As the war against illegal settlements in Harare rages on, close to 200 demolitions orders are set to be executed while cases of wetlands invasion will be treated as criminal cases.
By Edgar Gweshe
The Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC) for Harare, Tafadzwa Muguti said that although there will be regularisation in some of the areas where demolition orders have been issued, there is a need to prosecute wetlands invaders.
He was speaking during a recent meeting with the Harare Wetlands Trust (HWT).
“We have close to two hundred demolition orders with us but the Local Government Ministry has highlighted that some of the targeted areas can be regularised but for wetland areas, they cannot be regularised,” said Muguti.
Wetlands invasion has become a hot topic in Harare with environmentalists raising the red flag that rampant destruction of wetland areas is impacting negatively on water supply. Harare relies on its headwater wetlands for water supply.
Muguti said the Harare City Council and the State should be the complaints on matters of illegal land allocation since there has been a trend where the cases are not being investigated “because in some cases, there are no willing complainants”.
He said that bogus housing cooperatives were largely behind land invasions in Harare adding that he will seek the support of the Zanu PF Politburo in enforcing the ban on housing cooperatives.
‘We were told to bring order to Harare, people told me that it is impossible but I tell you that it is possible because I am not doing it on my own. I can tell you that we are operating in an environment where there is so much political will,” said Muguti.
Muguti said illegal settlements and wetlands invasions were a threat to the sustainable development of Harare.
He implored residents to work collectively for the protection of the environment and pledged his office’s support.