BULAWAYO, Monday, September 1, 1991 — The Bulawayo City Council has evicted hundreds of people from its Sidojiwe Flats in the city’s industrial sites.
Residents at the three blocks of flats said for about two weeks now, the city council has been evicting all the lodgers and children over the age of 18 years who were still living with their parents in the one-roomed flats.
The flats which have 52 rooms each, had more than 300 people in each block. When The Chronicle visited the flats yesterday it found some people stranded with most of their belongings out in the open.
Some people have as many as 11 lodgers in their single rooms which they also shared with their families. In some cases the landlords did not occupy the flats but, instead, were sub-letting them to lodgers from whom they collected $25 a month per lodger.
Tenants and their lodgers were upset by the city council and blamed the caretaker of the flats, for throwing them out without giving them notice.
Cde Jokoniya Sibanda, one of the tenants, said the axe had not yet fallen on him and other families in Flat Number 1, but complained that it was unfair that children should be expected to move out of their parents’ houses, especially when they were unemployed.
Cde Patya Moyo, a mother of a one-year-old child who was one of several lodgers in a single room was found packing her belongings into a van. She said she was lucky to have found a room in Nketa 7.
Most of the tenants and lodgers felt that the city council should not have evicted people without offering them alternative accommodation. One of the residents, Cde Pavazhe Chagonda, a mother of 10, said she did not know how she would survive without lodgers. She had five lodgers in her one room.
The caretaker, Cde Austin Ndlovu, refused to comment and referred all questions to Director of Housing and Community Services, Cde Isaiah Magagula.