CHITUNGWIZA Municipality last Friday demolished houses near St Mary’s Police Station that were being built before the area was serviced and before stand holders had presented plans to the municipality and had these approved.
Dozens of families counted losses after an earthmover ploughed into their structures that were at different stages of construction.
Most of those had offer letters issued last year and had paid land value amounting to $4 611. Chitungwiza Acting Town Clerk Ms Machona said the residents rushed to build structures before the land was serviced and before they had presented building plans for approval.
She said the structures were illegal and deserved to be demolished.
“Having an offer letter is one thing while being allowed to build is another,” said Ms Machona. “These people did not give us time to service the land and they jumped the gun.
“Being illegal structures built without approved plans, they must be demolished to clean up the town.”
Ms Machona said the demolition was ongoing to restore order in the town.
There was resistance from the residents as one woman was restrained from jumping on to an earthmover.
She screamed until riot police intervened and stopped her from harming herself.
Mr Simbarashe Manyazi said he settled on the land in 2014 and erected a temporary structure that was demolished yesterday.
“Since 2014, we have been here and council issued us with offer letters and asked us to pay a penalty of $10 for building our structures without approval, which we paid. It is unfair to destroy our houses without notice,” he said.
Mr Wilson Chigweshe said he had an offer letter, but his three-roomed structure was destroyed.
“My three-roomed house has just been demolished without notice. I have nowhere to go,” he said.