BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
Government has with immediate effect banned the allocation of residential stands in the Midlands province following revelations that 25 out of 100 dysfunctional settlements in the province were sitting on wetlands.
According to a recent government report, the flooding that occurred in the province, particularly in Gweru, was a result of houses built on wetlands and on land unsuitable for human habitation.
Speaking soon after meeting local authorities over the damning report, Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Larry Mavima warned that council officials who violated the new directive risked arrest.
“With immediate effect, no local authority shall allocate housing stands or allow any housing development on unserviced land,” Mavima said.
“For the benefit of doubt, any councillor, local authority official or private developer who may dare do that shall be arrested and prosecuted for violation of the law.”
He added: “Accordingly, district development co-ordinators as representatives of central government are expected to ensure compliance and implementation of all activities and processes directed towards resolving the issues of dysfunctional and illegal settlements in your respective districts.”
According to the report, 100 dysfunctional settlements in the province were at growth points, towns and cities.
In the Midlands capital, the report noted that land developers allocated stands without council approval. It was recommended that all affected residents should be moved at the expense of the land developers.
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