GOVERNMENT has reiterated that the sale of land under urban and rural councils is vested in the local authorities and prospective land seekers should conduct due diligence before parting with money in the acquisition of residential and industrial stands.
The call comes amid continued illegal sale of land, especially in urban areas, by land barons who have been fleecing desperate people for years.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Deputy Minister Jennifer Mhlanga told The Sunday Mail that Government was worried over the continued existence of land barons.
“Government does not allow individuals to sell (public) land and local authorities have been given the mandate to do all the planning and selling of land,” she said.
“Most urban land has been taken by land barons who have been parcelling it out to unsuspecting people and we are saying such illegal activities must come to an end.”
Illegal land sales have been rampant in Harare over the past decade giving nightmares to city fathers who are now struggling to regularise the settlements.
Harare mayor councillor Herbert Gomba said while the city applaud the Government position to give them power over land planning and sales, the challenge was that most of the land in dispute was inherited from the previous dispensation.
“There are areas where there are legacy cases because the old dispensation encouraged occupation of land by land barons. This is where the challenge is because we already have people settled and with nowhere to go, ” he said.