Owen Chirikure Herald Reporter
Chitungwiza Municipality in collaboration with Urban Development Corporation has embarked on a drive to get illegally constructed buildings in the town regularised. Town clerk Mr George Makunde said as a first step, the council has sent out notices to owners who have erected structures without approval to make arrangements to pay fees to regularise their buildings and building plans.

The move comes as a huge relief for people who were living with threats of demolitions.

Last September, the council met stiff resistance when it razed down illegal structures built on wetlands and other undesignated areas in the town.

Mr Makunde said people occupying illegal stands should make arrangements to pay a penalty fee of $1 500 per stand for occupying state land without council authority and an additional $11 per month for services provided.

The $11 monthly payment will be calculated beginning from December 1, 2013, after the Government released an audit report on illegal occupations.

“This is an ongoing process that is meant to pave way for regularisation of illegal stands,” the town clerk said.

“The necessary official paperwork for the residential stands will only be given to those who would have paid their penalties in full.”

The council, Mr Makunde said, has since prepared and approved layouts for St Mary’s, Zengeza and Seke South Unit J, which are now ready for allocation.

He further said that the council has completed a process to add unauthorised constructions into the council’s billing system.

Demolitions of illegal structures was blocked last year when a Chitungwiza magistrate ordered the municipality to stop demolitions after affected families appealed.

The council could not disclose what action will be taken against non-compliant individuals.

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