Occupants of BMC houses in Makokoba, have refused to vacate the Bulawayo City Council (BCC)-owned houses demanding that the local government authority gives them a 10-year eviction notice.
BCC had issued a recent three-month notice which was going to affect over 70 tenants.
The Combined Bulawayo Residents Association (CBRA), BMC residents and the Makokoba Peace Committee petitioned the local authority to withdraw the notice.
CBRA representative Charles Nyama said the BCC housing and community service department recently called for an engagement between the involved parties following the residents’ petition. Nyama said:
After shifting blame between two parties, the housing department then agreed to further engagement after a 10-year eviction notice proposal was tabled in council because it was not easy to reverse an eviction decision.
The parties also agreed that evicted residents be moved to Vumbu and Thokozani Flats, which are also council houses.
Ward 7 councillor Shadreck Sibanda said BMC residents would not be evicted. He told NewsDay Zimbabwe:
We apologise as councillors for taking such a big decision without considering the welfare of residents. I promise that the BMC residents will not be evicted. I am going to defend this issue in the council chambers. There are so many reasons why the decision needs to be reversed besides the welfare of BMC residents.
BMC residents, who preferred not to be named, said such critical agreements should be on paper and not verbal.