Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
A NEW housing development is taking shape near Chikwanha Shopping Centre on land that was reserved for the Harare-Chitungwiza railway line.
Pegging of some of the stands has been completed while the construction of roads is underway.
The construction of the railway line, which was mooted in 1986 and is now expected to cost approximately US$1 billion, is expected to link Makoni Shopping Centre with the Chitungwiza industrial sites, Zengeza and St Mary’s.
From St Mary’s, the line is supposed to run parallel to Seke Road right into Harare’s Central Business District.
The Harare-Chitungwiza route is largely serviced by public vehicles, which rarely provide an efficient service in terms of frequency, capacity and safety.
With growing passenger volumes between the two urban centres, which constitute about 17 percent of Zimbabwe’s population, the rail link is expected to improve the public transport system.
Chitungwiza Town Council is aware of the development, but has done nothing to halt it, raising suspicion that corrupt officials in the local authority could be involved in the project.
Two weeks ago, the municipality issued prohibition and enforcement orders on development on the land adjacent to Chikwanha Shopping Centre.
Council threatened to deal with anyone who defied it, but has not taken action despite construction continuing.
Chitungwiza Progressive Residents’ Association secretary-general Mr Gift Kurupati expressed worry over the developments saying:“Last time we heard Minister July Moyo directing all land allocations to cease, but this has not happened. This is not the first time that the land has been subdivided, I think as residents we must take a strong stance to end these corrupt syndicates. I urge all the residents to safeguard their communities from these vultures.”
Chitungwiza Residents Trust director Ms Alice Kuveya urged central Government to intervene.
“Our town is not progressing because we have corrupt officials and individuals. We are pleading with Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to look into this issue,” she said.
Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association acting director Mr Brighton Kanyama said it was surprising that council had disowned the development, but construction was continuing unchallenged.