Houses encroaching into Joshua Nkomo Airport

Source: Houses encroaching into Joshua Nkomo Airport | Newsday (News)

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

LAND developers in Bulawayo are reportedly encroaching into the land reserved for expansion of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport land, Southern Eye has learnt.

This was revealed in a recent report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport following a tour of the country’s major
airports.

The committee visited Robert Gabriel Mugabe International, Victoria Falls International and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International, and Masvingo, Hwange, Kariba, Charles Prince and Buffalo Range regional airports.

MPs said Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport faced a number of challenges such as land developers encroaching into the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) land.

“The growth of Bulawayo as a metropolitan city has resulted in residential areas encroaching into the airport land which had been reserved for future airport development,” read the committee report.

The committee is chaired by Shamva North MP Oscar Gorerino.

“The aviation authority at some point in 2019 was involved in a dispute with a land developer.”

In 2019, Bulawayo City Council was also engaged in a land dispute with CAAZ after the latter raised concern over a proposed housing project next to Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport.

This was after the local authority received an application from a private developer, Nondweni City (Private) Limited, seeking permission to establish a residential area and cemetery along the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road near the airport.

The land in question measures 999,035 hectares. According to council minutes, the local authority did not accede to the application for the development permit after CAAZ objected.

The report further read: “Lack of adequate funding for the aviation authority has a huge impact on operations and expansion plans at the airport; and lack of coordination between government departments, that is, immigration officers, State security and CAAZ officials has affected smooth flow of business at the airport.”

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