CIVIL society organisations have called on the government to develop an electronic database for allocated housing land to prevent a recurrence of demolitions.

This was raised during a policy dialogue meeting in Harare by Women and Law in Southern Africa (Wilsa) in Harare early this week.

Wilsa programmes co-ordinator Patricia Muganhiri said local authorities should be transparent in the allocation of land.

Muganhiri said women and girls were the most affected and exposed after the demolition of their homes.

“We are concerned about the recurring demolitions happening in Harare without any remedy, especially looking at the recent demolitions that happened in June and July of 2021,” Muganhiri said.

“These targeted irregular housing and illegal vending sites. From these demolitions, the most affected groups that we saw included women and girls who lost their livelihoods and some of them ended up not having places of residence.

“The Local Government ministry must develop an electronic database which will enhance transparency in the allocation of housing land.  There is also a need to digitalise land application processes to minimise human interface which has resulted in corruption in allocation of land,” she said.

Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe researcher Nyasha Muchichwa said demolition of informal trading structures pushed many vendors into poverty.

“The fact that we don’t have a comprehensive social protection policy as a nation means that when we destroy their working spaces, we have destroyed their livelihoods; and they end up with no income.”

He said International Labour Organisation recommendation 204 urged local authorities to develop strategies to address challenges faced by the informal sector.