Health time bomb looms in Harare South: Govt
Minister Moyo

Minister Moyo

Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
GOVERNMENT has warned that a health disaster is looming in Harare South attributable to illegal settlements mushrooming in the constituency. The settlements were established by land barons and some politicians.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo said in a statement last week, that the ministry assessed the situation in Harare South on January 16.

“Following our rapid assessment of illegal settlements in Harare South on 16 January 2018, especially in Eyestone and Arlington, the situation on the ground is dire as these areas are a ticking time bomb,” he said.

“The people are succumbing to the ravages of unscrupulous land barons who sold residential stands to the people without following the relevant authorities’ permission, thus creating illegal, unsafe settlements.

“These vulnerable citizens had their ‘habitats’ demolished by the City of Harare authorities, hence leaving the people occupying risky areas. The situation in these areas is not safe for survival, as the people are now exposed to waterborne diseases like cholera, typhoid and even moral degradation.” Minister Moyo said urgent action should be taken to avert potential disaster.

“All Zimbabweans must not fall prey of the shenanigans of these illegal land barons,” he said. “All those already affected should bring to the attention of the relevant authorities the names of those barons, so that they face the wrath of the law.

“Before paying for any stand, people should verify the status of the housing cooperatives and the ownership of the land they are being allocated, either with the ministry or respective local authorities.”

Minister Moyo said the chaotic situation in Harare South needed a holistic approach, as it was gradually gravitating into a disaster of unprecedented alarming levels.

“The settlements, which have sprouted in those areas, do not meet the basic minimum standards and statutory provisions of laws governing establishment of such,” he said.

“Whilst we are not condoning the illegality of these settlements, from a Disaster Risk Management perspective temporary measures to avert a looming humanitarian crisis as a result of poor living conditions, the Department of Civil Protection and its partners are alert and active on the ground, especially at Eyestone and Komboniyatsva near Epworth.

“The measures to prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases like cholera and typhoid in these areas should be taken.”

Minister Moyo warned illegal setters to desist from settling on undesignated pieces of land.

He warned unscrupulous land developers from swindling unsuspecting home seekers.

“Lastly, the ministry would like to strongly warn the recalcitrant illegal settlers who are continuing to settle themselves on undesignated pieces of land,” said Minister Moyo.

“The same warning is also being directed to unscrupulous land developers and groups of people who masquerade as housing cooperatives, that the current wave of dealing with such misdemeanours which are of a corruption nature will be extended to them in a decisive manner.

“Furthermore, all those who fell victim by having their money swindled should report the perpetrators to the ministry and the law enforcement agencies. We want to see the mess in Ward 1 of Harare, which is Harare South, quickly addressed before the situation degenerates into a catastrophe.” Minister Moyo said advocacy and awareness programmes would be intensified in conjunction with the ministry, stakeholders and partners.

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