No sacred cows in fight against land barons – Mavima

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Gweru -The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution in Midlands Senator Larry Mavima has said there will not be any sacred cows in the fight against land barons most who sold land in illegal and dysfunctional areas.

In his report to the Provincial Coordinating Committee, Mavima identified individuals and organisations implicated with almost all property organisations in Gweru implicated.

The minister said some have already been arrested and more will also face the long arm of the law.

“We have specified land barons implicated in these issues that include River Valley Properties, Tinshel Properties, Emobuild Housing Project, Sheasham Pvt Ltd, Straitions Pvt Ltd, True Destinations Investments, Wackdrive and Zimbabwe Housing Project Trust among others.

“There will be no sacred cows in this fight because this directive came from the Presidium that we should make people stay in habitable places,” he said.

Mavima said a taskforce comprising the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, Special Anti-Corruption Unit and public prosecutors had been formed to investigate illicit land deals and also make sure culprits are brought to book.

“We created this taskforce at provincial level to facilitate the arrest and prosecution of offenders in the whole scheme of illegal and dysfunctional settlements and if you follow the news we are beginning to have results,” he said.

“This is just the beginning, there are a lot who are still outside will be arrested.”

Mavima said the province had been affected by floods which resulted in schools, homes, roads, bridges, clinics and other infrastructure destroyed.

He said Gokwe North had been most affected with 120 houses destroyed.

In Gweru, they realised that most houses affected had been built on unsuitable land, Mavima said.

He said government needs to reorganise Illegal and dysfunctional areas.

“Houses built on wetlands should not exist there, so we visited them and that was also following President Mnangagwa’s comments and policy direction with respect to the reorganisation of dysfunctional and illegal urban settlements,” he said.

“People have taken building material and constructed houses without authority, with some building on riverbanks which results in degradation.”

Mavima said by end of March, the province should have an inventory of the number of wetlands and the number of houses built there.

“We need to identify temporary or permanent places to settle the affected people because the policy states that anything on a wetland must, go but we are not going to just destroy living people in the open because it is not their fault but that of land barons,” he said.

The minister said they had put a blanket ban on the sale of unserviced land in an effort to stop irregular settling of people.

We have identified alternative land for construction of houses, some of it we need to sit down with Ministry of Local Government to work out modalities on how they will be constructed by National Housing Ministry.
New Ziana

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