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Harare to conduct illegal structure demolitions

HARARE – Government has lined up another round of illegal structure demolitions, targeting illegal occupants who have settled on wetlands and land earmarked for development projects in Harare.

This follows a resurgence of land invasions by land barons in Harare Metropolitan Province with land invasions taking place in wetlands and land earmarked for development projects.

“Recently land barons invaded the Monavale viei which is one of the World acclaimed Ramsar sites. Whilst in Mbare land earmarked for the Mbare Urban,” said Tafadzwa Muguti, secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution (Office of the President and Cabinet).

“Renewal Development Project (housing complexes and commercial buildings) was invaded by space barons who took advantage of the delay in the approval of building permits by the City of Harare.

“The invasions across the Province are largely influenced by the false belief that land invaders will be regularised by Government under the ongoing land regularisation programme. The office of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution has therefore established a Provincial Task Force comprising of the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), the Zimbabwe Republic Police, City of Harare, Chitungwiza Municipality, Ruwa Local Board and Epworth Local Board to address the menace of land barons.”

The TaskForce shall remove all illegal land invaders, demolish any illegal structures and arrest all land invaders as well as the land barons responsible for selling land illegally.

“It is important to note that Harare Metropolitan Province has a Zero Tolerance Policy on Corruption and Lawlessness,” Muguti said.

Muguti is one of 10 provincial development coordinators appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in August 2020 to assist Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs with “technical and administrative support” needed to promote economic growth, create jobs and uplift people’s living standards.