The City must Act Decisively on Land Saga

The Combined Harare Residents Association is not amused by the systemic corruption at the Harare City Council that has seen the local authority losing vast tracts of land to its corrupt workers, revenue in land sales and with a potential of rendering thousands of residents homeless.

In 2016, Combined Harare Residents Association unearthed this scandal in a debacle between Tembwe Housing Cooperative in Budiriro and Officials at Cleveland House that rendered about 100 residents homeless through illegal demolitions that were meant to deal with double allocations of stands.

The Tembwe fiasco was stopped by an Urgent Chamber High Court ruling that stopped the demolitions but until now officials have not give up and have been pursuing to evict the residents.

In November 2017, CHRA and Transparency International Zimbabwe held a Land Indaba that was officiated by the former Mayor Ben Manyenyeni, Officials from the Ministry of Local Government and other government agencies. The Indaba exposed the land scams in the city that fingered City Officials at Cleveland House in the Planning Department and Department of Housing.

The Indaba recommended the City to conduct a Land Audit and come up with a new Master Plan since the Master Plan under operation had expired.

In 2019 CHRA exposed another land scandal in Warren Park were houses were being constructed on open spaces, wetlands and top of ZESA cables roads.

The Mabvuku land saga saw the corrupt officials parcelling out the whole wetland located near Lafarge Cement to desperate home seekers as a move of dealing with double allocation of stands.

CHRA has it on record that arbitrary demolitions that were conducted by the local authority was a strategy of clearing tracks of corrupt activities on land deals by the City Official.

The absence of a Master Plan for the City has opened room for illicit land deals which has seen destruction of wetlands and construction on nearly all open spaces in the City. CHRA calls on the City to urgently come up with a Master Plan.

CHRA appeal to the City of Harare to urgently take the following measures;

  • Conduct a Land Audit to ascertain how much land is left in the City and attach value to it
  • Dismiss all employees who will be found guilty on acts of corruption in the land saga

Source: Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)

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