The High Court has stopped the City of Harare from managing public pay toilets at Market Square and Mbare Musika.
This came after the local authority violated the terms of the agreement with the local company Disruptive Innovation (Private) Limited.
In 2015, the City of Harare entered into a private partnership with the company and leased out the public toilets at the terminuses.
In 2017, Harare City Council sought the eviction of the company but dropped the lawsuit after the parties reached a settlement.
In 2019, the local authority and Disruptive Innovation signed a deed of settlement.
However, the local authority suddenly forced the company out and deployed its employees at the mentioned toilets.
As a result, the company sued the Council as well as Mbare District Officer, officer commanding Police Mbare District, Trish Mukudu and Harare Metropolitan Province Provincial Development Coordinator, Tafadzwa Muguti, who were cited as first to fifth respondents.
In his ruling, Justice Rogers Manyangadze said Harare City Council acted illegally. He said:
There was no court document cancelling the parties’ deed of settlement and ordering the removal of the applicant.
What happened was simply a matter of the first respondent taking the law into its own hands.
It dispossessed the applicant, without any lawful authority, who was in peaceful and undisturbed possession of the said premises.
The application for a spoliation order be and is hereby granted. The respondents and all those acting through them, within 48 hours of this order, restore to the applicants peaceful and undisturbed possession of the Mbare Musika and Market Square Bus Terminus toilets.
The respondents shall not remove the applicant except in terms of a lawful process.