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One person was arrested yesterday after police raided an area in Hatcliffe, Harare, where people were being illegally allocated residential stands on State land.
A former Zanu PF councillor for the area, Mr Naboth Munyengera, is alleged to have been behind the illegal sale of the land to unsuspecting home-seekers.
The home-seekers were allocated stands after paying an initial US$600 deposit.
When The Herald visited the area yesterday, police officers had cleared the area.
Chief Inspector Gilbert Mhaka from ZRP Borrowdale confirmed the arrest of the unnamed individual at the scene.
“When we arrived and they saw the police vehicle, some of them sped off while others ran away. We only managed to apprehend one person at the scene who indicated that he had been invited for the allocation of stands.
“So we are making some follow ups to find out who was allocating those stands and we hope the man we have arrested will assist us in investigating who is behind the allocation of stands,” said Chief Inspector Mhaka.
A resident in the area, Mr Kurai Hope, said Mr Munyengera was behind the illegal land sales.
“People are paying US$600 as deposit and are allocated stands thereafter. Last week, Zanu PF Harare provincial chairperson Cde Godwills Masimirembwa came here and warned people against buying stands because it is State land, but people continue to pay for the stands,” said Mr Hope.
Mr Munyengera could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Cde Masimirembwa dissociated the ruling party from Mr Munyengera’s activities.
“As the ruling party and Zanu PF Harare Province, we dissociate ourselves from Cde Munyengera’s land baron activities. We have repeatedly warned him against selling State land but he has refused to listen,” he said.
Harare Provincial Development Coordinator, Mr Tafadzwa Muguti, is on record saying it was against the country’s laws to construct houses haphazardly, adding that Government was working tirelessly to uproot the menace of land barons.