MORE than 90 families have been left in the open after their homes and property were demolished by Harare municipal police early yesterday morning in a fresh wave of demolitions.
Loice Toringei, a mother of two, said municipal police swo
oped on Wednesday giving notices to residents of Glen Norah C home industrial area to vacate by 10 am yesterday.
“Municipal police came on Wednesday with notices that we must vacate this area by 10 am this morning. They came telling us to go back where we came from and never to return again,” she said.
“The police swooped on the settlement early this morning destroying our homes and property and promised to come after three hours threatening to beat anyone they would find around,” Toringei said.
Residents of the area were evicted last year after government embarked on the much criticised Operation Murambatsvina or Restore Order which left almost a million people homeless and 2,4 million people without means of earning a living following the destruction of informal vending sites and home industries.
Another resident of the area who refused to reveal his name said: “Government promised to build us homes when they destroyed our homes last year but nothing has been done. I do not know if government officials have a heart. This is the work of the devil. This is the second time our homes have been destroyed.”
United Nations special envoy Anna Tibaijuka produced a damning report on the demolitions in June last year after the government embarked on Operation Murambatsvina.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has condemned the demolitions saying they are a clear violation of human rights.
Meanwhile, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) has come in to help families that have been affected by the early morning demolitions.
EFZ has dispatched a team to distribute blankets, soap, plates, cups and plastic containers for the affected people
Innocent Chingwaru, Programmes officer of EFZ, confirmed that his organisation had dispatched goods to the families that were affected yesterday morning saying the organisation always helped vulnerable groups in society and would continue to do so.
Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe says it has been deeply disturbed by the government’s failure to address the suffering of people and considers the demolition to be a war on the poor.
The civic group’s spokesperson Precious Matambanadzo said: “The demolitions (yesterday) morning are a complete violation of human rights to shelter, sanitation and protection against weather.”