Fifteen tenants and their sub-tenants, who were occupying buildings at number 112 and 114 Mbuya Nehanda Street, were on Monday afternoon evicted from the properties and spent the night with their wares outside the premises.
The eviction followed a failed appeal against an earlier eviction order at the Civil Court, allowing the properties’ owner Mr Jerry Okeke to evict them. When The Herald visited the buildings on Monday evening, pieces of broken wooden shelves and other property were scattered across the street while some tenants sat beside their goods contemplating what to do next.
A representative of the tenants -- Mr Nyika Chifamba -- said he was unhappy with the way both police and court officials had handled the eviction.
"We were not given enough time to move out of the building. Officers from the messenger of court and the police stormed the building on Monday morning forcing everyone out. Ruthlessly, they started throwing out our equipment and belongings without warning.
"It’s unfortunate that our police, who were supposed understand our plight, ignored us and chose to collude with the owner to inflict pain on us.
"Look at all the damage to the property that this eviction has caused," said a tearful Mr Chifamba.
"Although we are in support of foreign investment, we are against these displacements that are forcing us, the small indigenous businesses people, into the open. We call upon Government to quickly move in to address our concerns, failure of which all emerging indigenous entrepreneurs will be displaced," he said.
Mr Okeke, through his company -- Thogan Investments -- had last year applied for an eviction order against the tenants that was granted by Harare magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa.