By Libinance Dokora
City of Harare, has issued a stern warning to illegal settlers who have encroached upon open spaces and wetlands by erecting illegal structures.
The city council has made it clear that failure to vacate these areas will result in demolitions being carried out.
Harare has witnessed a surge in the number of illegal structures being constructed, causing significant disturbances within the city.
Numerous suburbs, including Glen View, Retreat, Budiriro, Mufakose, Crowborough, Kuwadzana, Tafara/Mabvuku, Kambuzuma, Warren Park, Glen Norah, Mabelreign, Chisipite, and The Grange, have fallen victim to these land invasions.
The encroachment upon these areas not only disrupts planned urban development but also poses environmental risks by encroaching upon protected wetlands.
In a statement from the City of Harare said that the cases are being referred to the relevant law enforcement agents and City’s Audit Division for prosecution.
“Residents are advised that, Section 49 of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act has no provision for regularization in retrospect of settlements located in reservation sites such as wetlands, institutional and recreational parks,” the statement reads.
The city council further added that the unscrupulous land barons have abused the initiative by the city council to regularize old settlements that suit regularization to dupe home seekers with fake promises of regularization.
“Our Development Control Section now has the database of old and fresh illegal land invasions and will soon deploy bulldozers to remove such illegal settlements in the coming weeks. All the necessary enforcement procedures and logistics are already in place and residents are strongly advised to remove the said illegal structures by themselves or risk the inevitable demolitions.”