Bianca Leboho Herald Reporter
Harare City Council has started relocating Gunhill squatters to Mabvuku, a development that will bring sanity to the leafy suburb.
However, there are concerns by some environmentalists and local residents who say that the site earmarked for the relocation is a wetland.
But council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme yesterday said some residents of Mabvuku were using the land for urban farming
“The area which was used by residents as maize fields was graded last Saturday,” said Mr Chideme.
“This ignited disgruntlement from some residents whose maize crop was destroyed in the process. It is imperative for us to pave roads in the area because it will soon be a residential area for 121 people who are illegally settled at Gunhill.
“The people who had maize fields in that land will be allowed to harvest their crop before we grade the whole area. However, we cannot delay the process of paving roads in the area.”
Mr Chideme also dismissed claims that the area was a wetland.
“Claims that the area in question where people from Gunhill will be allocated stands is a wetland are not true. The area in question has sand and loam soil. It has never been a wetland.
“It is not even on the map which geographically locates the wetlands we have in Harare. As the town council, we would never allow the construction of houses on a wetland,” he said.
The Environment Management Agency (EMA) was in the process of ascertaining the status of the land in question.