Tenants left stranded after being kicked out of flat

Tenants at Dorchester House in Bulawayo’s Central Business District have been left stranded after being evicted from their flats.

The building houses tenants who use it for residential and commercial purposes.

The tenants alleged that a group of men came to the building and started throwing their property outside leaving them stranded.

When a CITE news crew visited the building on Monday afternoon, there were men who were taking down satellite dishes and disconnecting cables from some of the flats and there were also some vehicles parked at the flat which the tenants alleged belonged to the men who were forcing them out of the place.

They said the men started chasing them out on Saturday and on Sunday night they put up at the flat forcing them to leave.

In an interview, the tenants who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation said the forceful evictions started on Saturday and since then a number of people have been left stranded.

They said the men are cleaning up the flats from which they have chased tenants, claiming that there are new people who are supposed to come and stay there.

“What we have witnessed here is quite unfair. There are some people who have been thrown out with no alternative places to go. All we ask for is an amicable resolution to this issue. The squabble started some time ago but it just keeps getting worse,” said one tenant.

“It is alleged that the building has been bought by someone different from the previous owner. What we do not understand is that there already is a court case ongoing and, legally, a property which is under dispute should not be sold. All we ask for is that we be allowed a chance to have our day in court and have this issue resolved fairly. There are people with children here who do not have alternative places to go to yet they are being subjected to such treatment.” 

Another tenant said they were evicted on Wednesday last week and they struggled to get alternative places to store their property.

“I have a big family. I stay with my children and grandchildren. We were thrown out on Thursday and it hasn’t been easy for me to provide shelter for my family. I was forced to go and seek refuge at a relative’s house, but we are many and they can only accommodate us for so long,” said the tenant.

“My other neighbour who faced the same fate as ours has a very small baby. Imagine all the rains and the horrible weather of late with no shelter for your children. It is so unfair. These people force their way into our houses, they break windows or destroy our doors to force entry into our apartments. That is harassment, we really hope for the law to take its course.”

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