High Court Orders Protection of Mbare Wetland

High Court Judge Justice Joseph Mafusire has ordered a property developer to demolish some unlawful and illegal structures which had been erected on a wetland in Mbare high-density suburb. Tonderai Nhende and Club 55 Investments Private Limited had started constructing a perimeter wall after obtaining a lease from City of Harare to use Stand 41156, located in Mbare for a recreational park and a wedding venue. This compelled Harare Wetlands Trust and Community Water Alliance Trust represented by Memory Mafo of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) to file an application at Harare High Court seeking an order stopping Nhende and Club 55 Investments Private Limited from proceeding with construction work on a wetland in the absence of any permits and licences required in terms of section 24 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act, Sections 97 and Section 113(2) of the Environmental Management Act and Section 46(2)(b) of the Water Act.

Justice Mafusire recently declared that Nhende and Club 55 Investments Private Limited development on Stand 41156 in Mbare suburb is unlawful as the piece of land forms part of the Mbare wetland in Mukuvisi Catchment area and also prohibited them from undertaking an development on the piece of land. The High Court Judge ordered Nhende and Club 55 Investments Private Limited to demolish or cause to be demolished the unlawful and illegal structures constructed on the wetland. The Mbare suburb wetland is the latest to be saved by ZLHR after the human rights organisation intervened on several occasions to prevent unlawful developments on wetlands, which are important ecosystems and a critical source of water for City of Harare.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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