Zimbabwe: Land Barons Resurface, Cause Havoc in Chitungwiza

12 November 2020

Herald Correspondent

Land barons are continuing to cause havoc in Chitungwiza's Unit G Extension, where they are selling illegal stands on open spaces that are not suitable for construction.

The land barons are understood to have connived with council officials in the engineering department who are generating site plans and offer letters that are being backdated to last year.

At KPK shops in the same area, a public toilet was destroyed recently and replaced by a house, which is now at window level.

A few weeks ago, land barons pegged stands in a car park. Angry residents on Monday staged a demonstration over the construction of a house on land reserved for recreation.

This prompted Ward 25 councillor Johannes Mwandama to invite the acting town clerk Mrs Evangelista Machina and Works director Engineer David Duma to tour the invaded area.

Speaking on behalf of the residents Mr Davison Kasiyandima called for council's intervention to stop the developments.

"We are glad that you have witnessed what is happening here.

"We are kindly asking you to stop this woman, who claimed to have all council papers, from building her house here.

"For over two decades this open space has been a park and there are pipes that are running under it so a house cannot be built here," he said.

Another resident, Mrs Chipo Mudzuri said they were now experiencing numerous sewer bursts and water shortages since the construction of houses over sewer and water mains.

"Can your officials please stop allocating people stands in inappropriate places because this is inconveniencing us," she said.

Eng Duma promised the residents that they will carry out investigations to determine the people behind the illegal land allocations.

"As the engineering department we are going to investigate and find out who created the site plan because we suspended issuing of site plans last year so whoever is behind this will be dealt with accordingly," he said.

Cllr Mwandama said Government and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission should arrest those parcelling out land on undesignated sites despite having "council papers".

"Government should intervene and save the remaining open spaces and stop this nonsense," he said.

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