Seven people renting Zimasco houses in Shurugwi were arrested when they tried to resist eviction.
The seven spent the night at Shurugwi Police Station and were released yesterday after paying a fine of $500 each.
One of those arrested, Mr Tinago Nguluve, said they resisted eviction because they felt that what the company had done was not procedural.
“We did not receive any notice or letters of demand but we only saw the police coming to take our property out saying we had been evicted,” he said.
Mr Nguluve said the majority of the evicted former Zimasco tenants were now stranded.
“We are still living in the open and some have erected temporary shelter outside the houses they used to occupy. We were not prepared for this and we don’t know what to do,” he said.
Mrs Loveness Chirinda said she has been sleeping in the open with her family including a three months old baby.
“It is a difficult situation we are in. It is actually shocking because I have been paying my rent every month and I have been acknowledging my arrears with the company,” she said.
Zimasco general manager, Mr Reason Mandimika confirmed the evictions.
“The evictions are in accordance with the law and as a company, we have issued a detailed press statement, which was published in the media today (yesterday),” he said.
In the statement, Zimasco said it had been facing challenges with rental payments with the tenants who were being evicted.
“Over the past several years, Zimasco has experienced problems with certain tenants who have refused to regularise their stay through the signing of lease agreements and also refused to pay the required lease fees,” read part of the statement by Zimasco.
Shurugwi Councillor, Cde Freddy Ncube however condemned the evictions saying the company should have given the tenants some time to look for alternative accommodation.
“The move is inhumane because there was no notice, people saw lawyers coming with the police and started effecting the evictions,” he said.
The ferrochrome producer, which is leasing the majority of its housing in Shurugwi town caught many of its tenants by surprise when it started evicting them on Tuesday morning with the help of the police.