CHITUNGWIZA has given unregistered business operators in the dormitory town a 30-day ultimatum to regularise their operations.
Report by Phillip Chidavaenzi
Town clerk George Makunde yesterday said residents had until April 10 to act or risk council spear-headed demolitions.
“The general public is, therefore, being given thirty (30) days to provide proof that the operations are authorised by council or to pull down their structures and restore the land to its original state,” he said in a statement.
“After 30 days, council will take further action, including, but not limited to, demolition without further references to those not complying.”
This follows reports that several unregistered businesses had mushroomed at undesignated points in St Mary’s, Zengeza and Seke, some of them posing a health hazard.
Some of the businesses that have sprung up on open spaces include, fast food outlets, hair salons, tuckshops, car parks, brick-moulding and carpentry shops.
Makunde said in terms of Section 26 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act (Chapter 29:12) of 1996, undertaking any development without a valid permit from the Local Planning Authority was illegal.
Many of Chitungwiza’s residents left formal employment at the height of the country’s economic crisis and have, for many years been surviving on income-generating projects that saw many open spaces being taken up for business in a free-for all manner. When Makunde came into office last year, residents expressed hope that he would halt the corruption that was now rife at the municipality and ensure efficient refuse collection as well as continuous supply of water in the town.
Chitungwiza recorded the highest number of casualties during the cholera outbreak of 2008.