MDC-T councillors give demolitions thumbs-up

via MDC-T councillors give demolitions thumbs-up – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 27, 2015 by Moses Matenga

MDC-T councillors have come out in full support of the ongoing demolition of illegal structures in Harare with deputy mayor Thomas Muzuva blaming the Local Government ministry’s physical planning department for fuelling the sprouting of illegal settlements in the capital.

Muzuva told NewsDay in an interview last week that the MDC-T would not tolerate the sprouting of illegal structures which he described as a health time bomb.

“The biggest let-down is the ministry’s department of physical planning. It is the most rotten department in that ministry,” Muzuva said.

“There can’t be two authorities giving out land, but the physical planning department is causing the mess. They allocated land at Caledonia, Retreat Farm and Whitecliff and if you notice, council does not provide services there because of that,” he said.

“The (Local Government) minister must know that the physical planning department is rotten. We (as council) don’t collect refuse at Retreat Farm and other farms, but if cholera strikes it will also spread to legal settlements,” Muzuva said.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said although the Constitution provided for the people’s right to shelter, the main opposition party would not allow Zanu PF land barons to illegally acquire and distribute land without the consent of local authorities.

“Our position as MDC-T is that everyone has a constitutional right to shelter and it is in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of Zimbabwe. We are saying all housing is done in consultation with local authorities. There are Zanu PF land barons giving out land to Zanu PF activists and that is done indiscriminately and we end up having houses not well planned,” Gutu said.

“They should liaise with local authorities and ensure they join legal co-operatives. We want to warn people not to be conned by land barons who happen to be Zanu PF conmen and women. They are land barons out there, we condemn the demolitions, but at the same time we warn the people not to deal with Zanu PF land barons.”

Gutu, however, said he was sceptical of Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s commitment to work in harmony with opposition councillors.

“When you hear the devil speaking the gospel of repentance and forgiveness, you must be worried,” Gutu said.