Govt orders arrest of space barons

Source: Govt orders arrest of space barons – NewsDay Zimbabwe

THE Local Government ministry has urged members of the public to report land barons who are illegally allocating land to home seekers in open spaces and areas designated for public institutions.

The ministry made the call after land reserved for construction of schools, police stations and recreational purposes was allocated to home seekers by leaders of a bogus housing co-operative in Dzivarasekwa, Harare.

A letter written by a Local Government ministry official, one M Sayi, says land earmarked for public amenities such as schools was being illegally dished out in Dzivarasekwa.

“Could you please be advised that all commercial, industrial and institutional stands in Dzivarasekwa Extension belong to the government and, therefore, under the custodian and management by Local Government and Public Works ministry,” Sayi said.

He said anyone interested in acquiring stands should apply to the Local Government ministry and take possession of the land after acquiring a lease agreement from the ministry.

“You are hereby advised to report any such unauthorised land occupation to the nearest police station,” the letter added.

Responding to the allegations raised by the ministry, Nehanda Housing Cooperative chairperson Simba Moyo said all the reserved open spaces in question were sold by the co-operative’s former leadership without following procedure.

“We have reported the matter to government because these bogus officials are making the lives of our children difficult. The area reserved for a government school, a police station and library was sold,” Moyo said.

He said a report had since been filed at the Special Anti-Corruption Unit.

A Dzivarasekwa resident, Barnabas Sachikunda said space barons were telling people to purchase stands at the open spaces, claiming that the Local Government ministry would regularise them later.

Former Nehanda Housing Co-operative chairperson Andrew Marauka dismissed the allegations saying:  “That land earmarked for schools was not State land, but private land.”