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HCC shelves demolition plans

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Harare City Council yesterday shelved plans to demolish illegally constructed houses around the city and resolved to target land barons instead.

BY RICHARD MUPONDE

Harare mayor Jacob Mafume told NewsDay that all illegal structures would be scrutinised and dealt with case by case, a move which is being adopted by other local authorities
countrywide.

This came amid reports that 20 housing co-operatives in Harare face demolition of their structures which were considered illegal.

Mafume said while prosecution of land barons would be pursued, HCC had shelved demolitions.

“We are looking at the prosecution of land barons first before we re-victimise the victims. We then need to look at the land use of the areas involved and the Harare masterplan. We will look at areas where there are schools, clinics and so on,” he said.

“Then we can proceed in a humane and orderly fashion. We encourage the various stakeholders to approach the city council at the relevant level to plan a sustainable way forward.”

Early this month, National Housing minister Daniel Garwe said government was stepping up the regularisation of informal housing settlements in urban and peri-urban areas in a move meant to bring closure to the issue of illegal settlements.

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