Sallomy Matare Herald Reporter
Harare City Council is not demolishing residents’ mansions in Harare but wants to ensure that properties built illegally on designated housing land are regularised, Town Clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango has said. The move is expected to give relief to thousands of home owners who have been living in fear of bulldozers razing down their multi-million-dollar properties to the ground.
In an interview, Eng Chisango said council was not going to demolish houses as alluded but wanted to ensure that the structures are formalised and appear on the city’s database.
“We are talking about houses that have been built with plans that have not been approved by City of Harare. Those plans must be submitted to the city and inspections will be done on those properties,” he said.
“This will benefit the people because once they formalise their stands, council will give them certificates of ownership that will allow them to acquire title deeds for their properties.
“Regularising properties gives security of tenure to home owners. It also gives confidence to investors. We are not just regularising settlements. We are also massively licensing businesses and the informal sector. The idea is to give legitimacy to all those who want to operate legally in the city.”
He said the regularisation exercise was meant to correct developments already done before saying the city was now taking measures to avoid future land invasions and illegal settlements.
“We have strengthened our development control. There is need for controlling any fresh invasions.”
The regularisation programme is expected to add to the number of registered properties in Harare.
Eng Chisango said those who regularised their properties would start receiving services like any other Harare residents.
“Acting city architect Mr Leonard Chirombo explained the regularisation process.
“You need to be allocated to a surveyed stand, the information is available from the surveyor’s office. You need proof of ownership of the land. You need that stand to be on an allocated piece of land which is approved in an approved town planning layout. Once the approved plan is available you are then free to apply for title for the development of that piece of land.”