State security agents threaten Warren Park sculptors with evictions
ORGANISERS of the Africa Liberation Museum have reportedly ordered the eviction of more than 50 sculptors who are operating in Warren Park, Zim Morning Post can report.
This publication understands that Africa Liberation Museum wants to pave way for the construction of a museum near the National Heroes Acre.
The artists claimed that the eviction order was delivered through word of mouth by individuals believed to be from the military intelligence.
“These guys came in cars without number plates and said the whole area (Measuring 35 hectares) had been taken over by the Africa Liberation Museum, hence we should move within 72 hours regardless of papers we might be in possession of from the Harare City Council,” one of the sculptors, Tendai Mbofana, told Zim Morning Post.
He said when the sculptors asked for identification, they were told the team operated above any formal institution.
“When we asked them for a letter to supplement their eviction order as well as their identities, one (James) Chakanyuka told us they represented an authority that did not work on papers but word of command,” Mbofana said.
When Zim Morning Post visited the area, the artists were in panic mode after being told that personnel from the military and police were going to be deployed on Friday (tomorrow) to pave way for a ground breaking ceremony.
“We are legally occupying the land after we bought it from the HCC in 1990 as Kubatana Art and Craft Centre Co-operative.
“We also have an order that was given to us in 2005 by the High Court to stop HCC, police and the Local Government ministry from demolishing this place since it’s private property,” said one of the artists.
Papers seen by Zim Morning Post show that the artists are the legal occupants of the area as they have three year leases from HCC.
The eviction orders have also affected members of the Warren Park Baptist Church who are in the process of erecting a building in the same area.
Reached for comment from a cell number he had used while communicating with the sculptors, Chakanyuka said he could not comment on the matter and ordered the journalist not to call him again for his own safety.
“You have called the wrong number my friend and please, don’t ever call again for your own good,” Chakanyuka said, before calling with a landline to obtain the full details of the journalist concerned.
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