Harare demolitions to continue: Govt

Tarisai Machakaire

THE government insists it will not hesitate to demolish il- legal structures and homes as authorities step up their war on land barons who are allegedly parcelling out state land in Harare.

This comes as thousands of homeseekers have lost their hard-earned life savings to the cartels that are illegally pegging and sell- ing residential stands in the capital.

Speaking during his keynote address to a Harare City Council (HCC) budget meeting this week, the provincial development coordinator for Harare Metropolitan Province Tafadzwa Muguti said the demolitions would be carried out even during the currentrainy season.

Muguti urged councillors to keep an open eye on activities occurring in their areas when it comes to illegal structures and said bulldozers would soon be descending on an unsanctioned settlement near Robert Gabriel
Mugabe International Airport.

“All illegal settlements should be evicted and demolitions should continue forthwith.

This is a special mention to those people, who have settled themselves in Retreat within the 4km radius of the Airport and I am sorry to say we will not regularise anything which is illegal within the airport.

Those have to go.

“There is a growing concern of illegal settlements and this has been necessitated by the lack of an aggressive development policy.

“I say this with a bleeding heart because all of you know, you pass through on Mon- day someone is digging a foundation, on Wednesday he is now at window level, you pass through on Sunday this person is now
putting trusses…

“Where are we when these illegal developments are happening? What are we doing as council? The residents of Harare have made you custodians of every square inch of land.

“How are people going to peg land under your nose? Some of you are turning a blind eye because you have interests and are incompetent but enough is enough!” Muguti thundered.

Muguti urged the HCC to take a proactive approach to enforce by-laws and restore

Harare to its sunshine city status. “On the enforcement of council by-laws, we are deeply concerned that residents are consciously ignoring council by-laws.

“We are seeing a great decay in the moral fibre of residents as they are no longer recognising what is allowed and not allowed by the City of Harare.

“People are settling themselves illegally, building homes from ground to roof with no permits, starting businesses along major highways, laying bricks, sand wherever they wish, and feel is appropriate,” he said.

“Enforcement should be proactive and not reactive. Let’s be agile in our approach to protect open spaces and wetlands in our city.

“All illegal settlements should be evicted and those who have an opportunity to be regularised, planning should commence immediately…but kindly note there will be no regularisation without prosecution.”

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