‘Service stands before allocation’
LOCAL authorities have been urged to fully develop residential areas before settling people as they have a right to access all amenities.
Speaking in an interview during a visit to Gwanda on Monday, the chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into the sale of State land in and around urban areas since 2005, Justice Tendai Uchena said their visits to various towns and cities had shown that many residents were settled in areas that have not been serviced.
Justice Uchena said they will be having a hearing tomorrow in Bulawayo.
“We are pleased to see that the Municipality of Gwanda is working on developing land before people have settled. We noted during our visit in other cities and towns that people are settled in inappropriate places. People are living in places that have no water or sewer reticulation.
“It’s important for residents to have access to all amenities and local authorities have to fully develop land before people are settled. There is need for water supply, a sewer system, electricity and roads,” he said.
Justice Uchena said the President appointed the Commission after it was realised that State land was being sold illegally. He said after the hearings a report with findings and recommendations will be compiled and submitted to the President.
He said during the hearings, the commission will be making a follow up on land that was acquired by Government to ensure that it was being used legally.
“We want to find out the status of the land if it’s occupied, if it is we want to know who facilitated the occupation, whether it’s being used for legal purposes.
“We also want to find out if there is appropriate development on the land, whether development is being done according to the plan. If the land was sold we want to find out whether the sale was legal or any other relevant issues that are closely associated with State land,” he said.
The commission also visited Judds Farm and Doelfontein Farm in Gwanda which are earmarked for development into residential areas.
Speaking during the meeting Department of Physical Planning Matabeleland South acting provincial town planning officer, Mr Ben Mashati said Judds Farm and Doelfontein Farm which have a combined 5 142 hectares were reserved for urban expansion. He said the area will have residential stands, institutional stands, commercial stands, service industry stands, recreational stands, petrol filling stations and markets among other stands. — @DubeMatutu.