HARARE residents have warned the local authority against the arbitrary demolition of so-called illegal structures in the city without following due process.

Addressing journalists yesterday, Combined Harare Residents Association’s (CHRA) director, Loreen Mupasiri said the local authority should respect the rights of all residents in the city.

“In as much as we do not condone illegal housing structures, we note with concern that the City of Harare has failed to respect citizens’ right to freedom from arbitrary eviction as enshrined under section 74 of the country’s supreme law,” Mupasiri said.

This follows reports that council was planning to demolish illegal structures built in Budiriro’s Tembwe area.

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Mupasiri said demolitions which do not follow procedure resulted in humanitarian crises that leave residents vulnerable to disease.

She condemned the use of the country’s security forces when carrying out demolitions and urged council to use the courts as opposed to the arbitrary evictions it is fond of executing.

“We reiterate that council must be armed with court orders rather that the gun when effecting the demolitions and we demand council to follow proper procedures before demolishing houses,” the CHRA director said.

The association said the city’s housing department was also to blame for the mushrooming of some illegal structures due to its poor town planning.