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Govt targets Chitungwiza land barons

BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA Harare provincial development co-ordinator Tafadzwa Muguti yesterday said government would descend on land barons parcelling out council land without approval, especially in Chitungwiza. Speaking during a tour of Chitungwiza Civic Centre at a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of state-of-the-art offices at Chitungwiza town centre, Muguti said government was targeting land barons to bring back order to the dormitory town. Chitungwiza Municipality had previously threatened to demolish thousands of illegal structures in the town following revelations that some of the structures were built on wetlands and land earmarked for recreational facilities. However, the municipality shelved plans to demolish houses and other buildings in 35 illegal settlements across the town after a special full council meeting resolved to halt the contentious exercise. “The groundbreaking exercise is a show of strength of the central government and local community, to show land barons who is in charge of Chitungwiza,” Muguti said. “Chitungwiza Municipality is the one which is in charge, it is a great disappointment that State land has been parcelled out over the years without the signature of the Head of State, without the signature of the minister, I am hearing many people saying they have offer letters. “Let me tell the citizens and the residents of Chitungwiza that if the person who sold you land cannot guarantee you a title deed, it’s time you to wake up and ask yourself very serious questions.” He added: “Recently, there were demolitions in Chitungwiza and there was an outcry over human rights violations. Human rights violations do not apply when the law is broken. We have people that have taken the power of local authorities, some of them conniving with staff members to issue offer letters, offer letters are not title deeds,” Muguti said. He said Chitungwiza was sitting on 100% State land and for any development to take place, the State had to be involved. “To those who have broken the law, time is up we are coming after you, land barons, corruption shall not be tolerated in this new dispensation. We are very clear that vision attracts money, no one wants to invest in place where people do not want to respect property rights,” Muguti said. Meanwhile, Harare City Council has notified residents of the closure of Mbare Musika bus terminus for renovations and temporary use of alternative pick-up and drop-off points. “The City of Harare wishes to inform the public that Mbare Musika bus terminus is currently closed for renovations, the temporary rank shall only accommodate buses with COVID-19 compliance permits.” “The city, therefore, implores travellers and bus operators to comply and take due care so as to maintain orderliness and the safety of the travelling public.”

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