Residents occupying the contested Nyarungu Estate under the Phillip Chiyangwa-owned Jetmaster Properties have approached the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR) in a bid to stop a High Court directive ordering them to vacate the land.
On May 18, Jetmasters successfully lodged the eviction order through the High Court, which deemed the entry, occupation and carrying out of any activities on the land by the residents as illegal.
In the order, several housing co-operatives among them Amalish Investments, Pungwe, Chimurenga Housing Co-operatives and the City of Harare, were cited as respondents.
In a letter to ZHLR, one of the residents who bought a 2 000m² piece of land from Amalish Investments cites inconsistency on the part of the State, while seeking assistance to make an urgent chamber application for stay of execution of the eviction order.
“May you please assist us to make an urgent chamber application for stay of execution of the eviction order. May you also help us to investigate if there were no corrupt activities by the government in collusion with Jetmasters. Many families stand to suffer untold harm if this eviction order is effected,” the letter read.
In 2011, government repossessed Stonebridge, Nyarungu Estate and Orda farms from Chiyangwa only to hand them back to him in 2015.
Harare City Council is said to have reserved Nyarungu Estate for promoting industrial development, making it ineligible for the development of residential stands.
“I have a feeling that something was not right in how the State once said it had gazetted the farm for acquisition for human settlement, and then it turned around and entered into an agreement to give back the farms to Chiyangwa. All these years, the State encouraged us to build and the Local Government ministry went to the extent of appointing Udcorp administrators to oversee the affairs at our settlement,” the letter further read.
The standing High Court order has granted the sheriff of Zimbabwe authority to evict Nyarungu Estate occupants should they fail to vacate the property on their own.
“Should the first to sixth respondents and all those claiming occupation through them fail to vacate the property known as Nyamurungu Estate, the sheriff of Zimbabwe and his deputies be and are, hereby, authorised and directed to evict the respondents and all those claiming occupation through them from the property,” the order read.