By Brenna Matendere
GWERU City Council has embarked on an forensic audit to identify illegal land deals in a development that is likely to expose land barons.
The local authority yesterday issued a notice to people who bought stands in the city in the period 2009 to date and have grievances to come forward and present them to the land audit team at Town House.
“City of Gweru is currently undertaking a land audit and is kindly requesting those who bought stands from Gweru City Council during the period January 2009 to date and have queries relating to the purchase of their stands to come forward and discuss the queries with the chairperson of the land audit at the Civic Centre in office number 361, second floor,” reads the notice signed by town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza.
The development comes at a time when there have been complaints by homeseekers who were sold stands at undesignated areas by land barons and private developers in the city.
Manford Gambiza, the Gweru City Council spokesperson in an interview with Southern Eye, said the audit would cover industrial, commercial, institutional and residential stand purchases.
“We want to see what has been happening in the sale of land. Under industrial stands, we are looking at deals of land in the industrial area as well as the light industry. Institutional stands audit will look at people occupying stands for churches and schools, among others, to see if all was done above board,” he said.
Gambiza said people with complaints regarding how they bought their stands should approach the council by today.
Last year, the then Midlands provincial affairs minister, Owen Ncube, complained there were many land barons in Gweru, who were duping home-seekers and promised to close in on the culprits.