More than twenty families from Epworth’s Domboremaziso area have been left homeless after they were forced to demolish their homes to pave way for the construction of roads.
The residents’ claim that they were not served with any notices and that the purported development was illegal.
“Those whose houses were demolished did not receive any notices. There is no such thing as road construction but these are just political scores in the name of development. We are not against development but it should be done in a manner that is proper and has to benefit the real people not outsiders as is the case now. Given that we are fighting the Covid-19 it does not make sense to force people to demolish their homes,” said Mariete Nyauyanga a victims representative.
A visit to the affected area by 263Chat revealed that residents were busy removing roofing sheets from homes whilst others had already demolished their structures.
Two council owned earthmoving vehicles could be seen clearing rubbles from the demolished homes with some residents applauding the move.
“Finally, development has come, we have been having problems in terms of movement in this area. Imagine someone getting sick and being forced to carry the patient to a vehicle simply because there are no roads. Robberies had also become rampant in the area we want to applaud council for hearing our pleas” said an elderly resident.
Epworth Local Board chairman, Councillor Batanai Masunda said they are in the process of regularisation.
“We have a regularisation process that started back in 2014 and allocation of stands was done in 2017. As council we are opening roads and urging people to get to their allocated lands. There are some structures that had been constructed at undesignated areas where roads are supposed to be. We did not give them notices but it was an agreement between residents and council. Residents said they did not have access in moving therefore they requested us to open roads,” said Masunda.
The demolitions caught some residents unaware with some properties heaped outside houses.