Re­lief for vic­tims of land barons

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - In­no­cent Ruwende Se­nior Re­porter

GOV­ERN­MENT will sym­pa­thise with home-seek­ers who were fleeced and il­le­gally set­tled by land barons as it moves in such ar­eas to bring or­der and san­ity as well as cre­ate self-con­tain­ing ur­ban set­tle­ments, a Cab­i­net Min­is­ter has said.

Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­is­ter July Moyo said when Gov­ern­ment and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties em­bark on the Ur­ban Re­newal Project, they will also move into set­tle­ments which do not have req­ui­site in­fra­struc­ture and re­de­velop them.

“There is a lot of de­vel­op­ments that have taken place. Gov­ern­ment and the city were giv­ing land to the co­op­er­a­tives. Some of those co­op­er­a­tives have turned into land barons. Whether they were given land by the city or Gov­ern­ment, the ef­fect is the same,” he said.

“Some have be­come greedy af­ter al­lo­cat­ing land and leav­ing space for schools or wet­lands. Af­ter they al­lo­cated land to those in prop­erly planned ar­eas, a greedy per­son will say we opened new land when in fact they are now set­tling peo­ple on wet­lands.”

Min­is­ter Moyo added, “Gov­ern­ment has to look at it to­gether with the city and say this is il­le­gal be­cause most of those peo­ple when they first started there was a plan and it is those plans which are now be­ing vi­o­lated by this greed­i­ness.”

He said Gov­ern­ment will show no sym­pa­thy to in­di­vid­u­als who set­tled them­selves as they will be re­moved once Gov­ern­ment and coun­cil moves in.

“We will be sym­pa­thetic to those who were prop­erly re­set­tled by land barons and these land barons were fleec­ing peo­ple. We think that the law should take its course, ar­rest those land barons and we see what to do with the peo­ple who have been fleeced by those land barons.”

Min­is­ter Moyo said Gov­ern­ment and the city are in se­ri­ous trou­ble be­cause they have to chase af­ter peo­ple who are re­set­tling them­selves.

He said at some point, both the city and his min­istry will have to go to those ar­eas and re­de­velop them cit­ing ex­am­ples of Cale­do­nia, Harare South and other ar­eas where there is no sew­er­age, no water or city cen­tre.

“We want to cre­ate ur­ban set­tle­ments which are self-con­tain­ing. If you just go around here in Harare, look at Ma­bel­reign which was the low­est of town­ships for whites but you can see a cen­tre with post of­fice, banks and po­lice. That is what we want to cre­ate for our own peo­ple. Where we have not done it, we will go and do ur­ban re­newal although it is a new place,” he said.

“When we do so, that is when we will find out who has set­tled them­selves without per­mit, who has set­tled them­selves on land meant for schools and clin­ics and we will take ac­tion. Ur­ban re­newal is not just a mat­ter of do­ing it in places which are too old. You can do it in ar­eas where peo­ple have set­tled them­selves im­prop­erly.”

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