Karoi wetlands saga: Residents demand master plan

Source: Karoi wetlands saga: Residents demand master plan – NewsDay Zimbabwe


KAROI residents have taken their council to court demanding to be given the local authority’s master plan within 48 hours.

The Karoi Residents Trust, Karoi Resident Urban Association and Progressive Karoi Residents through their lawyers, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) last week filed a court application in a bid to protect wetlands and waterways in the farming town.

In a letter dated April 21, 2021 addressed to the town clerk, residents said they were against several developments taking place on wetlands, streambanks and waterways.

“Also our clients advise us that Karoi Town Council allocated (stands) in Kubatana Township in 2008/09 and some of these stands are situated on wetlands and our visit and inspection revealed that indeed some of these stands are on wetlands. Our clients further advised us that upon engaging council on the matter, they were told that stands were allocated after the requisite permits were obtained and Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) conducted by Environment Management Agency,’’ the letter by the ZLHR read.

The residents demanded that an investigation must be made on the controversial allocation of residential stands in Lakeview low-density suburb.

‘‘There are houses in Lakeview suburb and some are under construction in a wetland and waterway including the Royal Villa Lodge. Our clients are not aware if any development permits were issued and if EIAs were conducted. Furthermore, our clients advise that in-fill stands at Mess Camp, Chikangwe Township and Chikangwe flea market extension are located on a wetland and along waterways.”

They also demanded that Karoi Town Council furnishes them with copies of development permits issued in respect of all mentioned developments.

“Secondly, Karoi Town Council either furnishes the applicants a copy of the town master plan, or alternatively allows our clients’ representatives to inspect the master plan at a mutually convenient date and time,’’ they said.

“In the event that you do not furnish the requested information within 48 hours of your receipt of this letter, we will immediately institute legal proceedings for an order compelling you to furnish us same, the costs of which will be on your account on the highest scale of attorney and client.’’

The council is yet to respond to the application.