Minister reads riot act to land barons

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

LOCAL Government minister July Moyo has warned land developers in the Midlands province that the long arm of the law would soon catch up with those allocating residential stands on unsuitable sites, such as wetlands.

Addressing stakeholders at a devolution meeting in Gweru on Friday last week, Moyo said there are land developers who are building houses on undesignated land in the province without the knowledge of local authorities.

He specifically singled out an area near Midlands State University (MSU), where home-seekers were allocated residential stands on a wetland.

“There are some people who are just building houses on undesignated places without the knowledge of council and this is rampant in urban areas,” Moyo said.

“For instance, here in Gweru near MSU there is a housing scheme which allocated people land close to the river and other wetlands. We can’t allow that. In Midlands province this has been happening in Shurugwi, Gokwe, Zvishavane and many other towns. Those who did that will be dealt with. That is why there is a commission.”

This is not the first time land developers in the province have been warned against building houses on undesignated sites.

Moyo revealed that government disbursed about $42 million to local authorities in the Midlands from the $310 million budget that was set aside as devolution fund.

“I would want to announce what has been allocated to each and every local authority in the province,” he said.

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