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Government has suspended demolitions of illegal structures in Chitungwiza following a court order to that effect.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Deputy Minister Joel Matiza said Government would abide by court orders.

“The council appealed against the court decision and we are now awaiting the courts’ ruling to go ahead with the demolitions,” he said.

Local Government Minister Dr Chombo, Deputy Minister Matiza, and Environment, Water and Climate Minister Saviour Kasukuwere had earlier given settlers a three-week ultimatum to vacate all illegal settlements.

They said the people exposed themselves to varying degrees of danger by settling on wetlands, municipal service lines, and close to high voltage power pylons.

However, a residents association won a court order preventing council from demolishing illegal structures, citing Constitutional provisions.

An audit of land management and allocation in Chitungwiza and Seke revealed that more than 14 000 residential stands were illegally allocated.

Of these, 8 260 stands are in Chitungwiza and 6 200 are in Seke under Manyame Rural District Council.

The land was reserved for clinics, churches, schools, cemeteries, recreational facilities and roads.

Source : The Herald