GWERU: The government of Zimbabwe has compiled a damning report on the irregular settlements in urban areas within the Midlands province which fingers some land barons for unlawfully parcelling residential stands in wetlands and river basins while others stand accused of not fulfilling their contractual agreements among other issues.
The report accessed by CommuTalk reveals that there are 100 urban dysfunctional settlements at Growth points, towns and cities in the province.
Of these 25 are sitting on Wetlands which resulted in most houses experiencing serious flooding particularly in some parts of the city of Gweru last month.
The investigation report also raises a red flag on 57 stands allocated in Montrose’s Tinshel properties area where 57 stands are said to have been parcelled without a layout plan from the city of Gweru with developers also accused of flouting the Environmental Impact Assessment conditions in respect the 30-metre flood buffer zone.
It further exposes how some land barons allocated some additional 410 stands in Ascot extension in violation of the approved layout plan.
In woodlands, the reports note that though the developer had all the legal requirements, there is need to move three stands that have been affected by flooding.
A recommendation is made in the report that all affected residents be moved and all irregularities rectified at the expense of the land developers.
Midlands Minister of state for provincial affairs Senator Larry Mavhima who met local authorities in wake of the damning report says the days for tomfoolery are over.
“With immediate effect, no local Authority shall allocate housing stands nor allow any housing development on unserviced land. For the benefit of doubt, any councillor, local authority official or private developer who may dare to do that shall be arrested and prosecuted for violation of the law.
“Accordingly, District Development Coordinators as representatives of Central government, are expected to ensure compliance and implementation of all activities and processes directed towards resolving the issues of dysfunctional and illegal settlements in your respective districts,” Sen Mavhima said.
Planned urbanisation and orderly development have been noted as key areas in the implementation of National Development Strategy 1, a government blueprint which seeks to give guidelines on the development trajectory as the country aims to reach an upper middle-income economy by 2030.