Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
Zanu PF has resolved to reorganise, and where possible regularise, illegal settlements to avoid the demolition of houses without providing alternative settlements.
This comes as defiant land barons continue to dish residential stands to desperate home-seekers notwithstanding a Government directive to stop.
The prospective home-seekers are being settled in wetlands or areas designated for schools, businesses, recreational facilities and hospitals.
Zanu PF acting spokesperson Cde Patrick Chinamasa told the media on Wednesday that the Politburo spent quite some time on the issue of land barons and illegal settlements that have sprouted under the watch of the corruption-riddled MDC-Alliance run councils.
“We know about Harare South, Caledonia, Hatcliffe Extension, Crowborough near Kuwadzana, Chitungwiza urban and communal areas, where land is being parcelled without Government approval. Those land barons must be arrested and brought to book, justice must be done without fear or favour,” said Cde Chinamasa.
“We are publicly disassociating ourselves from land barons. We also discussed the challenges of the unplanned settlements and we are very clear as Politburo that there must be re-organisation,” Cde Chinamasa said. Under the watch of the MDC-A local authorities houses were built in wetlands, over sewer lines, sometimes under electric pylons and land left for amenities was also not spared.
“We want the ministries of Local Government and National Housing to focus on re-organisation of all the unplanned settlements around these areas to ensure that this does not occur in future.
“We also have resolved that where people have built houses in the process of re-organisation and demolition, alternative land should be provided to those who may be affected in consultation with them”.
Cde Chinamasa said when people are building their structures on sources of rivers, it means they are basically destroying their environment.
“Under the Second Republic, we are taking the responsibility to correct unplanned settlements through re-organisation and correcting it. We must re-organise, we must re-plan and the replanning will entail putting roads, servitudes for electrification, servitudes for passage of water, servitudes for passage of sewerage.
“We must put in place and set aside areas for schools, for clinics and hospitals, and commercial areas to service that area. That is what we are saying,” he said.
Cde Chinamasa said the re-organisation should be carried by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities.
“These are people who will be affected. You are sitting or you have built your house on wetlands, you are going to move away. What we have said is that when they do so let us try to be humane and make sure that alternative land is provided for them, which is why our resolution is directed to two ministries primarily, Local Government because they are the providers of land and National Housing because they are the ministries given the responsibility to build the houses,” he said.