HWANGE Magistrate Barbra Phiri has ordered Hwange Colliery Company (HCC) to allow a 29-year-old woman re-occupy her house after she had been evicted by the state-run coalminer.
On 11 March 2021, HCC security personnel evicted the 29 year-old Rosemary Nyamuba together with her two minor children from her house which she leases from the coal miner in Matabeleland North province and where she has been a resident for several years.
HCC claimed that it had received a complaint from Nyamuba’s neighbours that she was buying and selling some cool drinks and therefore running a shebeen at her premises and gave her 30 minutes to remove her belongings from the property and locked the house and took away the keys.
Nyamuba, who denied running a shebeen, complied with the HCC order and removed her property with the help of neighbours. Since she had not been served and given adequate notice to vacate, she had made no other plans and as a result she slept in the open with her two minor children.
Nyamuba approached lawyers Prisca Dube and Jabulani Mhlanga from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who on 12 March 2021 applied for a spoliation order at Hwange Magistrates Court and which was granted by Magistrate Phiri on the same day.
In the application Dube and Mhlanga argued that Nyamuba has a right not to be arbitrarily evicted from her home without a court order granted after considering all the relevant circumstances as enshrined in section 74 of the Constitution.
The lawyers further argued that leaving Nyamuba to live in the open with her two minor children would expose them to physical and psychological harm and was a violation of their rights to human dignity.
Nyamuba has since regained occupation of her residence.
ZLHR intervened by assisting Nyamuba to protect her right not to be arbitrarily evicted without a court order and to uphold the rule of law where people are not encouraged to take the law into their own hands as had been done by HCC.