Councillors tour illegal settlements
22 July 2016
HARARE City councillors recently toured areas where illegal settlements have mushroomed to assess the situation on the ground.
Recent minutes of the Environmental Management Committee report that there was a joint tour of the Environmental Management and the Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committees of several suburbs.
However, while councillors said that they will regularise some suburbs, there were misconceptions that the programme would benefit all suburbs.
Councillor Samuel Chinyowa said he had been part of the tour but nothing had been done to make sure that such activities are brought to finality.
Councillor Samuel Chinyowa said, â€œyour worship there are fresh land invasions in most of the areas in Harare.
â€œWe had some visits here in Harare seeing all the illegal structures and we saw as councillors but there was no action taken, hapana chakaitwa, so now people will not take us seriously, takaona zvakadaro takasiya zvakadaro.
â€œNow again people will never be scared to invade any land again because they will say council will not do anything about it, because we are failing to take action.
â€œI think we should be seen doing something kuitira kuti maland invasions your worship aite mashoma,â€ said Cllr Chinyowa.
The minutes also revealed that the tour was meant to see which areas could be regularised. However, during the tour it was seen that there were some misconceptions amongst most residents.
And the members of the committee had also expressed â€œconcern that there was a misconception among the residents that all people who had illegally occupied land were going to be regularised, a move which prompted more illegal occupations,â€ read the minutes.
It was also reported that the City of Harare should now notify all residents that not all illegal settlements would be regularised.
Acting Town Clerk Josephine Ncube said:
â€œYour worship it is true that there has been a renewed wave of land invasions, I think possibly its coming from the regularisation that is happening, people thinking that we are all going to be regularised but our development control unit has not been lying idle, they have saved notices and they started removing people last week (the week beforelast week) but however we noted that there was need for more security because our officers were attacked when they went to enforce the order and what we have done is, we have engaged the police so that we can get the security that we need.
â€œAnd I have been assured from the highest level in the police force that they will give us the required protection.
â€œSo you will be seeing going forward that there will be a lot of activity happening on the ground.
â€œThe fact that our employees were injured I think requires that we take all the necessary steps to make sure that they are safe,â€ said Ncube.