Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter
Government yesterday met with UNDP officials to appraise them on the impending demolition of illegal structures in Chitungwiza and Seke communal lands. Speaking at a press conference in Harare Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Deputy Minister Joel Biggie Matiza said the organisation had approached Government to enquire on the modalities of the programme.
“Following the decision by our ministry to sanitise Chitungwiza and Seke we have individuals and organisations that approached us seeking to know what is going on. UNDP was one of organisations which approached us and we had fruitful discussions with them.
“We informed them that this is not going to be a heartless exercise in which people will have their houses demolished with properties inside but it is a well planned programme in which those affected will be given ample time to move to land allocated to them,” he said.
He said his ministry set up an audit team to do a forensic audit in Chitungwiza and Seke which would come up with recommendations adding that they would only be able to redress the problem after the report which comes out this week is available.
He added that the UNDP would like to assist the ministry with financial assistance in the programme ‘in which we are sanitising a chaotic situation. If a person built a house on a sewer line he has to be moved and the structure will be demolished.”
He said contrary to press reports, the operation would be a well organised and the affected would be given ample time to relocate.
Deputy Minister Matiza said they would not be relying on the fiscas alone in carrying out the programme but partnerships with private companies adding that such a housing project would be launched in Dzivarasekwa, Harare.
“The situation across the city has been bad with people building houses in a cemetery in Hatcliffe as well other illegal structures in Mufakose and other areas.
“We urge those buying stands to first verify from local authorities before purchasing any land,” he said.