MDC Alliance Statement on Murambatsvina 2.

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The MDC Alliance notes with regret and despair the massive destruction of people’s markets and other infrastructure accross the length and breadth of the country during this COVID-19 Lockdown period running from 30th March 2020 to 3 May 2020.

We note that the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, has destroyed buildings and infrastructure, including churches and markets such as Mupedzanhamo in Mbare, the Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) market in Glenview, people’s markets in Gweru and many other markets accross the country.

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Needless to say property worth millions and millions of dollars has been destroyed. Hundreds of our compatriots who make a living from the markets and infrastructure have now been left without a means of sustenance.

We have established that the destruction of properties is being executed by the State through the Ministry of Local Government and Zimbabwe Republic Police. We have also established that no single MDC Alliance council authorised or resolved to carry out these destructions.

That real power in the running and management of local authorities should reside in the Ministry of Local Government is regrettable, and is indeed a breach of Chapter 14 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

We make the point once more that all laws, in this case, the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act must be harmonised with the Constitution. It is only through harmonisation that real power will revert back to the elected officials not the bureaucrats in the form of town clerks and administrators in the parent Ministry.

The MDC Alliance believes in Social Justice and the Rule of Law.To destroy anyone’s property without due process and an order of court is patently unconstitutional. More than that, to the extent that livelihoods are being destroyed through physical destruction of people’s markets, the destruction of the markets is a crime against humanity.

This is Murambatsvina Part 2 being carried out within the shadow and opaqueness of the Corona Virus Lockdown. We are also concerned with the timing of the destruction of these markets. The world at large including Zimbabwe is battling with the weight of an unprecedented pandemic that has killed thousands of people accross the world. To therefore carry out these operations during this period is not only exposing the workers involved but the community too to Covid-19.

It exposes the informal traders in these markets to poverty at a time when resilience and safety nets are required to fight the pandemic. The actions to destroy these structures is therefore cruel, degrading and inhumane. We as MDC Alliance condemns this and reject this outright.

We have instructed our councilors and local authorities countrywide to disown these acts of barbarism. Whilst we believe in future smart cities and urban regeneration, any development must be planned and must be subject to the operations of Rule of Law.

We say to July Moyo and Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa STOP IT.

MDC Alliance Communications

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