Kariba runs out of residential space
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 00:00
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
KARIBA Municipality has run out of land for residential expansion as private land owners hold on to land they bought from
council but are not developing.
Council has now opened negotiations with the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe aimed at persuading it to release land for housing.
Businessman Mr Philip Chiyangwa is said to have bought vast tracts of land in the resort town from the municipality about five years ago.
Kariba town clerk, Mr George Makunde, confirmed the development in a recent interview.
“We have run out of land. We submitted our master plan to Government in 2008 but we have not accessed the land,” Mr Makunde said.
He also confirmed that council had engaged the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe.
“Discussions between council and the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe are underway. In our submission to the authority, we want land stretching up to Ruia River,” Mr Makunde said.
But National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe director general Mr Vitalis Chadenga yesterday said the parks estate was for wildlife conservation.
“The parks estate is for wildlife management and conservation and as far as we are concerned it remains so. We are not in the business of altering Parks boundaries,” he said.
Mr Chadenga said he was not aware of any negotiations between Kariba Municipality and his organisation.
“We have certainly not been involved. I would be the first one to know about that and I do not know who they are talking to. If areas were designated as parks we cannot alter their boundaries,” Mr Chadenga said.
When asked why Kariba Municipality was in a land dilemma when Mr Chiyangwa had tracts of land, Mr Makunde said: “It is true he has 68 000 hectares. He had started servicing his land but he does not have an Environmental Impact Assessment report. He was stopped until he submits that to the Environmental Management Authority.”
Mr Makunde revealed that Mr Chiyangwa paid council about US$150 000.
“He paid us about US$150 000. He still owes us about US$60 000,” he said.
Mr Chiyangwa yesterday dismissed as false statements that he bought 68 000 hectares of land from Kariba Municipality.
“My land is so small and they (council) have plenty of land. Everything is being politicised because it is an MDC council,” Mr Chiyangwa said.
Asked what size his land was, Mr Chiyangwa said: “It is not more than 40 000 hectares. We are not their solution and we as Pinnacle are not the only people with land in Kariba. They cannot speak on my behalf.”