Police descend on urban land invaders

68
906

POLICE in Harare yesterday descended heavily and dispersed hundreds of suspected Zanu PF land grabbers who had allocated themselves unserviced residential and commercial stands in the city’s high-density suburbs, turning the capital into a shanty town over the past two months.

REPORT BY JOHN NYASHANU

When NewsDay visited the affected areas in Glen Norah and Glen View yesterday, helicopters were hovering above and there was hardly anyone on site, belying the fact that the places were a hive of activity barely 24 hours earlier.

Glen View residents said the clampdown started on Thursday evening with armed police pulling down the illegal makeshift homes erected at the sites.

The evictions followed this paper’s report yesterday highlighting the extent to which unserviced open spaces throughout Harare were being invaded by suspected Zanu PF supporters under the guise of the party’s empowerment programme.

The most dramatic evictions are said to have taken place at a vlei between the Chitubu area in Glen Norah A and B which stretches for about three kilometres.

“About 20 police officers, armed with baton sticks, came around 10am. They did not say anything and everyone knew it was action time and took to their heels with the officers in hot pursuit,” a resident who declined to be named, said.

“Some were assaulted with baton sticks and many sought refuge in nearby hills.”

Although the invaders had claimed in previous interviews that the programme had the full blessings of the party and was being co-ordinated by local party officials, Zanu PF Harare provincial chairperson Amos Midzi and the party’s national secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa said the exercise was illegal.

They both described the invaders as rogue elements bent on tarnishing the party’s image.

Contacted for comment after yesterday’s evictions, Midzi said: “That’s the way to go. People have to abide by the law and we as a party will continue to support the police as they carry out their noble mandate. Anyone in need of land or who needs access to any resources has to follow procedures and the right channels.”

Harare provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tedius Chibanda referred NewsDay to his superior Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi, who in turn referred the paper to his boss, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, who could, however, not be reached as her mobile phone went unanswered.

When NewsDay arrived at one of the sites in Glen View 1, the area was virtually deserted save for members of Apostolic churches who were in prayer.

Sanity had also returned to Glen View Area 7 where a market garden operated by residents and a non-governmental organisation between the suburb and Glen View 1, had also fallen prey to the invaders.

Only two women manning the makeshift Zanu PF satellite office were present when NewsDay arrived.

Sources said local party leaders, who on Thursday were collecting $10 as registration and administration fees from homeseekers, had since stopped doing so, pending a meeting scheduled for today.

The sources said the police visited the site on Thursday and warned the organisers to stop their illegal activities.

“More than 20 homeseekers today (yesterday) went to the home of one of the leaders (name supplied) trying to register, but he turned them down, saying there were developments which would be clarified at tomorrow’s (today’s) meeting,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.

At yet another open space between Glen Norah A and Glen View Area 8 home industries, the makeshift office that had been erected had been destroyed by the police after they chased away the activists.

“They (police) arrived around midday, wielding baton sticks and were in an uncompromising mood. Apparently, the police officers had come yesterday (Thursday) and warned them (Zanu PF activists) to stop their illegal activities, but they did not take heed,” another eyewitness said, adding that many were assaulted and had to flee.

The illegal occupations of urban land started in the run-up to the July 31 elections.

Similar invasions were recorded at open spaces in Chitungwiza’s Units A, C, F, K, J, L and O and also in Zengeza and St Mary’s.

Former Mabvuku councillor Enias Gengezha last week said the population of illegal dwellers near the high-density suburb had grown to 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 and posed a health hazard as there were no ablution facilities and tapped water.

It was not clear by the time of going to print yesterday if police arrested any of the invaders or the ringleaders.

68 COMMENTS

  1. ¿UN PAIS SIN LEY? The situation is exacerbated by the rural to urban migration. The Govt should create a conducive environment so that foreign investors could set up their industries in rural areas. Whats needed here is love and forgiveness. Sit down with western countries and iron out your differences.

    • The government of Zimbabwe respects the rule of law, criminals must be punished regardless of political party affiliation. What we are seeing in Glen View and other areas in criminal activity, and the police are doing their jobs. Zimbabwe is a democracy!

      • @scotv – “The government of Zimbabwe respects the rule of law”! You must be absolutely insane you fool. Zimbabwean police have been complicit in the intimidation of people (voters) up and down the country and you say they respect the law? A government formed out of a fraudulent election and you say they “respect the law”? Do you mean the law of the jungle? I am sure you meant the law of the jungle not the law that decent citizens know. Zimbabwe is a lawless country. Urban land invasions are just a manifestation of this lawlessness. It all started with farm invasions in the year 2000 by paid ZanuPF thugs called war veterans.
        You cannot put the words “government” and “respect” and “law” in one sentence when you refer to the very corrupt government of Zimbabwe.
        You must stop using words or phrases that you do not understand like “Zimbabwe is a democracy” – a democracy is not where vulnerable voters are threatened with death if they do not vote for ZanuPF.

        • Which is the fool: the one who is angry at the government for ordering the arrest of criminals or the one who is commending the government for ordering the arrest of criminals?

          • There is no democracy in Zimbabwe.

            actually these people where bused into Harare to vote for ZANU PF.
            I do not blame them. They were given $10 each.
            Now that elections are over they are being chased like dogs.

            Its unfair because its some politicians who are exploiting others taking advantage of their poverty

        • @musona

          iwe mupfanha waMuzoo iwe wakutinetsa. Dai zvaitwa neBSAP waiti ndovagoni vebasa. Dai vatumwa naMuzoo waiti ndizvo. Zvekuti Muzoo akaruza 1980, uye mabhururu ake akaruza futi 2013 hazvirevi kuti erekisheni yakabirirwa mupfanha.Ndokuruza kwacho ikoko. Even panorwa vanhu umwe akadashurwa ukamuti unobvuma here kuti wakiiwa chaizvozhaizvo uye waamupfanha unonza achiti ahwina nekuti ange achibata. Stupid! Saka iwe wanga uchida kuti vanhu ivavvo vagobviswa nemapurisa atumwa negovernment ipi yacho? Yevakaruza? Vasisirimuboxing ring? Kuti zvigodii. Kana ndiwewo, ukaona Government yaSmith ichida kupa madirectives iyo yakaruza kare-kare handiti ndokupenga ikoko? Ko wekuruza zuro awa? Ndowaunofunga kuti is legitimate futi?

      • The government of Zimbabwe does not respect the rule of law and never has. They have allowed zpf supporters to rape, torture, kill people for the last 30 years with impunity, so don’t come now and try to tell us they are a law abiding party. They are murderers and thieves themselves and will always be so.

        • @ Peter, you are absolutely right, the government of Zimbabwe does not respect the rule of law and never has! That is why Tsvangirai was given the maximum sentence for the trumped up treason charges, also why Philip Chiyangwa got away with selling state secrets, he never spent a day in jail! Poor Tsvangirai, only if the courts were fair he will still be with us today. Mugabi must go!

    • @Willard – you are spot on – rural to urban migration is the cause of all this nonsense. The rural voters misunderstood ZanuPF’s indigenisation policy. They think it meant doing as you please. In Zimbabwe there is no restriction in where one lives. For some black rule starting in 1979 meant living where you liked. The white governments were right to restrict people’s movement from rural to urban areas. Everything was orderly, there were very few shanty towns, councils were able to plan adequately for their populations because they knew how many people they were dealing with at any particular time whereas nowadays the Harare City Council, for example, hasn’t got a clue how many people it is catering for. And then ZanuPF added to the chaos by their gerrymandering during the recent election to try and neutralise the dominant MDC voters in the main urban areas by creating unplanned dwellings for ZanuPF supporters in the peri-urban areas.
      At present foreign investment is out of the question – there is no foreign investment in Zimbabwe’s urban areas let alone in the rural areas. What is needed right now is change OF government not the present clueless power-hungry clowns.

    • Arrest the invaders and put them in cells at the police station for a few days, then get them to clean the yard, cells and toilets before leaving!

      • Johnny Rotten: quite correct and in fact all prisoners in any jails should be responsible for keeping that jail spotlessly clean. In other countries they do not have cleaning services in to clean the jails, the inmates clean it every day.

  2. Even the area next to the bridge on the Bulawayo road pane chisign chakanzi welcome to Harare patove nemacabin houses. Mamwe maresidents emuKuwadzana Extension votoda kurwisana nevanhu varikugara ipapo hanzi tinotodawo mastands tiri vemusangano isu. Iam reliably informed kuti icooperative yakatenga area yacho.

  3. Where is the minister of environment? Is this not what he should be ensuring that open spaces remain just that. Or does he not understand his job description. Or is he still in shock after being demoted? Urban planners should lecture him on why we need open spaces in cities?

  4. This is what happens when zpf fools after being used and not paid now resort to taking for free. Ko kugara kumafarms zvarwadza? They should be preparing land for soon it will be summer.

  5. this explainz and justifiez e riggin….probably this pple who wae involved wae bused in2 e sunshine city or near by areas, afta votin probably some usin fake voters slips, ey started invadin land az ey wae promised by eir masterz az pay back but nw afta eir masterz won, ey wae betrayed az ey send e police 2 hit em and herd em home, probably on foot since no bus waz send 2 get em home….obviously some of em re brain washed by propaganda urban dwelerz wh want, ”zvinhu zvemahara, mucheka dzafa”

  6. zanu pf is just suffering the consequences of the rogue behaviour that they encourage. party members think they r a law unto themselves! all stemming from the fact that they see the same behaviour from zanu pf leadership! zanu ndopainoshaisha, hezvo vanhu vongogwarira zvemahara! zvokwadi pfungwa iyi ichanetsa kugadzirisa.

    • @Minister, thanks for the highlight bt correctly put, SA will never be like Zim in that situation bcoz they follow up their illegal inhabitants with their RDP projects which is better than nothing. you shud see how most of those Mikuku areas are being converted into decent surburbs.

  7. Can the police also intervene to the place adjacent to Unit O Chitungwiza, There is a new clustered shanty settlement there. It has affected the value of the legitimate houses and posed a health hazard as there is no ablution facilities. We do not have water running on our tapes and these settlers are threatening our health environment.

    Chitungwiza

  8. Believe me, this is the beginning of another Murambatsvina and this time i think 95% of the population support such restoration of order.
    Lawlessness is contagious and should be contained before it shifts to other unspecifiable targets.

  9. that operation must be carried without fear or favour especially in chitungwiza mapani ese apera mvura ikanaya panoita disaster and those pple will blame gvt yet ivo vakavaka panofamba nemvura. yes tinoda pekugara but lets not be greed by taking areas that are not suitable settlement.

  10. Where is the gvt and urban planners in all this? These people are invading all urban open swamps. Not good for the environment.
    Also do we need to wait for the rains to watch disaster unfolding.
    Someone stop this asap.

  11. thank you so much law enforcement agent. To ZANU PF party leaders , lets be organised so that these criminal elements do not tarnish the emage of the party. Soon and very soon, if we are not carefull, squarter camps will emerge and obviously becomes a source o crime that may become uncontrollable as it is happening in SA. Tibaijuka will quickly find a genuine reason to further the sanctions justification

  12. These were the people bussed during the election. They completed their mission and must go back home empty handed. Zanu-PF chiwororo.

  13. @scotv – “The government of Zimbabwe respects the rule of law”! You must be absolutely insane you fool. Zimbabwean police have been complicit in the intimidation of people (voters) up and down the country and you say they respect the law? A government formed out of a fraudulent election and you say they “respect the law”? Do you mean the law of the jungle? I am sure you meant the law of the jungle not the law that decent citizens know. Zimbabwe is a lawless country. Urban land invasions are just a manifestation of this lawlessness. It all started with farm invasions in the year 2000 by paid ZanuPF thugs called war veterans.
    You cannot put the words “government” and “respect” and “law” in one sentence when you refer to the very corrupt government of Zimbabwe.
    You must stop using words or phrases that you do not understand like “Zimbabwe is a democracy” – a democracy is not where vulnerable voters are threatened with death if they do not vote for ZanuPF.

  14. Zpf has to act fast on these people and many other illegal cooperatives before they become the law themselves.
    Soon It shall be difficult to remove them once they start building structures on that illegal land

  15. Im truly zanu pf but i think this shows cde chombo hev failed pliz dont say vanhu vezanu vanoda zvemahara there is a group of zanu pf supporters who ar vry lazy some of us we sweat &i doubt very much if these pple ar true zanu pf they jst want to tarnish the image of our loved party

  16. zanupf must implement housing policy because shelter is a human right to everyone they must follow their fellow liberation paties like anc to build houses to the people for free to avoid caos because many do not afford to pay rents so it is their durty to se that everyone have somewherte to stay and despence from politics of threat. and many people have loose their properties in their socalled murambatsvina and fail to benefit from operation garikai because of those greedy oficials wich call their self comrades .

  17. mhembwe rudzi kuzvara mwana ane kazhumu,we will back and surely history will always repeat itself u aint see nothing,watch this space.

  18. @Willard – you are spot on – rural to urban migration is the cause of all this nonsense. The rural voters misunderstood ZanuPF’s indigenisation policy. They think it meant doing as you please. In Zimbabwe there is no restriction in where one lives. For some black rule starting in 1979 meant living where you liked. The white governments were right to restrict people’s movement from rural to urban areas. Everything was orderly, there were very few shanty towns, councils were able to plan adequately for their populations because they knew how many people they were dealing with at any particular time whereas nowadays the Harare City Council, for example, hasn’t got a clue how many people it is catering for. And then ZanuPF added to the chaos by their gerrymandering during the recent election to try and neutralise the dominant MDC voters in the main urban areas by creating unplanned dwellings for ZanuPF supporters in the peri-urban areas.
    At present foreign investment is out of the question – there is no foreign investment in Zimbabwe’s urban areas let alone in the rural areas. What is needed right now is change of government not the present clueless power-hungry clowns.

  19. EHE ehe nhandi makomuredhi inga wani takati indegenisation yemhando yapamusorosoro iyoyo ichiri widely available and relevant mumatondo umu sezvo tsika nehunhu zvisingabviri kuti itambike mubani ramavavarira hamunyare ?? Kudondo !!

  20. Thats the problem of our gvmnt of centralising everthing in harare. WE ARE ALL COMING TO HARARE TO STAY BECOZ NDO KWEGA MU ZIM KUNE BUSSINESS

  21. HANDITI MAITI BHORA MUGEDHI,RIKAROHWA SHORT REKWA ESROM,RIKAGOWA HARO YIKAFARA VAMWE VAKASUWA. ASI HAMUNA KUTARISA KUTI GEDHI RACHO HARINA NET.AND NOW BHORA RAKABVA RAENDA KUNZE KWE STADIUM APA NDO REGA RANGARAUYA KUMUTAMBO………………………………………………………BATAI MUNHU BOYS

  22. ZPF must be careful not to create a monster that it will struggle to keep tamed. By allowing these illegal settlements ZPF will create a much more bigger problem. We need order please.

  23. They are talking about the anarchy in towns but ignore the havock caused by illegal tobacco farmers along the Harare Mtare highway.
    All the magestic gum trees along the highway are being axed for cheap firewood.

  24. You are right keystone.
    Anarchy is nationwide.
    There are no more trees along the Mtare highway. Whoever is doing the illegal cutting has no plans for the future. Such trees were originally grown for timber and not necessarily cheap firewood.

  25. They are banking on past precedence set by the party itself.
    Most of these thugs have robbed murdered, raped, killed all in the name of politics yet the police, army, cio and party has been giving them a green leaf and in some cases leading such criminal activities.
    Now they want the big one and the same party who sent them are now disowning them.
    Sheer dishonest.
    LET THE LAWLESSNESS AND CHAOS PREVAIL. WHO IS IT WHO HAS BEEN OBSERVING THE RULE OF LAW IN THE FIRST PLACE?

  26. ‘That’s the way to go’ Midzi says. So rule of law means beat them up, use ZRP and terrorise the so called ‘landless’ or ‘stand-less’, Zanus;s strategy. When MDC supporters are burnt off their homes, it is political, they will not intervene. Rule of law my foot. Guys you were taken for a ride. You will be allowed to invade in ‘2018, if you survive the economic meltdown.

  27. Handiti Mushaninga weMurambatsvina waiva nechinangwa chokuti kuvakwa kuve kwakarongeka mumadhorobha, zvino kana vanhu vave kuzvichekera minda & stands vegani pachine kurongeka here? Zviya paye patakati tinoda kutonga kwemitemo taireva kuti zvirongwa zvose zviitwe pasi pemitemo pasina mumwe wedu anoti ari pamusoro pemitemo yenyika. Kana tazvibvuma kureva kuti hakunai chero munhu ari pamusoro pemirawu yenyika nyangwe iye wacho agere panyanga kuHarare anofarirwa kutonga zviri pasi pomurawu.

    Kumuzinda hakuna weko.

  28. let them run to the hills. thats where they belong, makudo evanhu ajaira kungomera kunge hohwa. nxaaa
    on the other hand, zanu is in a cache 22. they better deliver on their promise or 61% of the country which they claim to be their supporters will march to state house demanding their share of land, mines, companies, banks etc etc

  29. they drim today tomorow action ndohunhu hwavo useless pple who stil frm their belongings matzvi evanhu vauraya nyika kungotora chabuda hapana mumapuraz chirimo chino vangani vari kudiridzira zero kumirira yedenga isiko gore rino

  30. The biggest problem in Zimbabwe is that property rights are not respected. The land grabbing has the potential to go urban, some organized groups in the future will use poverty to grab houses in Harare, because they saw it happen once and as they say history always repeats itself.
    Our leaders are running a very extractive country without any pluralism. Poverty will not be eradicated by moving manufacturing to the rural areas, instead the entire institution of politics has to change. The leaders simply adopted Rhodesian oppressive leadership style and look at the status quo “biggaz – ikiwa”. The country is just not inclusive enough and even with diamonds the fact is that poverty will prevail or even be worse. The situation will change after a few wars and democracy will come in 100 years time- look at germany they have gone through poverty and tyranny, but the institution of politics changed.

  31. the point is missed that the land is there and available in abundance all around government farms that shangwingwi idzi regard as their own burial sites. gadzirisayi zvinhu izvi early so that akazvitanga can be made to finish it by creating hundreds of thousands beneficiary jobs potentially there and awaiting !!

  32. lets hope this isnt a publicity stunt by a certain desperate minister whose gone ideologically bankrupt that he wants to showacase his powers by abusing and punishing unsuspecting ignorant citizens. Order them to invade land and later play the Hero. i smell a rotten fish here.

  33. the Zanu Pf thugs are willing dogs,they chase and catch the hare and their master kicks them in the belly.They whimper and limp along,catch another hare,get kicked again and again and again.The majority of them are semi literate pitiful people who wallow in abject academic poverty.They can not seperate political campaign language from reality.let them get booted to hell and back by the black boots,they deserve every kick in the butt.Come next election they will be willing running rabbid hounds once again.bravo black boots football club,keep kicking those fools.

Comments are closed.