By Anna Chibamu
NEWLY-elected Harare South legislator and nephew to the state President, Tongai Mnangagwa has vowed to block any attempts by authorities to raze down homes built on illegally acquired land in his constituency.
He was speaking to state media soon after being sworn in as legislator Wednesday afternoon.
“My constituency has a lot of illegal settlements. Residents need title deeds for their properties,” Mnangagwa said.
Harare South is populated with residents illegally settled on council land by Zanu PF politicians past few years with accusations the beneficiaries were party followers brought to the peri-urban land to dilute the opposition’s stranglehold on urban constituencies.
However, a lot of questions have been raised over the legality of the properties amid concerns over poor sanitation and title.
City authorities have threatened to raze down the houses but this has generated a lot of controversy among both politicians and rights defenders.
Mnangagwa is under fire for parcelling out land in the area at a fee.
In his comments, the new legislator declared no homes shall be demolished during his tenure.
“No houses will be demolished and I will help everyone in my constituency to put their paperwork in order.
“Children must inherit their parents’ properties when they die but without title deeds, it is not possible,” he said.
During campaigns for the July 30 elections, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga warned former Zanu PF legislator and now opposition politician Shadreck Mashayamombe he was going to be prosecuted for illegally selling land to home-seekers.
He then told residents in the area the new Zanu PF administration had plans to mainstream the properties with a view to introducing proper service delivery.