Residents of Norton are up in arms with the town council for demolishing illegal structures, among them tuckshops, gas cages, outbuildings, and money transfer booths, in a development which has hit hard the informal sector.
The residents alleged that the local authority was destroying their structures without a court order and in violation of sections 68 and 78 of the Constitution.
Norton Development Association, through their lawyers Kadzere, Hungwe and Mandevere, wrote to the local authority on Monday to stop the demolitions, which began on Wednesday.
The association said council had not given them a reasonable notice to vacate the affected areas, and that informal traders were paying the local authority for using the land.
Norton Town Council secretay Kizito Muhomba confirmed the demolitions, which have largely affected the Katanga area.
“We are targeting illegal structures like EcoCash and TeleCash booths, containers, tuckshops and mushrooming garages,” Muhomba said.
“The law only says no person is allowed to be evicted or have their homes demolished. Hence, what we are doing is in order because we asked them to clean up everything which is not their homes.”
He said council had reserved an alternative place for affected informal traders, but emphasised that not all of them would be accommodated.
However, some of the affected vendors disputed that council had set aside a new area for their operations, and complained that they had been put out of business and were no longer able to fend for their families.