Reference : Arbitrary home demolitions in Zimbabwe and the right to adequate shelter: Case study ...
Scientific journals : Article
Law, criminology & political science : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Law / European Law
Arbitrary home demolitions in Zimbabwe and the right to adequate shelter: Case study of Arlington estate, Harare
Owiso, Owiso mailto [University of Pretoria > Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights]
ESR Review
Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape
Cape Town
South Africa
[en] Zimbabwe’s human rights obligations under international and domestic laws secure the rights to property, adequate shelter, freedom from arbitrary evictions, protection and benefit of the law, fair administrative action and due process. Despite these protections, however, the government has repeatedly and arbitrarily demolished homes in urban areas particularly in Harare in apparent disregard of these rights.
This article presents the findings of a field study conducted in Harare in April 2016 following the demolition of over 100 homes in Harare’s Arlington suburb in January 2016. The methodology included a site visit of demolished homes and interviews with victims of the demolitions, the victims’ lawyers, members of civil society, journalists, officials of residents’ associations and the national human rights institution in Harare between 11 April - 15 April 2016. This primary data was complemented with a desk review of available literature.
The study uses the Arlington evictions as a representative case study of what has emerged over the last few years as a pattern. The article therefore examines home demolitions and evictions in Harare with particular focus on the Arlington demolitions vis-a-vis Zimbabwe’s legal obligations under both domestic and international law. The findings reveal ambiguities in Zimbabwe’s domestic legal framework; an unregulated land allocation system; political indiscipline; and government bureaucracy and departmental infighting as some factors that have created room for the widespread arbitrary demolitions and related violations of human rights. The article concludes by making targeted recommendations.
Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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