BULAWAYO, Tuesday, August 9, 1966 — Angry pise house tenants in Gwelo have appealed to the Prime Minister to save them from the threat of municipal eviction next year. And, pledging their party loyalty, they have warned of a possible exodus from the country if they are uprooted.
Their pleas follow municipal demands to the 123 pise families that unless the houses conform to local by-laws by October 1967, they will have to be demolished and the tenants evicted.
Mr George Kirby, chairman of the Pise Tenants’ Association, has written to Mr Smith asking him to intervene and grant a 10-year extension to the deadline for improvements.
“In Gwelo we have a council which cannot see further than Boggie’s Clock. They want to raze houses which are both healthy and safe.
“To enforce an agreement which is not going to help our country in these days of trials and tribulations seems ridiculous.
“The sooner Local Government is run on party political lines, the better,’’ he writes.
His stand is backed by Mr Sam Griffin, who attended the Selukwe RF divisional congress last month and wrote to the Prime Minister: “Most Gwelo pises are owned by working class people, supporters of your party, who would have nowhere else to go, besides which, they would also not be able to afford a new house, or raise a loan.’’
The pises were built in 1946 when the National Housing Board was set up to meet the acute post-war housing shortage.
Legal opinion given to the association is that the Building Act of 1946 specifically condoned any contravention of existing municipal by-laws.