via Zanu PF not sincere on land barons – DailyNews Live 24 August 2015
HARARE – The Zanu PF-led government is not being sincere in dealing with the current land scams and so-called land barons as only the “small fish” are being punished while the politically connected are walking away scot free.
In the past few weeks, close to 20 land barons have been arrested on allegations of illegally selling municipal and State land — but the information we have gathered show that people who have been arrested are mere pawns in a big land scandal.
What the government must understand is that thousands of urban dwellers seeking residential stands are constantly hoodwinked into parting with their hard-earned money by unscrupulous individuals who hide behind politics.
It is the duty of government to protect the poor and the vulnerable and not the corrupt and politically connected individuals.
If Zanu PF had been sincere about creating cities of the future, then these illegal housing cooperatives should not have been allowed to grow into settlements in the first place. The corrupt land sales should have been nipped in the bud to avoid the complexities that are now emerging.
It is the poor and the disadvantaged sections of the population who are now being affected, while the bigwigs emerge as the biggest beneficiaries in these scandals.
We do not condone the mushrooming of illegal settlements but demolitions without providing alternative shelter would expose people to homelessness and sink them deeper into poverty.
For a long time now these criminals, who are well-connected politically and work in complicit with top government and council officials in syndicates to fleece residents of their hard earned money, are not being brought to book.
We demand that this madness must stop and hopefully these arrests signal the end of land barons and government must ensure that the poor residents whose houses have been razed are reimbursed their monies.
It doesn’t make sense for people who bought non-existent stands from these criminals to continue living a life of squalor while the land barons continue to enjoy life driving top-of-the-range vehicles and even trying to contest for a parliamentary seats.
When people buy stands, it would have taken years a lot of sacrifice but the government — through the Local Government ministry and the police — has done nothing to protect citizens from unscrupulous business people.
The time is now ripe for government to clean up the mess in Harare and other cities to ensure that proper systems and structures are put in place for people to have access to proper housing stands that are well serviced.