By A Correspondent- Hundreds of families illegally settled in Whitecliff, Harare, risk eviction after the Government reneged on compensating the property developer as it had earlier undertaken to do.
The developer, Eddies Pfugari Properties (Pfugari), obtained an eviction order at the High Court a few years ago.
However, the Government, through the Local Government Ministry, prevented the execution of the eviction order after committing to paying for the land, which the residents illegally occupied 10 years ago.
Negotiations between the company and government, which have been going on for about five months now, have stalled after the latter became unyielding.
This has forced Pfugari’s lawyers to write to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) asking for an escort as it moves to implement the eviction order as required at law.
A letter written by Pfugari’s lawyers, Scanlen and Holderness addressed to the officer commanding police in Harare province, dated November 18 from police sources reads in part:
Our client obtained an order for the eviction of the respondent and all persons claiming through him from its property at Whitecliff, Harare. This order has to be enforced by the Sheriff.
As you are aware, there is a court judgment in case no. HC4012/17 compelling the police to provide the sheriff with escort services for purposes of maintaining law and order while the eviction is being conducted.
It would unnecessarily tarnish the image of the police if our client is left with no option but to apply a contempt of court order against your good offices.
We, therefore, request that you kindly provide a date when you will be able to provide the sheriff with police escort.
We would be grateful if you could confirm a date within seven days of the date of this letter.
The ZRP has dispatched senior police officers, who were accompanied by intelligence people to Pfugari’s offices to ascertain the size of the land where evictions will take place.
The ZRP is expected to deploy officers to Whitecliff to effect the evictions “soon.”