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Chitownews Bulletin - Issue 07 - 2013
Chitungwiza Community Development Network
November 11, 2013

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Government set up probe team

Government has set up a probe team to investigate the circumstances surrounding the increase in illegal structures in Chitungwiza and Seke rural.

The team is composed of officials from the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EMA).

The illegal structures are houses and other properties that were built on top of sewerage, water or electric infrastructure or on areas that were earmarked for other development purposes like schools, playgrounds and wetlands.

The shortage of land for urban housing purposes has led to an increase in illegally acquired stands in and around the town as unsuspecting stand seekers fall prey to the corrupt officials of the municipality and other local government officials such as headmen and village heads.

According to media reports, there are more than 10 000 houses that are being classified as illegal structures which the ministry of local government says must be destroyed.

Fear has gripped the town and the diaspora as some of the houses are owned by people who are in the diaspora as they are the ones who had the buying power during the Zimbabwe dollar era.

Civil society groups and other individuals are calling upon the government to be rationale in dealing with crisis than creating a humanitarian crisis during the rainy season.

“The probe team should consult all stakeholders concerned, look at all issues with regards to happenings at town house, the work of cooperatives, their duties vis-a-vis the work of the council”, said Admire Zaya, Coordinator of Chitungwiza Progressive Residents Association.

He also said that section 74 of the Zimbabwean Constitution prohibit demolitions and forced evictions of citizen from their homes without a court order.

“No person may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances,” reads section 74 of the Zimbabwean Constitution.

The probe team is expected to produce its findings and recommendations to the ministry on Thursday the 14th of November 2013.

Others have dismissed the probe team saying the ministry of local government under the leadership of Minister Chombo has set up a number of commissions of inquiry but the reports were never made public.

The last commission of enquiry into the affairs of Chitungwiza Municipality which was led by Fungai Mbetsa produced a report in 2012 which was never availed to the people for scrutiny.

“I guess report will not be availed to the citizens because some of the big fish were involved in the land deals,” said a 31 year old man who preferred not to be named.

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