MANY people in Mbare have lost their livelihoods. Their home industries have been destroyed, the lodgers removed.
On top of all this, homeowners are now receiving
massive backdated bills charging them for water, refuse collection, sewerage and millions in penalties. Many will not be able to pay these bills. Why are they being penalised? On what legal grounds?
The city administration must not put unbearable burdens on people who have been hit very hard already by the destruction of housing.
Many lodgers left homeless are now sleeping outside in the cold, including pregnant women, mothers with small children and extremely sick people. They have nowhere to go.
Shelter is a basic human right. “Every human being is entitled to respect for his/her life and to safety.” (The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Article 4).
Officials must refrain from harsh and inhuman treatment of defenceless people. It cannot be in the interests of a responsible government to drive its citizens into unemployment, homelessness and general destitution.
“Judgement will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgement.” (James 2:13).
Fr Oskar Wermter SJ,