Land barons fleece city home-seekers

Source: Land barons fleece city home-seekers | The Herald July 23, 2016

Municipal Reporter
Hundreds of home-seekers are losing thousands of dollars to suspected fraudsters who are inviting them to contribute to a fictitious housing scheme in Kuwadzana.

Members are being asked to contribute $83 per month for 48 months and are also being asked to pay $16 registration fees on the pretext that they will be allocated residential stands measuring 350 square metres.

Harare City Council had distanced itself from the land allocations saying it does not engage third parties to sell land and urged victims to make police reports.

“It has come to the city’s attention that there is shadowy group fronted by one Mvurume inviting unsuspecting Harare residents to participate in a fictitious housing scheme in Kuwadzana. The group is using social media alleging that there are some council infill stands measuring 350 square metres in Kuwadzana.

“The group says beneficiaries will pay $83 per month for the next 48 months. They also want the prospective home owners to pay $16 registration fee. When contacted they refer callers to Remembrance Drive City of Harare offices,” said the council.

Recently, councillors complained over the re-emergence of land barons parcelling out stands to unsuspecting home seekers after the city decided to regularise some illegal settlements.

Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee chairperson Councillor Resias Masunda expressed concern over fresh land occupations in Harare.

“Examples were behind Kuwadzana 2 Primary School, Council Farm, as well as Chizhanje area in Mabvuku. It expressed the need for council to make enough publicity so that the public is well informed as well as timeous enforcement to ensure that no structures were constructed,” read the minutes.

Finance and Development Committee chairperson Clr Tranos Moyo said illegal stands were being pegged in Warren Park but there was no enforcement.

The Acting Town Clerk, Mrs Josephine Ncube, said council was alive to the new invasions and has since engaged the Zimbabwe Republic Police after members of its Development Control Unit were assaulted by members of the public after prohibiting them from developing land they were allocated by barons.

Government recently halted the demolition of thousands of illegal structures in Budiriro after reaching an agreement with Harare City Council to regularise the structures and collect intrinsic land value as well as rates from the residents.