Harare Residents Threaten Legal Action Over Mbare Flats Neglect

By Memory Chivhunga

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) is poised to take the City Council to court over the severe neglect of Mbare flats, which has resulted in deteriorating sanitary conditions for residents.

This neglect by the local authority is creating a serious public health hazard that demands immediate action. The situation in Mbare is dire, with communal toilets inundated with raw sewage, posing a significant risk of waterborne diseases, particularly to children.

In a statement, CHRA said despite previous pleas from the residents, the situation remains the same.

 “Section 73(1) of the constitution guarantees the right to a clean environment that is not harmful to health and well-being. The City of Harare needs to uphold and respect this right. Despite our 2023 petition to the Mayor of Harare and the Council regarding this issue, it has not received the necessary attention and remains unresolved,” said CHRA

The resident’s association called on the Mayor of Harare and the Minister of Health to personally visit the Mbare, Matapi, Shawasha, and Matererini Flats to fully grasp the extent and implications of the poor sanitary conditions.

“It is disheartening that residents of these flats have been marginalized and treated as second-class citizens for decades. This is completely unacceptable. According to Section 85 of the Constitution, residents can approach the courts for human rights violations. If no action is taken within the next 14 days, we will take the matter to court to compel the local authority to address the issue,” said CHRA

The association has also engaged the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, citing this as a serious human rights violation.

This issue arises amid Mbare’s status as a cholera hotspot in Harare, where failure to address such concerns could potentially lead to another cholera outbreak.

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