Harare City Council to destroy condemned buildings

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Harare City Council is set to demolish condemned buildings in the city centre as they are posing danger to people and other buildings.

This comes after the local authority red-flagged more than 500 buildings, including 14 multi-storey ones in and around the city centre.

The council’s inspectors pointed out issues of poor ventilation, lack of emergency exists and general decay.

Council has since issued over 500 abetment orders to owners of the buildings, directing them to urgently repair their properties or risk their closure.

Among the 14 high-rise buildings that have been deemed unsafe for occupation are Robin House, Bush House, Roseline House, Daventry House, Mahachi Building, Vivandephi Court, Steward Building, Lloyds Building and Dublin House.

Council spokesperson, Mr Stanley Gama said the condemned buildings will be demolished by the local authority.

“The 14 buildings that were condemned will obviously be destroyed, there is no option. We have to take them out because they are a danger to people and other buildings. These are either buildings that were built illegally or those that are beyond repair,” said Mr Gama.

“The city council also identified hundreds of other buildings that need attention. They are not yet condemned but they need attention. We identified areas within those buildings that need to be rehabilitated.

Mr Gama said some of the identified buildings are overpopulated.

“We do not know the occupancy of the buildings as some of them have been turned into flea markets or tuckshops, but there are a lot of people in there,” Mr Gama said.

Some of the buildings, especially those downtown, are in shambles as they were built in the 1920s and have not been maintained for decades, thereby posing danger to both passersby and occupants.

Early this month, a woman died while six were injured when the balcony of a dilapidated building at the intersection of Chinhoyi Street and Bank Street collapsed shortly after rains were received in the capital.

The building’s lack of maintenance is suspected to have compromised its structural integrity. – Herald