Talent Chimutambgi Herald Reporter
Government has launched the national regularisation programme, which is expected to tighten the screws on land barons by bringing sanity to all informal settlements countrywide.
Land barons have been swindling unsuspecting home seekers of millions of dollars and depriving local authorities of much needed income.
The sanitisation programme, which would be spearheaded by the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, would ensure that all informal sectors were regularised in line with President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030 of transforming the country into an upper middle income economy.
Addressing residents at the launch in Goromonzi South yesterday, National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe said the sanitisation programme was to ensure that President Mnangagwa’s vision to provide decent accommodation to all Zimbabweans by 2030 was achieved.
The national programme would stop land barons from collecting money from unsuspecting home seekers.
Some of the people that were going to benefit from the programme in the province were residents in Solomio consortium in Ruwa, who were paying US$15 every month to their co-operatives, despite the land being under dispute.
The consortium has five housing cooperatives – Solomon Mujuru, Vadiki Forum, Totonga, Shingiriro and Low Income, which are all on land belonging to ZB Bank.
The bank, which was declared the bonafide owner of the land by the courts, has since agreed with the beneficiaries to pay US$4 per square metre for their stands, which will pave way for Government to supervise all developmental programmes at the site.
“We have started with the Solomio Consortium; we have not come to chase anyone from the place, but to build relationships, said Minister Garwe. We lost the Goromonzi South seat because people had grievances.
ZB Bank as the property owners negotiated US$4 per square metre, now the funds are being directly deposited into the bank’s account and not individuals’. The local authority is losing millions of dollars to these land barons who are fleecing home seekers of their hard earned cash thereby depriving essential services to be delivered to the residents.”
Minister Garwe said as a ministry, they were adopting a hands-on approach to the issue.
“We shall deploy a member from the Ministry and from the bank to supervise all programmes and will work with the cooperatives to ensure transparency,” he said.
Minister Garwe said the handover ceremony of the project will be graced by President Mnangagwa.
“We want to see areas which are reserved for schools and other social amenities so that there is order, he said. “President Mnangagwa will hand over the houses to the owners. We want to see running water, sewage and proper roads.”
The meeting was organised by Zanu PF Mashonaland East Youth League after residents expressed concern over the way things were being handled under the consoutium.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Zanu PF Youth League provincial secretary for education Cde Rodgers Pote said land barons were now owning the land instead of the local authority.