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Chombo: Demolition of illegal housing units to start in
Gama, VOA News
October 31, 2013
View this article
on the VOA News website
Minister Ignatius Chombo says a national programme to demolish all
illegal settlements in Zimbabwe is expected to start soon in Chitungwiza
and Seke communal lands.
Mr. Chombo, most councils have allowed these settlements to expand
without taking the necessary action to block them.
government officials and traditional leaders in Harare on Thursday,
the minister said the demolition of the illegal structures is expected
to start in two weeks.
He said these
settlements have been allowed to sprout in most urban and rural
councils as local authorities flouted by-laws when allocating land
He said local authorities have not complied with provisions of the
Councils Act, Rural District Councils Act and Regional
Town and Country Planning Act, resulting in thousands of illegal
housing structures in urban and rural areas.
According to Mr. Chombo the national programme starts in Chitungwiza
and Seke communal lands where investigations in 2012 unearthed serious
irregularities in land use and management.
The minister added that the government cannot allow this to continue
unchecked as there are no proper ablution facilities and other basic
necessities at these illegal settlements with more than 10,000 people
Mr. Chombo noted that a team of experienced professionals under
the guidance of Deputy Local Government Minister Biggie Matiza have
been assigned to verify the exact state of affairs in Chitungwiza
and Seke communal lands before the demolition of the illegal housing
Residents from these two areas are encouraged to attend meetings
lined up by the team starting with Chitungwiza on November 6th.
The team will convene another fact-finding meeting at Manyame Rural
District Council on November 15th staring with Ward 1 in Seke North.
The public is advised to approach the Ministry of Local Government
for more details on mobile number 0712 804 880 or 791287.
urban clean-up campaign, motivated by health and safety concerns,
has evoked fears among some residents of a re-run of President Robert
Mugabe's iron-fisted Operation
Murambatsvina in 2005 which left over 700,000 people homeless.
In 2005, so-called illegal structures were demolished by soldiers
and police on the orders of the then ruling Zanu-PF government.
Operation Murambatsvina was widely seen by analysts as a punishment
of city-dwellers for giving their overwhelming support to the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change.
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