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Zanu-PF draws line in the sand

by Staff reporter
31 Dec 2023 at 08:51hrs | Views
Zanu-PF has demanded that all illegal land occupations, sale or parcelling out of land and stands, as well as illegal developments, stop forthwith, as the ruling party only supports planned settlements, acting Secretary-General Patrick Chinamasa has said.

In a strongly worded statement released yesterday, Chinamasa warned those who are putting Zanu-PF into disrepute by using its name to carry out illegal activities.

Disciplinary action against some members accused of such malpractices, he said, has since been taken.

"Zanu-PF is alarmed at the mushrooming and proliferation of illegal occupations and settlements on communal, local authority and State land in and around major towns and cities, rural service centres and growth points, and perpetrated by land barons, some of who are masquerading as Zanu-PF supporters and, through use of name dropping, falsely suggest that their illegal activities have the authority and blessings of Zanu-PF. Yet other land barons are using doctored and falsified documents as one of the strategies to mislead innocent stand buyers to part with their hard-earned cash," said Chinamasa.

"Zanu-PF demands that all illegal land occupations, illegal sale or parcelling out of land or stands and illegal land developments should stop forthwith and calls upon law enforcement agencies to enforce the law and bring any perpetrators to book."

The ruling party, he said, fully understands that there is no land that should be considered to have no administering authority.

"Communal land is administered under the Communal Lands Act and is vested in the President of the Republic. State land is also vested in the President and administered variously under the ministries . . .

"Other land fall under the jurisdiction of local authority councils. Finally, there is land which falls under private ownership. Therefore, any occupation or settlement or development of any land requires the lawful authorisation of the relevant planning authority which has jurisdiction over such land."

He said Zanu-PF believes that unplanned settlements are a recipe for future disaster and a town planner's nightmare as they come without the necessary infrastructure.

"It costs more in terms of resources to take corrective measures over illegally settled land," he added.

Illegal activities by land barons were reportedly prevalent in Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces.

In Manicaland, he said action had been taken against five party members over the land scandals.

"Zanu-PF Manicaland province has already taken disciplinary action against the Mutare DCC (district coordinating committee) chairman Mr Yard Binali and a number of his DCC colleagues, namely Brian Marange, Tawanda Ndawe, Webster Mudzimwa and Trust Matima."

Chinamasa said illegal parcelling out of land was taking place along Rusape River, which provides water to Rusape town, but the law-enforcement agents had swiftly stepped in to protect the area.

In Mashonaland West, violence reared its ugly head at some of the illegal settlements.

"Violent clashes over illegal settlements on Lot 4 Somerby Farm left Panashe Timothy Kuguyo, Monalisa Kuguyo, Medial Kuguyo, Kevin Gemu, Agnes Bhero and Otilia Gemu injured," said Chinamasa.

Other farms affected by illegal settlements caused by land barons in Mashonaland West are Penrose Farm (143ha), Lilfordia (660ha), Haydon (744,5ha) Rainham (1 200ha) and Spitzkop (477ha).

Some of the pieces of land at Haydon Farm were earmarked for a school and a hotel.

In Mashonaland East province, he added, land barons were illegally selling residential stands on resettlement farms in Seke district under Manyame Rural District Council's Longlands Farms, Kimcote Farm and Mnandi Farm, which belong to the late Amos Midzi, and Ealing Farm, which belongs to the late Colonel Katuka.

"Also badly affected by the prevailing wave of illegal occupations are villages outside Chitungwiza and most rural service centres in Seke district; in particular, the Dema area has not been spared from the illegal land occupations.

"Under the Goromonzi Rural Council area, illegal settlements have been taking place at Proton Farm, Caledonia Farm and villages in Domboshava and Chishawasha.

"In Caledonia, land barons are selling out land randomly and occupying spaces reserved for schools and clinics," he said.

Also, villagers and village heads have reportedly joined land barons in selling land to prospective buyers in rural areas like Chinamhora and Chishawasha.

Source - The Sunday Mail
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