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Zanu-PF title deed bait fails to materialise

by Staff reporter
30 May 2024 at 08:42hrs | Views
Harare residents have raised concerns about the government's commitment to President Emmerson Mnangagwa's pledge to regularize informal settlements, particularly the densely populated Epworth area, where hundreds of title deeds were distributed just before the August 2023 harmonized elections.

Mnangagwa had promised to allocate over 11,000 title deeds to Epworth residents a month before the elections, and Cabinet endorsed the Kwangu/Ngakwami Presidential Title Deeds Programme Consortium to facilitate this process.

Subsequently, Mnangagwa personally handed out 265 securitized title deeds to Epworth residents and vowed to distribute more during the launch of the program at Epworth High School.

However, reports indicate that only a select few individuals with close ties to the ruling Zanu-PF party received the title deeds, and the government's efforts in this regard seem to have waned post-elections.

According to sources, individuals linked to Zanu-PF, such as land barons led by John Mabwe and Moyo, are causing delays by contesting the authenticity of layout plans and land boundaries, leaving many elderly widows and orphans excluded from the regularization process.

Mabwe highlighted discrepancies between the current layout plan and a map dating back to 2001 when squatters received occupiers' cards, emphasizing the need for proper procedures to ensure equitable distribution of title deeds.

Epworth Town secretary Wilton Mhanda declined to comment on the issue, while National Housing and Social Amenities secretary Theodius Chinyanga requested written questions for a response.

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba was unavailable for comment, as he is accompanying Mnangagwa to the African Development Bank Group 2024 Annual Meetings in Nairobi, Kenya.

Epworth North legislator Zivai Mhetu clarified that residents had received deeds of grant, not title deeds, and explained that development, particularly the construction of roads, needs to occur before residents can receive proper title deeds.

Source - newsday
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