Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Reporter
As a major stage to sorting out the Nyatsime stands allocation problem, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo has set up a six-member joint committee from Chitungwiza Municipality and Manyame Rural District Council to run the Nyatsime area and direct its development.
Through Statutory Instrument 211 of 2021, Minister Moyo set up the committee, made up of three councillors from each authority, to manage the six farms, including the whole of Braemer and Longlands farms now collectively known as Nyatsime, where stand allocations have been mired in numerous disputes. The committee will have the powers of an urban authority.
“The area to be jointly managed is Braemer, Longlands, Cawdor, Edinburg, Tantallon and Dunnottar farms situated in ward 9 in the district of Seke in between the area administered by Chitungwiza Municipality and that administered by Manyame Rural District Council,” he said.
Minister Moyo said the decision was prompted by resolutions passed by Chitungwiza Municipality in 2019 and Manyame Rural District Council in 2020, under which the two councils resolved to participate in the joint management of the six farms.
Minister Moyo said the objective of the committee would be the proper development of the farms. The joint committee would have the authority of an urban council as set out in the Urban Councils Act, and the two local authorities would share the expenses equally.
“The parties shall jointly bear the costs incurred and incidental to the negotiation, preparation, execution and implementation of this agreement,” he said.
Minister Moyo said each local authority shall appoint or second three members from its councillors or members to the joint committee as provided for in the Urban Councils Act and Rural District Councils Act.
The new committee has its work cut out sorting out the allocations, working out what development can be regularised, and directing the necessary development of services, especially the water supply and the sewers.
In Nyatsime, some were allocated the stands by the Chitungwiza council, and paid for them, but then built houses and other structures without prior council approval. But this group is the most likely to be able to seek and gain rights of regularisation so long as the structures are sound.
Others just settled on the land without any approval and erected structures. A third group fell prey to land barons and parted with substantial amounts of money although the land is still public land and neither sellers nor buyers have the title deeds. For some stands there are multiple claimants who all say they have a right to build but only one can be the legal landholder. The development in the area was done although there is no piped water supply nor sewer lines.