13 September 2018

Zimbabwe: Take Action On Land Barons in Nyatsime, Govt Told

Nyatsime residents are calling on Government to take action against land barons who continue to cause havoc in the area by selling undeveloped residential stands to desperate home seekers.

This is despite the lifting of the court interdict obtained by A2 farmers barring Chitungwiza Municipality from interfering in their activities, after the Ministry of Lands withdrew their offer letters.

Over 15 000 stand owners in Nyatsime housing development with offer letters from council have failed to occupy their stands after some land barons took over the land.

A recent visit to the area by The Herald showed that hundreds of residents have lost thousands of dollars to the land barons who claim to be untouchable because of their political connections.

One of the victims, Mary Takagara, said she bought a piece of stand for $2 000, but was unable to develop it as she later found out that it had been sold to numerous people by the land barons.

"I bought a stand and I paid $2 000, but I have failed to develop it because several people are claiming ownership of the same stand," she said.

"What is surprising is that nothing has been done to these land barons. The person who sold the stand to me and many other people is a politician who works closely with councillors in the area."

Another resident blasted the land barons, saying they were just criminals hiding behind their political parties.

"Things have been bad for years here in Nyatsime with a lot of people losing thousands of dollars to these land barons," he said.

"These people are serious criminals who are taking advantage of home seekers and are taking advantage of their political positions.

"The truth is that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has openly said he is against land barons."

On Monday, the land barons violently disrupted a meeting between Nyatsime housing scheme beneficiaries and Chitungwiza Municipality officials in Zengeza 2.

Close sources at the local authority said the council could not do much about the situation as it was waiting to be given more land by Government to relocate the illegal settlers.

"The interdict has since been lifted on two of the A2 farms except the one occupied by residents led by Matambo, but the council is not able to act at the moment because they are still waiting for Government to allocate them Dunnotar Farm to relocate those who have occupied other people's stands illegally," said a source.

"However, this has taken too long to happen and people continue to be duped of their money by these land barons who still claim to be owners of the farms without any paper work."

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