Yeukai Karengezeka Herald Correspondent
Chitungwiza residents are fighting council over construction taking place at a wetland adjacent to Chikwanha Shopping Centre.
The land is alleged to be owned by a Mr Peyama who for years has been claiming that he bought the three hectares from the local authority
Initially that land was 41ha and was sold to Anglican Church by Mr Nyangani and Mr Chirongwe through Chirox (Pvt) Ltd in 2011. The subdivision permit for the remainder of St Mary’s was issued on September 5, 2012.
The permit had 185 stands including the remainder and during the process of subdivision of the remainder of St Mary’s it was noted that part of the land was state land and did not all belong to the Anglican Church.
The State layout was not approved because Environmental Management Agency (EMA) indicated that the proposed cite was a wetland.
The residents have expressed concern over the city council’s inability to preserve the few remaining wetlands in Chitungwiza.
“It is heartbreaking to see our city fathers dishing out the few remaining wetlands we have in this town. What will become of the future generations living in an area without breathing spaces and play grounds? We already have acute water shortages and this will worsen the situation,” said Mr Oliver Marondo (79).
Mr Kenneth Nyahombwe aged 84 said corruption was rife at the local authority and urged more investigations into the matter.
“We call upon the responsible arms of Government to investigate this issue because last year residents objected to another illegal development that was about to take place at that same area and council stopped it because it was a wetland. So what has changed now? Are there individuals that are above the law? Council should allocate stands elsewhere, not on wetlands.”
Mr Mathias Samanga added that Chitingwiza problems were being worsened by mismanagement.
“We understand that this Mr Peyama must be compensated land by council but not on a wetland. Our biggest challenge is that we have council management which does not stay in Chitungwiza and do not care about the welfare of residents. They do not care about the impact of their selfish decisions on us,” he said.
When contacted for a comment, Chitungwiza Municipality public relations officer Mr Lovemore Meya said council had approve plan of the land use.
“The matter is between Peyama Investments vs Chitungwiza Municipality and the responsible Minister was only cited in the same as a respondent. As such the Minister is only coming into play a facilitatory role given the fact that the land in question is State land.
Mr Meya added: “Prior to drafting the proposed layout consultations have been also made with the Environmental Management Agency and we were given proper guidance on how to proceed in as far as development in that area is concerned.”