Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Chitungwiza demolitions: Mayor speaks out

By Elias Mambo

Chitungwiza Mayor, Lovemore Maiko has said corruption and legacy issues have resulted in the mushrooming of settlements in undesignated areas and wetlands forcing council to act so as to stop illegal construction of structures, the Zim Morning Post has heard.

The Harare City Council rushed to demolish houses at Dunstan farm near the Harare International Airport in 2016
The Harare City Council rushed to demolish houses at Dunstan farm near the Harare International Airport in 2016

This comes on the backdrop of reports of demolitions around Chitungwiza which commenced last week. The demolitions came after Chitungwiza Municipality was granted an order by the courts.

Chitungwiza municipality notified residents of St Mary’s, Seke and Zengeza of the impending demolitions of structures constructed without council approvals.

The municipality went on to publish the demolition order in the local media and initiated demolitions near Chitungwiza police station.

A public outcry by Chitungwiza residents has, however, forced the council to stop the demolitions.

In an interview Maiko said the demolitions are not a welcome development but the residents have to stick to council laws in as far as construction of structures is concerned.

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“We are not happy to see demolitions taking place but at the same time we have to operate within council rules, laws and regulations,” Maiko said.

“The biggest question is why are people being allocated land in the wetlands. Why are structures being constructed in areas meant for social activities like soccer.

“Imagine in Manyame a football pitch was invaded and all you see now are houses. The area was meant for recreational activities and a soccer pitch was developed but land barons parceled this land out and now there are houses,” he said.

Maiko said Chitungwiza town council is battling legacy issues where previous local government ministers allowed invasion of land for political gains.

“We are battling to contain problems created by former ministers Chombo (Ignatious) and Kasukuwere (Saviour).

“They allowed illegal invasions by Zanu PF supporters and these are the people settling in undesignated areas,” he said.

Maiko also said it was unfortunate last week that those tasked to demolish structures did not stick to instructions.

“They were told to demolish all the structures that are under construction only. We had said fully developed houses need not to be demolished because already people occupy them.

Only structures that were under construction were supposed to be destroyed but we were shocked to learn that some houses were brought down.” Zim Morning Post