The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) implores the Harare City Council and other responsible authorities to urgently investigate cases of land invasions in Harare that are apparently going on unabated and bring the culprits to book.
CHRA has noted with concern that individuals abusing their power, authority or political connections continue to invade land in Harare and proceed to sell it to unsuspecting home seekers in areas such as Tafara, Mabvuku, Borrowdale, Mabelreign and Kambuzuma among other areas.
CHRA urges residents to follow proper procedures when acquiring land for housing purposes to avoid being victims of evictions or house demolitions.
We have also noted with concern that in some cases, residents are losing their money to the land invaders who will later on vanish as soon as they receive deposits for the housing stands being sold on undesignated land.
A case in point is that of the East side of Monavale Vlei (a protected wetland and international site) where home seekers were made to pay deposits of $7 000 for housing stands after which the land barons who had invaded the area vanished with the home seekers' funds.
According to Harare Mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, corruption and abuse of power are largely behind the continued land invasions in Harare.
Manyenyeni made the remarks last month during a tour of Hillside Park which has been invaded by unidentified individuals who have started construction on the park which is a wetland and recreational facility as well.
CHRA is concerned that the continued land invasions in Harare have also led to rampant destruction of wetlands which are the major sources of water for Harare (besides run off).
As a residents' association, CHRA is worried by the non-consultation of residents by responsible authorities before developments take place on wetlands.
CHRA also urges politicians and political parties to desist from using land as a campaign tool especially as the country gears for the 2018 polls.
Source: Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)