22 Families Watch Helplessly As Homes Are Demolished
Umguza Rural District Council on Tuesday reportedly demolished houses of twenty-two families at Reigate Compound in Bulawayo to force them out of the compound.
It is reported that the local authority and the residents have been at each other’s throat since 2013 over the matter.
Residents say that the High Court barred the RDC from demolishing the houses and evicting the residents. Ironically, Umguza RDC chief executive officer, Mr Collen Moyo said the High Court order authorised the evictions in 2013. Moyo said:
There were 89 families at the compound and when the 2013 High Court order was granted, most of them left voluntarily leaving 22 who were resisting.
Speaking to the Chronicle, one resident, Ms Ntandoyenkosi Moyo, however, argued otherwise. She said:
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We have orders from the High Court, giving us the right to live here but the RDC keeps tormenting us and threatening our livelihoods. They’ve finally destroyed our houses and left us homeless.
We have no problem leaving this place but we simply want the RDC to pay us back our monies because we’ve been living here for years on a rent-to-buy arrangement with the council.
Her remarks were echoed by another resident, Mr Raymond Mapho who said that the local authority even advertised the land in through the local media saying the houses were on a rent-to-buy basis. He said that they have every right to live at the compound as they have been paying rentals to the council every month.
More: The Chronicle