MUTARE- A residents’ body has condemned as inhuman and inconsiderate machinations by city fathers to evict rates defaulters from council premises at a time the country is grappling with Coronavirus.
In a strongly worded statement released by the United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust programs director Edson Dube, the residents association told council to pursue strategic engagement with residents.
UMMRT said by moving to evict residents from rented council accommodation and disconnecting water supply for nonpayment of bills during difficult economic times, council was now at war with residents.
“UMRRT strongly urges the City of Mutare to reconsider its approach of evicting residents from council rented accommodation and disconnecting water for defaulters especially at this time when the nation is grappling with Covid 19 pandemic.
“Zimbabweans in general are facing very troubled times as the social, political situation continues to deteriorate and we call upon the city fathers to be considerate.
“…As UMRRT , we are aware that society has changed and we urge our local authority to discard this anti people process and adopt a people centered strategy informed by current social, economic and political realities,” read part of the statement.
UMRRT added, “City of Mutare loses more than half of treated water to burst water pipes and water theft and this begs the question that is it better to deny water to those in need of water than losing the precious liquid to water thieves and pipe bursts?”
City of Mutare actions are in violation of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), regional human rights charters and Constitution of Zimbabwe by failing to protect, promote and respect human rights said UMRRT.
“Section 51 of the constitution of Zimbabwe accords citizens the right to dignity, (71), freedom from arbitrary evictions and (77a) right to clean portable water must guide our local authority in their treatment of residents.
“By evicting people and rendering them homeless or disconnecting water, which of the three obligations namely the duty to “protect, promote and respect” human rights will the Council be fulfilling, if we may ask? Non adherence means council is at war with residents and this is not tenable,” said UMRRT.