18 families face eviction

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EIGHTEEN families from Mazwi Nature Reserve area near Old Pumula could be homeless by the end of this month after the Bulawayo City Council moved to evict them saying they are illegally settled.

GAMMA MUDARIKIRI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

In letters dated September 24 addressed to the 18 settlers, council gave the families a 30-day notice to vacate the settlement.

“According to the council resolution of 05/06/2013 you are given 30 days’ notice from the date of this latter to vacate the above premises which you occupy illegally,” part of the notice reads.

“Failure to comply with the notice will result in council being forced to evict you in accordance with the law and order of Zimbabwe.”

Some affected families who spoke to Southern Eye said they had nowhere to go as they had built the houses under the sponsorship of the International Organisation for Migration, a non-governmental organisation, in 2010 and they had only provided their labour.

According to the families, the houses were built for 300 settlers who had been squatters in Killarney and Trenance and 18 of the stands were allocated to locals for purposes of integration under the programme.

Although the names of the 18 affected families are said to have been submitted to council, the local authority deems the stands to be illegal.

“We are now stranded and we don’t have anywhere to go if we are evicted,” one occupant Peaceful Kaonga said.

“We built the houses with our own hands and we are now asked to vacate without compensation; it’s unfair,” Kaonga added.

Accommodation shortages remain one of the major problems affecting Bulawayo. The city is battling to cover a housing backlog of more than 100 000.

Bulawayo has been battling to control squatters for years with areas such as Killarney and Trenance being the most affected.

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