

Muzondo warned that if Mudzi Rural District Council continues to encroach on the couple’s land and proceeds with construction of the road, she will have no choice but to seek a legal remedy which will claim damages for all the losses which the Mudzi family has suffered as a result of the actions of the local authority.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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