HARARE City Council has absolved itself of any wrongdoing in the Arlington stands saga, saying everything was done above board.

In an interview with H-Metro yesterday, council’s acting spokesperson, Innocent Ruwende, said the stands were allocated legally.

“That area was a private property; the owner came to us and we gave him a permit to do what he wanted to do,” he said.

“We then sought audience with the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) and they gave us a go-ahead but with some conditions.

“The conditions were that the residential stands shall be, at least, the minimum area stipulated by the City of Harare for Hatfield area.

“Houses shall not be more than three building height storeys and the land adjacent to the red zone shall be used for industrial development.

“Buildings in this area shall be of a temporary nature, that is not brick and mortar.”

Ruwende claimed Arlington Estate was not in the red zone. “That area is not in the red zone, if anyone challenges for the demolition of that area in court, council will not take part in that demolition as everything in that area was done above board,” he said

The correspondence between Arlington Estate and City of Harare indicates that residents were granted permission to put up structures.

According to a permit by the City of Harare, Arlington Estate was given permission to subdivide the property for residential purposes, crèche, shops, petrol filling station, police base and industrial purposes.

Harare Metropolitan Province Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Tafadzwa Muguti, said all houses and developments around Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport area face demolition.

A statement released by Arlington Estate developers yesterday said the land was developed in strict compliance with the Urban Councils Act.