THOUSANDS of families, who illegally settled at the Harare City Council-owned Crowborough Farm, are set to lose their properties after the local authority recently approached the High Court seeking their eviction.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The families were allegedly allocated residential stands by their various housing co-operatives at Lot 2 of Parkridge Estate.
In summons filed at the High Court on August 2, Harare City Council cited Universal Housing Co-operative Society, Excellent Stares Housing Co-operative Society, Progoti Housing Co-operative Society, United We Stand Housing Co-operative Society, Mushandiwega Housing Co-operative Society and Ideal Homes Housing Co-operative Society as respondents.
“The plaintiff’s (City of Harare) claim against the defendants (co-operatives) is for: Eviction of the defendants and all those claiming occupation through the defendants from the plaintiff’s land, namely Lot 2 of Parkridge Estate, situate in the District of Salisbury, also known as Paddock 27 of Crowborough Farm, Harare … and demolition of the illegal structures,” the council said through its lawyers, Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners.
In its declaration, the local authority said since 2012, several housing co-operatives had been illegally distributing stands to their members, who in turn had been building houses at council’s reserved land, while vandalising the latter’s infrastructure.
“In or about the year 2012, the defendants (co-operatives) illegally took occupation of the plaintiff’s (City of Harare) land and pursuant to the illegal occupation of the said land, the defendants went on to allocate pieces of land to their members without the consent and/or authority of the plaintiff,” the council said.
The council added that the invaded land was not for residential purposes.
“Plaintiff avers that the land occupied by the defendants is not meant for residential purposes and its occupation is in violation of the Urban Councils Act.
“Further, the defendants and their members are vandalising the plaintiff’s property on the land by blocking sewer pipes, destroying sewer holding ponds and building on top of major sewer and water pipes.”
The co-operatives are yet to respond to the summons.