Court Ok's Disabled Person's Eviction

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THE Supreme Court Monday gave the green-light for the eviction of eight disabled persons from a half-way house which houses people with disabilities.

The Court granted an order that paved the way for the forced removal of the eight from Leonard Cheshire Home in Harare.

The group had been resisting removal and their case had been strengthened by a High Court decision that had ruled they could stay.

Leonard Cheshire’s trustees applied to the Supreme Court seeking a rescission of the High Court order.

The eight disabled persons were identified as Robert Chiite, Togarepi Chimbaranga, Artmore Dembezeke, Lewis Garaba, Barbra Katonha, Rudo Maphosa, Junior Mavhiyagudo, and Majecha Tapfumaneyi.

Advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba, who was representing the institution, argued that High Court judge, Justice Tendai Uchena’s ruling was erroneous.

Magwaliba argued that in November 1999 and July 2004, the institution’s trustees had made a resolution to evict all tenants who however refused to leave the premises leading to the litigation.

For the eight respondents, Advocate Thabani Mpofu argued that the High Court’s ruling was correct as the institution had no legal standing to evict his clients.

He submitted that the trustees had no moral ground to evict the respondents as they no longer had the mandate to represent the institution as their terms of office had expired.

However deputy chief justice Luke Malaba in concurrence with justices Paddington Garwe and Susan Mavhangira ruled in favour of the institution arguing that the eight disabled persons be evicted forthwith.

The Supreme Court also set aside justice Uchena’s ruling.

The eight disabled persons had been residing at the institution from the early 1990s before a legal battle emerged after the trustees of the institution served the tenants with notices of eviction.

The High Court then ruled that the disabled persons with varying degrees of disabilities be spared from eviction before the institution appealed the decision.