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Yeukai Karengezeka Municipal Correspondent
The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has ordered all developments in Harare South to cease with immediate effect to pave way for proper planning.
This is in line with a directive that was issued by President Mnangagwa during his recent visit to Southlea Park during a National Clean-up Day.
The ministry said in a public notice that the move sought to clamp down on haphazard developments taking place in the area.
“Notice is hereby given to all residents of Harare peri-urban to immediately stop all construction in the Harare South area,” read the notice.
“This decision has been precipitated by the mushrooming of developments on unplanned areas that include wetlands, institutional stands, commercial sites, roads, open spaces and buffer areas, among others.”
Members of the public have been urged to first verify with the City of Harare or Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing before entering into any land-related transactions.
Any continuation of such illegal developments should be reported to the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the constituency office.
In an interview, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo said freezing developments was the best way to replan the area.
“When you want to do regeneration or redevelopment of an old area like we will be doing in Mbare, in order to do it, properly you must freeze the developments first,” he said.
“This was done in Epworth in 1983 and this is the same thing that we want to do with Harare South.”
He said the process is ongoing, and will be extended to other local authorities where there are illegal settlements.
Harare South legislator Cde Tongai Mnangagwa said the vision was to come up with a city.
“We want to develop this area into a city where we want to build our own town house and civil centre among other structures,” he said.
“This is because Harare City Council is failing to deliver services.
“Invasion of undesignated places was mainly being spearheaded by some land barons, and residents were just victims.
“Those on wrong sites will be relocated elsewhere.”
Harare City Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said the directive confirmed what council had always been saying with regards to settlements in Harare South.
He said the biggest challenge now was to protect innocent residents from being duped of their money by unscrupulous individuals.