Harare based technology and arts hub, Moto Republik, has been given one week by the Harare City council, to take down their creative containers structure, or have it demolished.
Moto Republik has been one of the most visible tech & arts hubs locally, hosting a number of internet startups that work have offices there. It also holds various technology and arts related events for the harare community.
Earlier today, Harare Municipal police came to the hub and were about to start taking it down when the hub managers called the mayor of the city, seeking his intervention. The mayor came to the hub and halted the demolition. However, Moto Republik was given one week to demolish it themselves.
According to management at Moto Republik, the order to demolition is based on a 1974 law. “Council officials say the structure is in violation of a 1974 bylaw. They have given Moto Republik one week to take down the containers,” they told Techzim.
According to Moto Republik, the concept behind their shipping container design to “showcase an innovative, cutting edge and eco-friendly” structure.
Here’s a video of the council about the takee the structure down.
What will be sad is to follow a 1974 bylaw just for the sake of adhering to it without considering the spirit of that bylaw. The progressive thing to do would be to do extensive checks to verify that the structure is safe for use. And if it is, maybe to update the archaic bylaw.
Moto Republik has been an oasis for your creative and technology minds in Harare. A place where young people can work together to create new stuff that provides entertainment, the economy some value, some employment and an opportunity for expression. While taking the containers down would surely not close the hub down, it frustrates positive effort in a country and city where it’s needed very much.