No more houses will be demolished during the rainy season after Harare City Council was barred by the Government from effecting court orders allowing demolitions of illegally-built houses until the season is over.
Speaking last night after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said while the Government fully upholds the rule of law and does not interfere with the Judiciary and its orders, council should be sensitive on its timing when implementing the orders.
“As Government, while we support the court orders and we respect the orders given by the courts after the application by the Harare City Council.
“For the avoidance of doubt Harare City Council is the one which applied for those evictions. They got court orders. It’s only the timing, and we are now saying don’t carry out the rest of the evictions until there is an appropriate time when there is no rain,” he said.
But the Government has stressed that the orders are valid, can be implemented when the rains are over, and that regularisation of unserviced land will be confined to areas where proper layout plans were prepared.
There will be no regularisation of unplanned stands on wetlands or land reserved for social amenities.
There are believed to be 22 demolition orders ready for implementation, all for a number of houses, and the Government’s move follows the demolition of 190 houses in Budiriro, Harare, last week by council on land reserved for a school, a move described as legal but badly timed since the rains are now falling.