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Chombo blames ‘illegal settlements’ on electioneering
in Zimbabwe Coalition
October 01, 2013
of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development, Ignatius Chombo,
has blamed the proliferation of housing units on land not yet serviced
by city councils on the unscrupulous campaigning by some politicians
that ensued ahead of the July
31 harmonized elections, resulting in a land scam his party
could be guilty of spearheading under his nose.
Chombo was speaking
at a Harare interface meeting on September 26, 2013, with residents,
the mayor, the metropolitan provincial Minister of State and councilors
when he admitted that the period running to elections had seen the
creation of phony housing cooperatives by politicians, which unlawfully
parceled out unserviced land to home-seekers in a bid to snatch
the urban vote.
kune vanoda dzimba asi mune matsotsi mugame redzimba (It is true
that there are people who need land, but there are crooks in land
deals),” Chombo said. “Saka endai munoudza vanhu vese
varikunyeperwa nema cooperative aicreatwa nevanhu vachida ku campaigner
(so go and tell those who are being lied to by cooperatives that
were created by people who just wanted to use housing land as a
to newly elected councilors predominantly from the Movement for
Democratic Change led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
(MDC-T), “you must of necessity vehemently remedy the unpalatable
development”, saying the practice was rampant in areas like
Chitungwiza and parts of Harare.
of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development seemed to pass
the mess to the MDC-T run council, which he said must restore order.
government’s expectation that local authorities effectively
implement planning regulations with the view to stop such activities,”
Chombo said. “Councilor anoshanda ne ma officials a-town clerk
ndoanofanira kuti apa hapavakwe punza imba yako (The relevant councilor
is supposed to work in liaison with the officials from the town
clerk, and tell the illegal settlers that they have built on undesignated
land, and must destroy their illegal housing units).
masquerading as land authorities must be brought to book so as to
Prior to the
latest call for councilors to act, it could have been difficult
for councilors to take any action as some analysts have noted that
Chombo and his Zanu-PF party are renowned for exhibiting an overbearing
attitude towards local government structures.
on the actions of the Ministry such as scrapping of debts and populist
policies whose consequences the urban councils controlled by his
party would have to deal with; MDC-T Spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora
said it was like “setting each other up for failure”.
belated advice to the residents who had been duped for votes.
same vein, I would urge innocent citizens not to willingly submit
themselves to the whims and machinations of such extortionate characters,”
Chombo called on the local government structures to deal with the
issue of housing shortages, and promised to do “everything
possible” to provide the land required for the housing program.
aware of your challenges such as diminished land bank and my Ministry
will do everything possible to replenish the land bank,” Chombo
said. “But it is high time that you embrace the densification
mode of delivery to optimize use of the limited land available.”
that fast track parceling out of land in Harare could have been
part of Zanu-PF’s election program towards the July 31 harmonised
election, which could implicate the party and its assigned Minister
of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development, Chombo, at least
for not acting on the mushrooming of illegal structures.
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