Storm over golf club grab

BY MOSES MATENGA

HARARE City Council has stepped in to stop the illegal parcelling out of land at the Sherwood Golf Club in Mabelreign with local councillor Denford Ngadziore yesterday reporting the matter to the police.

This follows the conversion of part of the golf club into a residential area by suspected land barons claiming political connections.

Ngadziore reported the case to the police yesterday under RRB number 4267732 and immediately threatened land barons that their time was up.

“To those land barons and those who claim to be political heavyweights, their time is over,” Ngadziore said.

“We will never entertain any land grabbing or allocation and planning without the involvement of residents. Residents should agree to any future developments in the ward. Ward 16 residents have been victims of illegal developments for a long time and we have to put a stop to that. We have a duty to develop a smart city.”

Former mayor Muchadeyi Masunda also threw his weight behind the council action to stop the illegal parcelling out of land meant for the golf course through a campaign dubbed Save Sherwood Golf Club Campaign.

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Residents said they were outraged by the decision to turn the golf course into a residential area.

Council has since distanced itself from the alleged land grab.

“As a former mayor of Harare and a past president of the Zimbabwe Golf Association, I would like to throw my weight, literally and otherwise, behind the Mabelreign residents and councillor Denford Ngadziore of ward 16 as they are understandably upset about the retrogressive decision by the City of Harare to convert Sherwood Golf Club into a housing estate,” Masunda said.

He said though the golf club was located on what is undoubtedly a wetland, the establishment of Sherwood Golf Club at its present location has, “from time immemorial, been deemed as a judicious and acceptable use of a wetland.”

Masunda said during his stint as president of the Mayors’ Association for Africa between 2010 and 2013, he had occasion to visit a number of countries and realised the core strengths of the City of Harare was the existence of ample facilities for golf.

“It is, therefore, incumbent on all of us to channel more material and financial resources towards developing as opposed to destroying this core strength,” he said.

He said Zimbabwe should be making the most of “a God-given competitive advantage” including the temperate climate which makes it possible for various sporting and cultural activities.

When NewsDay visited the area, there was no indication of any development on site while residents nearby complained that the golf course itself was in a state of neglect and had turned intohideout for criminals.

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