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A newspaper article today states that the City of Harare has issued warnings to individuals who have built properties that are ‘non compliant’ with city by-laws after they built using unapproved plans. Most of the land that was built on is former state land that was recently handed over to the council and hence the council is calling for compliance – individuals must regularise their plans.
The affected areas are Ashdown Park (Southern side) along Harare Drive, Belvedere West, Gletwyn, Mt Pleasant Heights, Pomona and Prospect/Mainway subdivision of Stand Number 830 and could see thousands of properties being demolished.
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This is in marked contrast to the treatment that is given to individuals living in high density suburbs, where council have razed to the ground peoples houses will little to no warnings. As recently as December 2015 council was in the High Glen area demolishing over 200 houses stating that they were erected on state land meant for hospitals and other amenities. In early October last year council swept through Budiriro and Glen Norah rendering 27 families homeless again with the land being state land that was said to be reserved for other purposes.
In July 2015 the City of Harare noted that there were a number of illegal structures that were erected around the city and committed to seeing that they were brought down, with either the occupants doing it voluntarily or council doing it themselves, owners of the demolished structures being made to foot the labour and other costs incurred in pulling down the structures.
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The demolitions in these high density suburbs came even after Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Saviour Kasukuwere called for councils around the country to stop and land barons to compensate home seekers that had been duped. A High Court order has also been issued ordering the City of Harare to halt all demolitions forthwith. The order it would seem were only directed at the 3 houses mentioned in the court case and Council has gone on to blatantly shattered people’s investments.
From the reading of today’s article, it is clear that ‘some animals are more equal than others’.
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