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Demolitions should go ahead: Zanu PF

By Miriam Mangwaya | NewsDay |

The ruling Zanu PF party yesterday pivoted again, saying the ongoing demolition of illegal structures by government should continue.

File picture of a home demolition
File picture of a home demolition

Zanu PF on Monday said it had ordered Local Government and National Housing ministers July Moyo and Daniel Garwe, respectively, to stop the demolitions, describing them as “inhumane”.

But barely 24 hours after Obert Mpofu’s statements, demolitions resumed in Glen View suburb, following on from the destruction which started at Mbare’s Mupedzanhamo market and spread to Chitungwiza and in Mashonaland East province, with the destruction of over 3000 stands at Melfort, under a housing development run by Roger Pote.

Pote is a director at Eastwinds Properties, which was developing the Melfort stands. He is also a Zanu PF youth league provincial executive member. Yesterday, the police demolished illegal tuckshops in Mutare.

The ruling party yesterday convened a stakeholders meeting which was attended by Garwe and Moyo as well as Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Aplonia Munzverengi to try and resolve the Melfort demolitions.

Mpofu said those who had unlawfully allocated land to land seekers should be prosecuted to uphold the rule of law and address unscrupulous parcelling out of land, which he said was rampant throughout the country.

The party claimed Pote and his company disregarded the instructions from Goromonzi Rural District Council to halt construction in Melfort, which prompted the local authority to seek a court order to demolish the illegal houses.

Zanu PF shifted the blame to some unnamed party members, whom it said were using the party’s name to defraud land seekers.

“Let us all take cognisant of the fact that the rule of law should prevail as is continuously reiterated by His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa,” Mpofu said.

“The issue of capture of State land and disenfranchisement of our people at the hands of unscrupulous individuals under the guise of the banner of the party has become pervasive and should be brought to an end.”

He said the ruling party could not risk losing votes of Mashonaland East residents in the 2023 harmonised elections due to the demolitions.

“The GDP of Mashonaland East, which has been increasing as a result of the projects undertaken there, must not be overshadowed by the unfortunate events which led to the demolition of houses in Melfort,” he said.

Zanu PF acting commissar Patrick Chinamasa said there was a frank discussion in the stakeholders’ meeting.

He said Moyo and Garwe were ordered to resolve the issue of land barons, while Zanu PF councillors were ordered to consult in future before land developments are undertaken.

He said a housing regulation committee was set up to include the Small and Medium Enterprise ministry, Justice, provincial ministers as well as Local Government and National Housing.

Chinamasa also said the party was going to take action against party members implicated in “selfish heinous activities”.

“Name-dropping does not award anyone authority and the law must take its course,” he said.

“Land barons must be brought to book. As the ruling party, we say that all those who were affected by the demolitions should be awarded another land. The demolitions were done in error. Consultations must have been made with all stakeholders before they were done.”

Zanu PF has been accusing the MDC Alliance of causing the demolitions, an allegation the opposition party has denied.