Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mayor Mafume wanted land barons arrested first before demolitions

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

The MDC Alliance and the Zanu PF regime are exchanging barbs over who is responsible for the ‘inhuman’ demolition of houses in Budiriro this week. The callous development happened while Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume was incarcerated in jail facing charges of criminal abuse of office.

Mayor of Harare Jacob Mafume
Mayor of Harare Jacob Mafume

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration blames the MDC Alliance for the demolitions but the main opposition accuses the central government of hosting the land barons responsible for selling the land on which illegal structures were built.

It has however emerged that on November 20, Mafume was called to meet Harare Provincial Development Coordinator Tafadzwa Muguti over the matter of demolitions of illegal structures.

Undeniable evidence on Twitter shows that Mafume in his Mayoral capacity suggested the government and Harare City Council would go for land barons first before demolitions.

“Going after the culprits first before action. Cannot re-victimise the victims. Will hold in abeyance until land barons are arrested.

“We will liaise with the Anti-Corruption agencies to go after land barons first. MDC Alliance and Nick Mangwana hope all can see sense in this approach,” Mafume posted on his Twitter handle.

But Information Ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana eventually went on and announced the imminent demolition of illegal houses which was going to happen several weeks after.

“Expect demolitions of illegal vendors, arrests of land barons, sand and water poachers, money changers, closure of unregistered businesses and closing of unlicensed shops in Harare. Lawlessness is being clamped down,” Mangwana said.

This comes after at least 190 illegal houses were demolished by the government in Budiriro 5, on Monday.

Affected families were left counting losses, battling the rains, with women and children crying and men battling to find safe and secure places for their property.

The MDC Alliance accused the Zanu PF party and its Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Harare Metropolitan Province, Oliver Chidawu and Harare Provincial Development Coordinator Tafadzwa Muguti of pushing personal interests by orchestrating the ongoing ‘cruel’ demolition of houses.