GWERU – Following threats by one Mugeza Hove to demolish housing settlements in Hertfordshire following a land ownership dispute with the known land developer, River Valley Properties, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities Daniel Garwe has said no demolition of structures will be effected.
Residents in the area have been living under fear after Hove through his lawyer Thomas Militao claimed he had a High Court order which restored the ownership of subdivision of Hertfordshire of Fife Scott Block to the Estate Luke Hove.
The duo had instantly put an advert in The Herald purporting to sell residential stands on subdivision 1 Hertfordshire of Fife Scott Block in Gweru District of Midlands to those persons who had been offered the same residential stands by applicant.
Demolition of property to those who had not cooperated to their demands had been also threatened through various social media platforms.
River Valley, in an urgent court application challenging the writ said Hove and his lawyer’s actions have caused panic and confusion among beneficiaries of the housing project who “are now viewing it (River Valley) as having duped them in the land scam of sorts.”
All this happened amid the fact that the majority of land owners have finished construction of their homes.
Minister Garwe however made it clear that government is crafting a policy that will see unscrupulous land developers having their permits being revoked to solve any existing anomaly.
“If we are to develop Zimbabwe, we must agree to put a stop to informal settlements. One reason we have such is because of land barons who were supposed to develop the areas but pocketed the money.
“One thing I want to assure you is that we are going to revoke the permits of these land barons. I also want to assure you that no house is going to be demolished. We have the funding to regularise all this,” Garwe said.
“The time for home seekers to continue losing money to greedy land barons is soon coming to an end as government moves in to protect innocent citizens who have fallen victim to such individuals for years,” he added.
Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Senator Larry Mavhima, who was represented by his Director, Cleto Diwa says the province is seized by unscrupulous land barons who have been fleecing people at will.
“We have been having a challenge of housing across the province. The most affected are youths and women. As a result of their desperation, some land barons have been preying on their hard earned money. Honourable minister we want such people to be brought to justice,” Diwa said.
Meanwhile, High Court Judge, Justice Foroma recently ruled that Hove had no basis to evict more than 1000 beneficiaries of Hertfordshire.