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Council duty to protect trees



A property on Second Street at the bottom of Downie Rd has recently been bought by an art gallery and has been repainted with much activity inside the property as far as tree-felling and planting

are concerned.


However, I was devastated to observe last week that the council trees that line Second Street from Churchill Ave to Tongogara Ave (African Flame trees/spathodiea campanulata) planted in the 1930s have been removed from outside this property. This is highly irregular. Can you imagine if everyone along Second Street decided to chop down the existing council trees and plant what they liked. The planned uniformity of the Avenue would be obliterated. That is why the council is responsible for such areas and any changes to or maintenance of these areas are council matters. If tree removals are done they must be agreed by council, a deliberately bureaucratic process in order to avoid such glib interference with city planning.


I am led to believe that permission was granted to the landscaper by a council employee within the space of a week. Unprecedented council efficiency at a time when residents of Harare have been unable to have a meeting with their elected councillors over the horrendous rates increases. Have you tried to have a burst pipe attended to recently?


Additionally it is not up to a single council employee to allow the removal of planned areas of trees and the replanting of palms which is now taking place at the location in question. Even our local councillor had not been informed.


The original species of tree should be replanted if they were “past their best”. The new owners are free to landscape what they like on their own property but have no right to decide what the rest of us live with on council land. Will anything be done?


Hacked Off,

Harare.

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