By Ndatenda Njanike
HUNDREDS of desperate home seekers have occupied land where Chitungwiza Town borders with the Manyame Rural Council hoping their illegal structures would soon be regularised by the council.
Last month, the government said it would formalise all illegal housing settlements not built on unsuitable land like wetlands as the state moves in to sanitise an illegal settlement crisis in most urban areas created by land barons and other corrupt local council officials over the years.
Taking advantage of the government’s undertaking, the sprawling town of Chitungwiza has seen in the recent weeks seen a new surge of dwellers setting up illegal structures on the boundary between the municipality and Manyame Rural Council.
However, the town council has warned the settlers to move away as the local council will not regularise the settlements but that they instead be prosecuted for illegal occupation of council land.
“Chitungwiza Municipality observes with concern unbridled illegal developments in its area of jurisdiction particularly in areas where it shares its boundaries with Manyame Rural District Council,” acting town clerk Evangelista Machona said in statement Sunday.
“Members of the public are, therefore, warned against dealing or buying stands from some unscrupulous elements in the mistaken belief that such transactions shall be entertained or that such illegal developments shall be regularised.
“Council notes with deep concern the increased attempts by some individuals to illegally occupy and develop stands within Chitungwiza Municipality on the pretext that their illegal structures will be regularised,” she added.
Machona said the local council would take appropriate action on all illegal structures within its jurisdiction and the illegal occupants risked losing their cash and will also be prosecuted.
“Any occupation and development thereof of a stand without the express authority of council is illegal and will be treated as such. The administration of land wholly rests with council, no housing co-operative (s), individual or group has anything to do with land administration in the said areas. Please note that council does not operate through agents.”