By Lloyd Takawira
Defiant property owners whose buildings pose a threat to human life are to face“forced closure”, HARARE City Council has threatened.
Harare City Mayor, Councilor Herbert Gomba said the Urban Councils Act empowers the local authority to take such drastic measures for the safety of residents and to maintain high standards.
“We gave them notices to renovate their buildings. Some of them have not responded. However, in the next full council meeting, I will raise the issue for the council to take action. The Urban Councils Act empowers us to acquire the buildings,” he said.
Gomba said council would again notify the building owners of the new position so that they are not caught unawares.
“If they do not take action, we will give them an ultimatum. After that, we will acquire the buildings so that they become council properties. So my message to these landlords is for them to renovate their structures to make them safe for our people and conform to the city by-laws which govern the administration of buildings,” added Gomba.
Most buildings, especially in the central business district, are in a dilapidated state hence poses a serious threat to human life.
People who spoke to this reporter expressed concern over the state of some city structures.
“Council should use by-laws to ensure the buildings are spruced up to meet the expected standards”, said Munashe rents an apartment in the CBD.
“These landlords are simply collecting rentals and don’t even pay heed to our safety and that of our clients especially with all these cracks in this rainy season,” he added.
Rajeen an Indian national operating in the downtown area said, “The sanctity of life must be observed hence it is prudent for property owners to see to it that their properties are safe for human habitation.”
Harare City Council to take action against dilapidated buildings
By Lloyd Takawira