By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is livid over the blemish on the party’s legacy created by high-ranking government officials and Zanu PF-aligned land barons, for the chaotic allocation of land in urban areas, particularly on wetlands.
Mashonaland West provincial affairs minister, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said Mnangagwa was determined to restore sanity and bring culprits to book.
She made the remarks Wednesday at Cooksey Hall in Chinhoyi while addressing various stakeholders on illegal land settlements.
“President Mnangagwa has said there are no sacred cows in this exercise. Let it be known to the party leadership in particular, that His Excellency is appalled by party members’ links to this scourge and he wants all the bad apples that use and abuse the name of the party to be flushed out.
“We want to be known to be a party of high standards and dealing with this mess will set us on the right trajectory. I am encouraged by this bold approach by our leadership to get this exercise underway,” she said.
Added Mliswa-Chikoka; “Rest assured that painful as it will be, this operation will be carried out, we will restore back sanity and set better standards of the 21st Century that dovetail with Vision 2030 and as Mashonaland West province we have to hit the ground sprinting.”
In the last quarter of 2020, Mnangagwa formally received a detailed report by the Justice Tendai Uchena-led commission of inquiry into the sale of State land.
Mliswa-Chikoka said the report painted a grim picture of the state of affairs in allocation of the finite resource.
“The Justice Uchena report expressed massive maladministration in the allocation, management, administration and placement of home-seekers across the province. The report painted a very grave picture on how our desperate home-seekers were being abused…People must be resettled and this must be the land barons’ tab.
“Sadly, most of the towns in the province were also found party to the scourge of this pervasive corruption characterised by the complete flouting and breakdown of command and control on planning, processing and emplacements on urban settlements.”
The practice has greatly affected desperate home-seekers, an already overloaded infrastructure, on public health systems, water bodies and the general environment, she said.
The provincial minister said perpetrators of these malpractices included office bearers who are in fact sworn in to prevent such vices as well as criminals claiming links to high-ranking officials.
All ministries, governments departments, and agencies have been instructed to work together in order to stop the rot, and to reassert planned human settlements and growth of towns and cities.
Culprits responsible for parcelling out land illegally would soon be prosecuted, said the minister.
“Those who broke the laws and by-laws on urban settlements should be brought to book without fear or favour. Rest assured land barons and associates will have their day in court.
“The long arm of the law will be applied without fear or favour to bring to book those who were involved in the illegal allocation, management, administration and emplacements of home-seekers in growth points, towns and cities.”
The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) was challenged to create and adopt a complete and environmentally-friendly provincial master plan that is futuristic, modern and well-planned.