HARARE – Despite Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s last-ditch efforts to save Moto Republik from demolition, the Harare City Council (HCC) has vowed to tear down the arts centre today in line with an order they issued last week.
HCC officials only stopped destroying the creative hub, which is located in the Greater Avenues area of Harare, after the intervention by Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni who ordered the demolition to be postponed by at least a week.
HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme insisted yesterday that the municipal authorities’ position on the matter remained the same.
“We expect them to comply with the demolition order. If they fail, then we will assist them to comply,” Chideme said.
Efforts by the Daily News to be allowed by Magamba Network — the owners of Moto Republik — to view the legal documents they secured from HCC authorising them to construct the popular arts centre, proved fruitless yesterday.
Magamba Network creative director and founder, Samm “Comrade Fatso” Monro, told this publication that he could not show us the “papers as I am currently out of the office.”
“We are in possession of all the necessary papers. The latest development is that we have managed to sign up a petition to stop the ‘illegal’ demolition and by yesterday signatures on the petitions were over 1700 which forced minister Kasukuwere to tweet against the demolitions and subsequently visited the joint on Monday,” Comrade Fatso said, adding that the Zanu PF national political commissar had promised to intervene.
“We presented our plans to him (Kasukuwere during the visit) and various other documents approved by the council, and… our documents were in order… hence there was no reason to demolish the structures. He assured us that he is going to liaise with the city fathers to stop the demolition….”