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Police to arrest illegal settlers

By Munyaradzi Doma / Published on Tuesday, 03 Jan 2017 17:43 PM / No Comments / 628 views

3 January 2017

 

. . . as land invasions soar

 Mathew Marara
Mathew Marara

New land visions which continue to rock the City of Harare have led the municipality to report all cases to the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

Recent minutes of the Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee went on to resolve that the “acting town clerk engages Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and Zimbabwe Republic Police to assist on the enforcement of illegal settlers.”

The minutes went on to report that following the tour by the members of the committee, it was then seen that with the rise of the cases, it was high time the city engages the cops.

It was resolved that “any new land invasions after the tour be reported to department of works (development control) for enforcement and to Zimbabwe republic police for prosecution after serving 48 hours notices to the invaders.”

The committee heard that there had been “14 new land invasion cases as at 31 October 2016 in Dzivarasekwa, Glen View, Kambuzuma, Glen Norah, Hatcliffe, Warren Park, Kuwadzana and Mufakose.”

Need to engage the ZRP was seen after Harare admitted to be facing enforcement challenges.

Despite the presence of Development Control Unit, Harare is still failing to deal with illegal activities.

On his own admission, the Director of Works Engineer Phillip Pfukwa said “the number of illegal activities in the City of Harare is increasing and the municipality is failing in its enforcement operations because it lacks the capacity.

“Those illegal developments ranged from invasion of municipal land, from housing development, invasion of environmentally sensitive areas, invasion of housing land allocated to other beneficiaries, illegal erection of structures for use as churches, crèches, tuck shops and mobile booths, among others.”

Eng Pfukwa said despite the continued issuance of notices being served, invasions continued hence cops have been called out.

In some council meeting it was reported that “the committee noted the staffing situation in the Development Control Unit which was the epitome of strategy-structure mis-alignment in the City of Harare.

“The unit was currently manned by three officers compared to the 21 who used to man the section in 2000 at a time the City had not grown to what it is today.

“Incidents of wanton lawlessness had increased and the present size and geographical spread of the City called for an urgent review of structure to deliberately provide for control of development in pursuit of the vision of “World Class City Status by 2025”.