Multimedia: Urban land grab out of control

The on-going land grab by Zanu PF activists appears to have gone out of control in Harare where hundreds of party supporters are parcelling out unserviced pieces of land in high-density suburbs, in defiance of the party’s top leadership.


NewsDay yesterday visited Glen View Area 1, Glen View Area 7, Glen Norah A and Kuwadzana Extension where local Zanu PF officials were allocating residential and commercial stands to supporters.

Picture by Cynthia R Matonhodze
Picture by Cynthia R Matonhodze

In Glen View Area 1 Ward 3B, the open space between Glen View and Glen Norah A flats had been invaded and there was a hive of activity as Zanu PF activists were busy pegging and allocating stands to scores of home-seekers.

Zanu PF beneficiaries were being asked to pay between $10 and $20 for various sizes of properties after vetting to establish their party membership.

some of the residents paying the 10 dollars as deposit in Glen-view yesterday

Non-party members, particularly MDC-T supporters, were being ordered to bring their party regalia for destruction — through burning — in an exercise the Zanu PF officials said would be done in the presence of the Press, before they could be considered for the stands.

NewsDay has over the past week reported similar land invasions in areas including Damofalls, Kuwadzana, Kambuzuma, Mufakose, Mabvuku and many locations in the town of Chitungwiza.

Local authorities have dissociated themselves from the chaotic land grab.

Picture by Hardlife Samuwi
Picture by Hardlife Samuwi

An official from Chitungwiza’s planning and engineering department said council was “aware of the development, but is not involved”.

Contacted for comment over yesterday’s invasions, Zanu PF Harare provincial chairman Amos Midzi said he was not aware of such action by the party members, which action he described as unlawful.

“As a party, we do not condone this. If there is anybody taking a responsibility that is not theirs, they should know they are doing something very illegal. If there are any Zanu PF members or leaders involving themselves, we will take action,” Midzi said.

Earlier this week, Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa also disowned the invaders and said his party did not condone such “silly and corrupt” behaviour.


“It’s false, absolutely false (that Zanu PF sanctioned the invasions),” Mutasa said.

“If anything, we are stopping it. There are people doing it purporting to be Zanu PF. Zanu PF does not do anything silly and corrupt like that.”

Harare provincial administrator Alfred Tome also professed ignorance over the invasions, saying: “We have not been informed. Let me try and find out.”

In Glen View 1, a Zanu PF activist who identified herself as Cde Martha could be seen directing the allocations, moving from one stand to another and calling out allocation priority numbers which she and her colleagues had issued out to scores of home-seekers milling around the area.

Asked how the process was going, Martha said: “We conduct a vetting process before allocating the stands. One has to convince us that he/she is a Zanu PF member who knows our grassroot structures and the party’s values in order to benefit. We also consider opposition party members, but on condition that they renounce their membership, bring their party regalia and we burn them in the presence of the media.”

Sources said local party members met on Tuesday where a resolution to take over the Glen View piece of land was made.

One Cde Chipango was said to be the chairperson of the ward. Efforts to locate him were, however, fruitless as he was said to be away.

Across Glen View 7, in Ward 31, similar allocations were taking place on a site that has, for years, been used for market gardening by residents.

Zanu PF chairperson for the area was identified only as Cde Shinya.

All those that NewsDay spoke to refused to give the full names of the officials behind the allocations, threateningly demanding to know what the full names were needed for.

Over 40 stands had been allocated at the site in Glen View 7 by the time NewsDay got there yesterday morning.

Beneficiaries were being made to pay a non-refundable registration fee of $10.

A similar exercise was running concurrently in Glen Norah Ward 30, opposite the Glen View Area 8 home industrial site.

Here, stands for flea markets, measuring about six square metres, were being parcelled out.

No registration fee was being paid for these stands where one Cde Mandaza was superintending the process.

In Chitungwiza, a Zanu PF “gang” reportedly led by a newly-elected councillor has been parcelling out council land at many open spaces in existing residential areas since last month.

They have invaded open spaces in Units A, C, F, K, J, L and O and also in Zengeza and St Mary’s.

Former councillor for Mabvuku Enias Gengezha last week said the illegal settlement near the high-density suburb had grown significantly since the run-up to the July 31 polls, with the current population illegally living there now estimated at more than 5 000 people.

The illegal settlements, according to residents in the existing council properties, have reportedly affected the value of the legitimate houses.

Residents in areas like Damofalls, Ruwa, where illegal settlers have mushroomed at an area called KwaBob, have complained about the dangers of disease outbreak following the recent “land redistribution” fiasco.

They were also concerned that the value of their properties would be compromised by the haphazard settlements where unscrupulous self-made land barons were subdividing illegitimate stands and selling them for as little as $400 in an area where formally acquired stands of the same size are valued at around $8 000.

Click here
to read NewsDay’s last week story on the issue.

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  1. is this how zimbabwe is going to be governed, by thugs and rowdy uneducated imbeciles, i expect the revolutionary party to deal decisively with these chancers asap

    1. Just bring your $10, never mind the property value for those who toiled and worked for their property, and voila! you have your own stand. No water. No sanitary. Not to mention security risk for the legal residents who pay council rates. Its a health hazard.

      A disaster waiting to explode. The public infrastructure in these high density surburbs can hardly support the current residence. Sewarage block all the time. Water hardly comes out of tap. Electricity paauira magetsi acho. That road out of area 8 in Glen view desparately needs expansion, the illegal furniture manufacturing joint next to the road is a nightmare to traffic flow. Now add the illegal settlers to the mix.

      Mastands ekunogara maMinister enyu mahombe madii kunoita set up ku borrowdale? Kana near the state house at the Harare sports club?

    2. The correct and legal term for these so called land grabbers is Squatters and bulldozer will be coming their way remember murambasvina watch this space

  2. Let’s see your words turn into action cde Mutasa. Why have you not called the law enforcement agents to go in immediately that bellow from your office? If those people were not ZANU PF, would we not have seen riot police, water canons, pumas and dogs there?

  3. We will hold you to your words, Mr. Mutasa! Let’s see how many people will be arrested for this. The President has promised to deal with lawlessness, we want to see order restored and the idiots responsible arrested.

  4. Rega vashandiswe. Mapenzi evanhu.
    They know it that their settlements are illegal and are the first victims of Murambatsvina like in the old.

  5. All these Zanu thugs in Caledonia, Southerly Park. Ushewokunze. Eastview are being used like political condoms and they know it.

    What kind of house ownership is it that does not give title deeds or allow the building of permanent structures.
    All this house ownership gimmick is fake like the Zpf party itself؛‎..

  6. We will see again another Murambatsvina vanhu vachichembera vanmwe vachafa vosiya vana vava homeless padzinoputswa dzimba.Why cant the council be allowed to do things orderly vanhu varikubirwa mari.Hapana nguva vanhu vaputsirwa todzoka pakare paye here nokuda kwe politics ko cholera

  7. Ngozii dzaaMugabe.
    The areas btwn GlenView and GlenNorah is a swamp and unsuitable for any proper house construction.
    Rgm knows very well that his victory was a stolen one and is trying to cause anarchy and madness to legitimize his leadership.

    1. He will die soon then the fun begins when the party starts the bun fight.

  8. We are trying our good hand at building our own form of mikuku! this is independence…we do what we want, we dislike order, we dislike conformity and we have no respect for urban by-lawa! why would we respect urban by-laws when our leader cde Chombo is also busy parcelling urban land to himself without paying a cent to the council? we take after cde Chombo, and he has given us his blessings!…and by the way we wont pay any rates. ours are alredy “cut” from the beginning because we are not in the colonialist books of the Salisbury Municipality!
    We won the elections, we do what we want! to hell with Tony Blair! kkkkkkk

    1. What an uneducated imbecile. With thoughts like that the country will be like Somalia in no time. Time for educated people to get out before the uneducated ones start killing each other.

  9. Glen View Area 1, Glen View Area 7, Glen Norah A and Kuwadzana Extension mune munhu weZANU(PF) here imomo.How many seats did they win.These are political opportunists who use party patronage to advance their destructive cause.Vanhu vari kubirwa mari police yakatarisa.Asi policy is curing is better than prevention.iSHINYAz chaiyo

    1. It doesn’t matter who won any seats. The election was fraudulent so really it doesn’t count. These people who are given any government positions are just fools who have no jobs. Chinotemba becoming an MP is a good example of the educational standards required of the zpf crowd.

      1. To earnestly lead people does not much require one to be degreed.John Major anga anechiiko gara zviya.Ko ivo vane madegree varikuiteiko.How many companies are today managed by degreed people but have been run down asi when a Form Two guy was managing that company it was a blue chip.Let us follow the teachings of Captain Thomas Sankara
        “Sankara was appointed Secretary of State for Information in the military government in September 1981, journeying to his first cabinet meeting on a bicycle, but he resigned on April 21, 1982 in opposition to what he saw as the regime’s anti-labour drift, declaring “Misfortune to those who gag the people!”
        •He sold most of the government fleet of Mercedes cars and made the Renault 5 (the cheapest car sold in Burkina Faso at that time) the official service car of the ministers;

  10. @gorongoza une ma1 ako…@Pudding sando dzako. but you know what I think we have another epworth coming because zanu will want these thugs’s votes come 2018 because that is the only way to secure votes in Harare…for our beloved country, ndoanonzi ma1 manje aya!

  11. ZANU PF, ZANU PF, ZANU PF. Can someone help us by removing this old party of yesterday people. This is what they call empowerment and development. I do not like MDC but i just want anyone who can take off this ZANU PF. Who is taking these $10 and $20? Where are you cde Chihuri? Busy collecting bribes on roadblocks. Please we do not want to start fighting you.

  12. ZPF must denounce these lawless citizens and the MDCT urban councils must move in swiftly to avert disaster. Its not surprising these could be MDCT supporters masquerading as ZPF, so as to discredit the ZPF gorvenment. Remember MDCT was against Murambatsvina. Its an open record that they were advocates for shanty structures to remain in place in the name of skewed human rights. Bata vanhu. We don’t want cholera.

  13. precise mark of a loser this, a bad one if you see what I mean. aint it known such nincompoopery will catch up with us down the wrong side of the road we drive ??

  14. Just like farm grabs in 2000 we watch as this unfold,never to lift even a finger. we wait for the repercussions sepahondo yeminda .welcome soweto scenario .mukuku

  15. The whole country is fu*#ed. Remember never in a 1000 years.

  16. @ Peter, Zimbabwe will never be a colony again; it’s over, mate..

  17. Where is e police? These issues have been reported for some time so y not investigate. It doesn’t need 10 mins to 4n and confirm.

  18. Exactly the Zimbabwe we deserve! Midzi and Mutasa feigning action. Where are Mohadi and Chihuri? Anybody who thinks the police will act against these hoodlums is naive. These squatters wil constitute the ZANU PF urban vote in 2018.

  19. Ko Chombo uripiko, wakadzidzisa vanhu zvemahara hezvoka izvo. Gurukota rinorega matakana akadaro achiitika. It’s ok because that’s what you promised muchikambena. Ingo ziva kuti you are villagising towns and cities.

  20. murambatsvina murambatsvina vanhu ivavo varikutsvaga kusvibisa zita re MUSANGANO wevanhu.kana munhu anetsa batai munhu.

  21. Izvi kaizvi, its definately out of control . We need another Murambatsvina

  22. We need Operation Murambatsvina as soon as posible before it becomes worse than before…otherwise it becomes Zanu Pfocho

  23. Ivhu ku vanhu, regardless of the consequences. It won’t surprise if Electionre-runs are conducted in these areas where the new “property owners” are settling.

  24. Let the people benefit, remember it is the same land that we died for all what is needed is order thus the beneficiaries to form housing co-operatives and engage city council for the right procedure, We have got to remember that 1.these people made the ruling party successful during the election 2.These people are are desperate home seekers 3. The president himself once mentioned of Amsterdam Farm for urban development.

    “any owner or occupier or any other person who has interest and right in the said land and who wish to object to the proposed compulsory (or) wish to claim compensation in terms of the acquisition Act, may lodge the same in writing with the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement
    . . .”

    Mr Mutasa shouldn’t forget that he is a leader because of the same people and his role is to help the people and find ways to restore order to the residents. No to murambatsvina as citizens of the country we are the landowners. Just bring order the people are right now celebrating the victory of the party…. so do not disturb but bring peace and order Mr Mutasa

  25. They have also erected illegal structures in Mainway Meadows, you work up to the noise of an industrial area, noisy generators of people welding, hammers of people making furniture and a snooker club that disperses around midnight, its just an insult to us after building our beautiful houses we do not even enjoy the luxury of sitting on your verandah

  26. Let alone just by our back yards in mainway Meadows there is a cooperative called Mahalape, that is were the people are coming from. So pissed off

  27. I am not even surprised. please don’t be surprised by this because more is to follow. just wait for a moment and see what is coming. people are angry and this time they will show their anger. I once commented on one story well before elections that Zimbabwe if Zanu PF wins is going to be ungovernable. wait and see. its either people will be killed by Zanu PF after the party failed to deliver or it will just leave people to do as they wish. first is land grab and this time it will be land for home ownership and next will be company grab especially mining companies. wait and see what will be done in Chiadzwa. you think people are fools? no they are not fools. people are angry.

    I rest my case.

  28. ko nhayi vakomana hamuna kuteerera zvamakakomekedzewa naPsycho here kuti mukadayi ndiko manje kunohi kumhanyisa rhejimu change agenda under the foreign thoughts ingredient theme inohi kwahi black people are inherently poor? muri kuyoteyiko vakomana kurayivo zvamunoona !!

  29. Mdc guys If you want to legitimise anything fraudukent or illegal you just call yourself a comrade or Zpf even though we know very well that 70% of those beneficiaries are mdc.

  30. This is just another prelude to more chaos, when it stops its impossible to say. This is the price Zimbabweans have to pay when Zanu PF wins elections the cost of which is the breakdown of law and order.
    Its going to be 5 more years of extreme uncertainties which will only impede any hope that there was to an already faltering economy. What can Zanu PF deliver in five years when as a matter of fact it failed to do in the preceding 33 years.

  31. Aah inga maone !

  32. Vanhuwee handione kuti pane chakaipa kuti vanhu vapihwe mastands ini ndinofara nazvo zvikuru kwete kuva nepfungwa yekuva muranda munyika yaunogara!!! Uchifemeswa nekushandiswa uchitenga land ne$4800,wonzi tora land yekuvaka nekamari kashoma wavekuti mathugs… Unopenga kahii asi dai arimurungu apihwa wainyarara….mweya wekutegesa nyika neshuga,pamberi nekupihwa malands ekuvaka nehurumende… Pamberi neteam zanupf…ivhu kuvanhu…vasingadi ngavasiyiwe vakadaro…

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