CHITREST Director goes into hiding

By Bustop TV Reporter

As the Chitungwiza demolition war escalates, Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST) Director, Diana Kuvheya has reportedly gone into hiding after receiving death threats.

This comes after Kuvheya expressed dissatisfaction over the ongoing demolitions of illegal structures which was followed by a statement from Chitungwiza Municipality Town Clerk, Evangelista Machona threatening informal traders with loss of life should they resist demolitions.

Speaking to this reporter from an undisclosed location, Kuvheya highlighted that she has not been home since last Friday after her video started circulating on social media.

She further said plain clothed and uniformed police have been visiting her place and has been receiving death threats from anonymous callers.

“From last week on Friday up to now l am not home after that video that l did on the 2nd of June and later what Tafadzwa Muguti said. l have been receiving several calls from St Mary’s Police saying you are wanted by Superintendent  but l wasn’t around. Other calls had been anonymous giving me all sorts of threats and l am afraid that my life is in danger.

“I am told they frequently visit my place, some in plain clothes, some in uniform asking my family members and people from the neighborhood about my whereabouts.  People being asked have since informed me that they have been told that l want to cause havoc or incite violence for vendors to fight police and council officers,” she said.

Addressing the media on the intention of government to demolish illegal structures with the help of local authorities and the ZRP last weekend, Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC) for Harare Metropolitan Province, Tafadzwa Muguti took a swipe at CHITREST alleging that they are inciting public violence and the police will take “decisive action”.

“We also take notice that we have a lot of opposition politicians who have gone on record yesterday mobilising demonstrations in Chitungwiza and also CHITREST which is a community based organisation affiliated to some of the politicians where they have been making statements inciting public violence. Their report has been made to the Zimbabwe Republic Police and we will take decisive action,” said Muguti.

Kuvheya said she is recuperating from a minor illness and will soon resurface after consulting her legal team.

CHITREST through its lawyers last week filed an urgent chamber application seeking to bar the government and local authorities in Harare Metropolitan Province from demolishing “illegal” informal business structures.

The urgent chamber application under case H/C2857/21 citing Chitungwiza Municipality, City of Harare, Ruwa and Epworths local boards, Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe as well as Local Government Minister July Moyo argued that the demolitions are unlawful.

The first phase of the operation which was rolled out Monday has seen the destruction of illegal vending sites in areas such as Mbudzi roundabout as well as some shopping centres in Chitungwiza.

The second phase is targeting  those who have extended their durawalls and built backyard cottages and tuck shops in their yards and residents have since been advised to remove their structures before council moves in to demolish them.

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