Vendors defy eviction as Govt appeals court order

Precious |  2 years ago | local

Defiant informal traders are rebuilding their shacks on road verges and in road reserves, amid revelations that some corrupt council officials were taking bribes to allow encroachments.

This comes as Government is moving swiftly to appeal a High Court order to stop demolitions.

The demolitions are not being done under the planning or licensing laws, but under the Roads Act which prohibits all structures built on land demarcated as a road reserve and so it is being argued that since it is an offence to block part of a road there can be no legal comeback for those told to move.

But Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), on behalf of Chitungwiza Residents Trust, applied to the High Court to have the demolitions stopped on the grounds that people were not notified in advance, although Government officials said there was wide publicity over the need to move away from roads.

In any case, the authorities are entitled to remove obstructions on public roads and highways.

It was business as usual at Mbudzi round-about on Friday where traders whose structures were destroyed last week were back, although most at the moment selling their wares in open spaces.

Zimbabwe Industrial and Technological Revolutionary Party (ZITER) leader Daniel Chingoma was seen rebuilding a permanent structure.

Others with destroyed wooden structures had already rebuilt them and doing business, while some were in the process of doing so.

At Zindoga Shopping Centre in Waterfalls, it was also business as usual with backyard food outlets braaing and selling food, although none appeared to have the required licence nor undergone the required health inspection.

It was a different case in Chitungwiza where order prevailed, as most informal traders had taken heed.

Addressing the press on Friday, Harare Provincial Development Coordinator Mr Tafadzwa Muguti said while there was a temporary relief on demolitions, there were some very mischievous people who quoted the wrong Act when they approached the courts.