Harare City under spotlight over illegal land deals Mr Tafadzwa Muguti

Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter

Government will soon descend heavily on local authorities that are irregularly pegging and parcelling out residential stands on illegal land, Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs and Devolution Secretary Mr Tafadzwa Muguti has said.

He said this in Glen View, Harare, yesterday where he attended a function at St Matthew Catholic Church together with Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, and came face-to-face with council incompetence.

Some residents were allocated stands by the Harare City Council and went on to build houses on a road servitude.

Mr Muguti said efforts have been made since last year to ascertain how stands were allocated and construction allowed on the road servitude, with little support from Harare City Council.

“Where we are standing currently is a road servitude which was linking the community, the church and school,” said Mr Muguti.

“We have it on good authority that the District Office in this area is to blame.

“We have been assigned to come up with solutions to quickly remediate this, as the residents complained sometime last year and we have not had any cooperation from the City of Harare for some time now, and that’s why this matter has been escalated.

“This is not the only place. I think we have several places across the City of Harare where roads which communities used have since been closed.”

Mr Muguti said they were taking the matter seriously, as it has been a directive from top offices.

He said he will engage Harare mayor, Councillor Ian Makone, the town clerk Engineer Hosea Chisango to address urban planning disasters such as the construction of houses on wetlands an on road servitudes as has happened in Glen View.

A Glen View resident, Colonel (Retired) Jeffrey Njiva, said: “This has always been a gateway to the church, Glen View 2 Primary and the shops, but (Harare City) Council decided to make them residential stands and people from other sides are now walking long distances to access these important amenities.

“We tried to engage the Council but they argued that they have a right to do whatever they please, but we are happy the Vice President (Dr Chiwenga) has directed that it should be addressed.

“People were walking about 2km to access shops and schools which is difficult for older people, children and people like me with disabilities.”

Mr Offard Muchuwe thanked Vice President Chiwenga for directing the correction of the irregular settlements.

“Council is corrupt, they are allocating residential stands with no regard to how people will live in an area,” said Mr Muchuwe.

Some residents said it was even more surprising how such irregular settlements were connected to the electricity line.

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