via Countrywide outbreak of amnesia – The Zimbabwean 4 February 2015 by Jera
After threatening to take away the livelihood of millions of street vendors, in the same breath, Chombo fired off a salvo at illegal land dealers:
‘Uncontrollable urban sprawl has worsened through sprouting of illegal settlements. At the centre of these illicit developments are resurgent land barons who have been indiscriminately parcelling out land for personal benefit. Some of these people have resorted to using political rhetoric to promote and protect their interests.’
One would think Chombo was engaging in some demented soliloquy because he certainly sounds as though he is talking to (and about) himself. Word on the streets – and the streets is where we all spend our days, thanks to Zanu (PF) – is that Chombo owns swathes of real estate in every town.
The Minister further said culprits ‘will face the full wrath of the law.’ He must have been counting on a countrywide outbreak of amnesia when he made these utterances, but we have not forgotten. In November 2013 Chombo ordered a pointless land audit in Chitungwiza, which cost over $300,000. The needless process lasted three weeks with members of the commission burning through $15,000 a day in remuneration.
To date, no land baron has been arrested – not even with a toy pair of plastic handcuffs, just to soothe the thousands of citizens who lost over $21M in illegal land deals. $300,000 is not monopoly money. For that amount, Chitungwiza council could have repaired a very long stretch of tarmac or built homes for the poor, rather than demolishing them, as Chombo does so often.