Manyame Rural Residents Association (CAMERA) on the 17th of May 2018 attended a mobile legal clinic in ward 8. More than 175 residents were in attendance at this legal clinic which was jointly organized by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and CAMERA.
The ZLHR team made up of Agnes Muzondo and Idirashe Chikomba conducted the training session and a legal consultation with the participants.
The participants enjoyed the session as it equipped them understand the Bill of Rights. Fundamental human rights and freedoms were explained in simple terms and linked with socio-economic justice issues and service delivery.
The participants thereafter consulted the legal team on the lawfulness of a $1000 penalty fee that most of them are being forced to pay by Manyame Rural District Council (MRDC) as a mandatory fee for the regularization of informal houses whose stands were acquired through United We Stand Housing Cooperative. The lawyers promised to engage the council in partnership with CAMERA and get a clear picture on the penalty fee and how it was arrived at since there was no breakdown or justification for such a figure.
CAMERA has been engaging MRDC on this issue in vain on numerous occasions and is now considering public litigation as a way of seeking recourse. It is our sustained argument that the $1000 penalty fee per household is astronomical, unjustified and above all a form of punishment in this failing economy as most beneficiaries of these houses are not able to access such an amount. We therefore call upon the local authority to consider reviewing this figure downwards.