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BMC tenants resist eviction

Over 80 families living in Bulawayo Municipal Council (BMC) Security Council Compound houses in Makokoba are resisting eviction after the Bulawayo City Council reportedly served them with three-month notices to vacate the premises.

The council-owned properties were reserved for municipal security personnel but are now occupied mostly by non-council employees.

Now the council wants to evict them but the leaseholders are resisting eviction.

The residents protested the move at a recent Ward 7 community meeting, arguing that they have lived in the compound all their lives.

“We grew up at BMC as our parents were working for the City Council, there came a time when we were given this place as the Local Authority said they were not able to take care of it, we were given permission to stay here since 1987,” said Nkosiyabo Ndlovu, the BMC residents’ committee chairperson.

He said they were served with eviction letters on 1 July 2022 and the notice is set to expire in September.

‘The thing is that the place is used by Council employees and some of them are on pension and they are earning as low as ZWL$300. BCC is saying they want to put uniformed staff, those who are security guards at the local authority. So, our question is who is given priority between these ones who are already staying here and the uniformed staff because I think as long as we are paying rates there is no problem,” said Ndlovu.

Ward 7 Councillor, Shadreck Sibanda said he has been trying to engage the council on the matter since some of the people who live there are former council employees and widows of former council employees.

“But after recognising that we can’t just evict the residents because some of them are pensioners, widows of the people who used to work at the council we realised that we might be victimising people during this difficult time,” he said.

Councillor Sibanda said the local authority will consider the welfare of the residents before evicting them.

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