Media Notice from the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) Wednesday 1st October 2014
ROHR condemns the illegal, unjustified and indiscriminate demolition of housing in Chitungwiza by the Municipality of Chitungwiza. The destructions are retributive in nature, meant to drive out and make homeless those who did not vote ZANU PF in the previous elections. This repeat of Operation Murambatsvina flagrantly violates residents’ rights to housing as provided for in the new constitution.
ROHR also expresses concern that residents of Harare and Chitungwiza have had to live with dry taps for several months now. In some parts of Harare, such as Budiriro, Glenview, Hatfield, the last drop of tap water was seen in August. As a result women are seen carrying not only babies on their backs but buckets of water on their heads long distances from the very few open wells that they can find. Scavenging for water means it is a luxury to use water for flushing toilets and residents have resorted to using bushes as toilets resulting in the smell of human waste in these areas.
The Municipality of Harare has made no effort to communicate with the residents as to when the problem will be solved, if ever it will be. They continue to send monthly bills which the residents continue to pay despite having no services. Burst sewer pipes are never attended to leading to raw sewage flowing all over the roads exposing residents to the risk of waterborne diseases. Residents cannot remember the last time when refuse was collected and every available space has become a dumpsite. These dumpsites are not only sources of unpleasant smells but they have made the neighbourhoods a sorry sight. Potholes and blocked bridges are also a common sight everywhere.
It is against this background that as ROHR, we wish to embark on a robust programme of action to address these challenges as they impinge on the residents’ constitutional right to a clean environment, right to water and consequently, right to life. The municipalities concerned have a constitutional obligation to ensure that they have adequate resources to provide these necessary services to their intended beneficiaries. The residents cannot remain compliant and wait for these constitutional rights to be granted to them by the municipalities, as the latter have clearly shown that they are insensitive to the plight of the residents.
An end to illegal demolition of houses
An end to water cuts
Refuse to be collected
Sewers to be repaired
Potholes to be filled
An end to corruption