By Leopold Munhende
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa Thursday said issues of people building on wetlands should be “decisively” dealt with, in what could spell impending disaster for illegal settlers across the capital.
Mnangagwa said this while presiding over the burial of two national heroes, Moton Malianga and Ellen Gwaradzimba at the Natioanl Heroes Acre, Harare.
“Our people are urged to exercise extreme caution when crossing flooded rivers, the CPU will continue to assist those affected by high rainfall.
“The negative and costly impact of building on wetlands has been brought to the fore by the flooding of homes in some parts of our urban areas.
“Such practices cannot be tolerated and must be decisively dealt with going forward,” he said.
His warning comes weeks after homes built on wetlands in Budiriro, Harare were flooded, with residents seeing their household property damaged.
Some 134 homes built on undesignated spaces in the same neighbourhood were demolished.
Families woke up to rising water levels in the residential area which is said to be seated on a waterway with all roads impassable for a considerable period until the water levels lowered.
Minister of Housing Daniel Garwe, Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC) Muguti and the CPU toured the flooded area in Budiriro Wednesday to ascertain the level of damage.
Victims will be relocated to safer areas according to Muguti.
“Honourable Minister Garwe, PDC Muguti and the CPU today visited the families who were affected by the floods in Budiriro, Ward 43.
“All the families are going to be relocated to a safe and inhabitable land,” read a statement by PDC on Twitter.
Last year December Muguti’s office urged caution to residents buying stands in case they were not being duped or building on wetlands.
38 more court orders to demolish homes built on the undesignated spaces and wetlands still remain.
Harare has for over a decade been under siege from corrupt land barons taking advantage of a shortage of residential space to dupe desperate home seekers into buying illegal stands on wetlands.