Govt puts off slum clearance

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HARARE – Government has stayed the demolition of illegal settlements in Harare settling for negotiations with the “pilgrims”.

Joel Biggie Matiza, the Local Government deputy minister,  yesterday backtracked on earlier threats to clear slums.

“You are not going to wake up tomorrow and find our bulldozers here destroying your houses like some papers are saying,” Matiza told home owners in Seke’s ward one and eight.

“We know kuti makajutwa (that you were swindled). We, as government, will give due diligence to the process.

“Anyway, that is why we have set up an audit team to see how we can re-plan and fix it into a proper town.
“But there are areas that we cannot negotiate on. We cannot allow people to live on wetlands, land for schools, roads, main sewer infrastructure or have houses built along electricity pylons.”

“So you go and think how your areas can be rehabilitated rather than throwing tantrums,” he said to a huge irate crowd at Rusirevi grounds in Seke’s ward one.

Local government minister Ignatius Chombo recently told a media briefing that demolitions were expected to start in just over a week’s time in Chitungwiza and Seke communal lands.

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