Govt probes flooded Borrowdale properties’ legality

Source: Govt probes flooded Borrowdale properties’ legality – DailyNews Live

Helen Kadirire   o   7 February 2017 4:42PM   o   0 comments

HARARE – Government is investigating the legality of the homes that were
recently ravaged by floods, including those in Borrowdale, after it turned
out that some where built on wetlands and waterways, the Zimbabwe Human
Rights Commission (ZHRC) said yesterday.

This comes after several houses in the leafy Borrowdale suburb, including
Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora’s mansion, were damaged by floodwaters
following a burst dam in the area.

ZHRC chairperson, Elasto Mugwadi, told the Daily News that the commission
was interrogating how certain homes built on wetlands and along waterways
were given the green light to be constructed.

“Our findings will be presented to Parliament and because there are many
issues surrounding the legality of some of these houses, Harare City
Council(HCC) and the ministry of Local Government will probably be
summoned to answer questions asked,” Mugwadi said.

He said measures need to be taken so that such disastrous incidences do
not recur.

Mugwadi said because of political haggling between officials from both
council and the ministry, they were forgetting to deliver their promises
while trying to settle scores.

“In high density suburbs, council and the ministry of Local Government
should not allow people to build first then demolish like they did during
the 2005 Murambatsvina.”

“We do not need a situation where structures which had been authorised are
demolished because of poor planning from authorities,” he said.

Combined Harare Residents Association chief executive, Mfundo Mlilo, said
while some homes built on waterways in Borrowdale may not face demolition,
those in high density areas may not be so lucky because of a lack of
political power.

Mlilo said Mombeshora’s house may not be demolished despite its location
but HCC may be asked to assist in rebuilding the house and even pay

“There is something wrong about our politics because the poor residents of
Harare will not be given such assistance but will have their houses
demolished and be chased off the land.

“There is selective application of the rule of law which we have raised
with ZHRC,” he said.

Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) corporate communications manager
Marjorie Munyonga said private dams in the Borrowdale area were also
illegally built as they were not registered.

HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme said while some houses were built
according to the Borrowdale local development plan, others were
constructed as parallel developments.

Environmental Management Agency publicity manager, Steady Kangata, added
that people should take heed of advice not to build on wetlands and
waterways to avoid having their property destroyed when floods occur.