CHITUNGWIZA town clerk George Makunde was yesterday forced out of his office by suspected Zanu PF youths protesting against the council’s 48-hour deadline for illegal settlers to dismantle their structures.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
The sprawling town has had perennial problems of illegal settlements that usually end in violence or regularisation of the illegal structure through government intervention.
Makunde confirmed his chasing away from office by the youths.
“Some youths came to my office today protesting against the council’s notice that illegal structures should be pulled down. They force-marched me from my office and out of the council premises saying I was affecting their livelihoods,” he said.
The town clerk said the matter had been reported to the police.
“The council security intervened and secured my safety. They also made a report to the police against the youths,” he said.
Chitungwiza recently published a notice for all illegal infrastructure activities to stop.
The occupied illegal structures are in St Mary’s, Manyame Park, Zengeza and Seke, including on some wetlands.
Land barons, over the last decade, parcelled out and sold State and council land to unsuspecting members of the public.
Said Makunde: “Soon, the council will approach the High Court for an eviction order if the illegal settlers do not move out in line with the notice. We are following the law.”
Meanwhile, the municipality, for the third time inside two months, had its vehicles and furniture attached for unpaid debts.
Yesterday, the Sheriff of the High Court, at the instigation of Nissum, a development design company that drew the plans for the Nyatsime housing project, attached the property.
Makunde confirmed the attachment of property.
“The sheriff attached some vehicles, furniture and plant equipment over a disputed $4,5 million debt for drawing layout designs for the Nyatsime project. The agreement was allegedly signed in 2009 and the council will soon deliberate on appropriate action to take,” he said.
In the previous two instances, the same property was attached by retrenched workers and more recently by MetBank.
The property was saved after the council entered into payment plans with the parties.