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Govt to destroy 10 000 houses
Fungi Kwaramba, Daily News
October 16, 2013
At least 10
000 houses face demolition in the sprawling town of Chitungwiza,
as authorities target illegal structures which were constructed
in wetlands and on top of sewer mains.
which is now starved of ventilation gaps as land barons parcel out
stands for private gain, is faced with acute water shortages traced
newly-appointed mayor Philip Mutoti told the Daily News that they
have received a directive from the Local Government ministry to
raze at least 10 000 homes.
is an order that we destroy at least 10 000 houses built illegally,”
said the ‘mushrooms’ should be rooted out. As a new
council, we have engaged the town planner who will give us directions
the Local Government minister was unreachable for comment yesterday.
But, his deputy Joel Biggie Matiza said: “All illegal structures
He said they
were meeting today to tackle the Chitungwiza housing issue.
town clerk George Makunde said the town has not officially received
a specific directive to raze down homes but was dealing with illegal
He said the
town was concerned with the illegal structures, saying corrective
measures, such as raiding construction sites on illegal places,
was already underway.
has said it does not condone illegal structures. As in many local
authorities, there is a hive of activity in Chitungwiza,”
council, we have a mandate to stop such developments. We are raiding
areas where people are constructing homes illegally. Such structures
have to go.”
echoes the 2005 Operation
Murambatsvina when authorities demolished illegally-built homes.
thousands people were forced out of Harare houses, with police setting
fire on some structures.
A UN report
condemned the two-month campaign that saw about 700 000 people losing
their homes or livelihoods in the operation.
A UN report
said the campaign violated international law, with the UN calling
it a “catastrophic injustice” to Zimbabwe’s poorest.
clean-up operation could further cripple Chitungwiza since it has
to fork out millions of dollars to compensate thousands of victims
who fell for the housing scam.
they have since been directed by the Local Government ministry to
regularise 1 647 houses which were sold by Zanu-PF councillor Fredrick
He said council
was, however, facing resistance from beneficiaries who are against
making any further payments for stands they bought for as much as
houses and businesses were built illegally and the previous administration
did not do anything to stop it, he said.
report on the Allocation, Change of Use, Subdivision and Repossession
of Stands by a team appointed by Chombo last year revealed massive
corruption in the sprawling town leading to the dismissal of several
also recommended that houses built on road sites, on top of sewage
pipes and those built under electricity cables be demolished.
town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa was this year convicted on three counts
of fraud and concealing from a principal, a personal interest in
At the start
of the trial last year, Tanyanyiwa was facing 10 counts, all linked
to his tenure at the beleaguered town that has failed to pay its
workers for over six months now.
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