Chitungwiza Municipality is set to demolish houses and other buildings in 35 illegal settlements across the town, in a move that could leave hundreds of families homeless.
Structures that will be demolished are houses built on wetlands, sewer lines, under electricity power lines and on road and railway servitudes.
Most home-seekers bought land from land barons and were assured by those criminals that required authority for building had been obtained.
Since they started building, the municipality has been issuing further warnings and telling builders about the necessary processes required, but has been ignored.
Houses to be demolished in St Mary’s are those built on Macheke Square, a school site, behind St Mary’s Police Station, behind Zengeza Main Primary School, near the pump station number 3, St Mary’s Council Creche, St Mary’s Primary School site, wetland adjacent to and behind St Mary’s cemetery, the site from Seke Road Bridge along Manyame River, St Mary’s Administration Offices entrance and Chaminuka Main Road.
In Zengeza, the local authority is demolishing houses built in Zengeza 5 along Chitungwiza Road, Zengeza 5 wetland on Rockview Extension, Zengeza 4 Pagomba wetland along the stream and a wetland under high voltage ZESA power lines opposite Girl Child Network, Zengeza 3 Cone Textile opposite Delta and Zengeza 4 wetland, known as PaChief.
In Seke, the municipality will be demolishing structures on Unit J wetlands, Unit K Key College and at Chirunga Shopping Centre, Along Mharapara Road, Unit A wetland from Chibuku to Tafa Shops and adjacent to Chibuku Stadium, Unit G Road buffer along Harare-Dema Road Servitude, Unit O along Duri River, Unit NOP extension, Unit P wetland, wetland between Ubit N and F, areas between Garikai Hlalani Kuhle, Unit L extension, wetland adjacent Unit L cemetery and Zanoremba.
Those who have invaded Nyatsime Cemetery and built houses will not be spared from the demolitions.
Chitungwiza public relations officer Mr Lovemore Meya confirmed the demolitions and said the council was targeting structures that were constructed on wetlands, on top of sewer lines, under electricity power lines as well as along road and railway servitudes.
“These are the areas that earmarked for demolition as well as those houses that were constructed on institutional land,” he said. “This follows a press statement by the provincial development coordinator where he emphasised that there is need to sanitise the Harare Metropolitan Province, so that is the issue that has triggered the demolitions.”
Acting town clerk Mrs Evangelista Machona yesterday notified the residents of the demolitions saying once the demolitions were effected, council will not incur the costs.
“Therefore, take note that in terms of Section 35 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act (Chapter 29: 12) 1996 you are ordered to depart from the land, remove all your property from the land, demolish any structures erected and remove all the rubble from the land, and restore the land to its original state. This order comes into operation forthwith and the demolitions and action outlines herein should be completed within five days by 12 October 2020.”
Mrs Machona said all those buildings without adequate council papers and inspections will risk their structures being demolished.