HCC-residents clash over selective demolitions of property

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  • HCC accused of selective application justice
  • Residents urged to name-and-shame council officials parceling out land

HARARE City Council (HCC) was on Tuesday criticised for avoiding demolishing mansions along Harare Drive and in other low density areas, while targeting the ‘poor and weak’ in Operation Restore Sanity.

The Harare Residents Trust president Precious Shumba said HCC had been demolishing illegal structures in the past three weeks after getting a court order to take action.

“HCC was avoiding to demolish houses in low density areas, thereby engaging in selective application of justice.

We hope the demolition represents a major shift in terms of council policy because a few years back, the municipality had a tendency of tolerating the construction of houses on illegal grounds,” he said.

Residents have cited several areas in Harare that are built on wetlands which have so far been spared, including Long Chen Plaza adjacent to the National Sports Stadium and an area between Kuwadzana 7 and Kuwadzana Extension.

HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme, however, said the exercise was ongoing, adding they would be demolishing more illegal properties across the city.

The exercise is moving ahead as it is in line with our vision of creating a world-class city by the year 2025.

Those people who have had their structures demolished should apply for proper trading places, and we will allocate them such spaces,” he said.

On council employees who have allegedly been receiving bribes to spare some illegal structures, Chideme said: “If there are any officers taking bribes, people must report them (to us) and we will deal with them accordingly.”

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