Harare Province secretary for provincial affairs and devolution Tafadzwa Muguti has warned of fresh demolition in Mbare, Chitungwiza and Ruwa saying land barons had invaded wetlands and land reserved for development projects.
Muguti said the invasions have been influenced by ‘false hope’ that they will be regularised by Government under the ongoing land regularisation programme.
“There has been a resurgence of land invasions by land barons in Harare Metropolitan Province with land invasions taking place in most of our wetlands and land earmarked for development projects. Recently land barons invaded the Monavale vlei which is one of the World acclaimed Ramsar sites.
“Whilst in Mbare land earmarked for the Mbare Urban Renewal Development Project (housing complexes and commercial buildings) was invaded by space barons who took advantage of the delay in the approval of building permits by the City of Harare. The invasions across the Province are largely influenced by the false belief that land invaders will be regularised by Government under the ongoing land regularisation programme,” said Muguti
He said a Provincial Task force comprising of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Municipal officers and other government departments will be in full force to remove the illegal structures.
“The office of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution has therefore established a Provincial Task Force comprising of the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), the Zimbabwe Republic Police. City of Harare, Chitungwiza Municipality, Ruwa Local Board and Epworth Local Board to address the menace of land barons.
“The Task Force shall remove all illegal land invaders, demolish any illegal structures and arrest all land invaders as well as the land barons responsible for selling land illegally. It is important to note that Harare Metropolitan Province has a Zero Tolerance Policy on Corruption and Lawlessness,” he said
Despite previous demolition of illegal structure in Harare and Chitungwiza, land and space barons continue to be a menace parcelling out land and convert fees paid to their personal use.