Rutendo Rori Herald Reporter
Harare City Council has started servicing land in Mabvuku for the relocation of 121 families who are living at Gunhill squatter camp under a programme to rid the city of illegal settlements.
The relocation of squatters in various areas of the city, including those in Gunhill, is being financed by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In an interview yesterday, the city’s acting corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said funds were already available and the servicing was underway.
“We are only getting our biggest challenge from people who planted their maize on the land we are servicing and they are saying we should stop our exercise until they harvest,” he said.
A number of squatter camps have sprouted in Harare in areas such as Hatfield, Budiriro, Newlands, Crowborough and Ingwe farms as well as Granville Cemetery.
Meanwhile, council has removed squatters occupying Crowborough and Ingwe farms saying they vandalised its property that includes pipes and gate valves. The illegal settlers had been warned since mid last year against their continued stay on the farms saying it intended to pump waste water meant to irrigate pastures.
Mr Chideme also said the council will move illegal settlers who invaded Granville cemetery and occupied land set aside for future graves.
He said people should follow proper channels when buying land by verifying its legality with the council.
“The land that has been invaded is reserved for burial space and the invaders have to move out because the city does not tolerate the construction of houses on the cemetery space,” said Mr Chideme.