Source: Home-seekers duped in Harare South | The Herald November 29, 2018
Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Fresh land invasions have rocked Harare South, particularly Churu Farm, amid reports that some suspected land barons are illegally parcelling out stands to home-seekers without council’s authority and have since erected a structure where prospective home owners are parting with their hard erned money.
Those who have already settled are being asked to pay $15 each on the pretext that council would regularise their stay in the area.
Tonderai Muchemwa, who is the alleged mastermind of the illegal act, has been accused of forging local councillor Tendai Katsaira’s signature and details which he went on to use on posters where he threatened residents to pay or risk losing their stands.
Cllr Katsaira yesterday said residents at Churu Farm approached him after the alleged land barons demanded that they pay money for regularisation.
“I addressed them and told them not to pay money to individuals or cooperatives,” he said. “I told them that Government had outlawed cooperatives and council was now using pay schemes. They erected a structure where they are collecting money, forging the city’s logo.
“I have since made a forgery report against Muchemwa at Glen View Police Station. Some of the people are claiming to be land developers approved by council, but they could not prove their claims.”
City corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme yesterday warned home-seekers against making any form of payment for council land to third parties.
“There is a ban from Government stopping cooperatives from collecting money from residents because there is going to be a re-organisation of all these settlements where people are illegally settled,” he said. “Continuing to take money from people is cheating, it is thieving because what is that money going to work on?
“If there is going to be re-organisation, it means that whatever they are going to be investing on now is illegal and those people are just fleecing the public. The people who should know best are the residents. They should take messages from council seriously because those messages have weight in them.”
Mr Chideme said council had given enough warnings to home-seekers and it was the correct time for people to desist from paying through third parties.
President Mnangagwa recently signed into law the Land Commission Act, paving way for the establishment of a commission that will advise Government on land management and carrying out periodic audits following rampant abuse of land, especially in major cities.
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