By Anna Chibamu
IN yet another case of empty promise, housing minister Daniel Garwe says those who illegally occupied peri-urban land will not be given title deeds for their properties despite earlier assurances.
In the build up to Zanu PF’s rally in one such settlement, Epworth, the government claimed it would dish out title deeds to residents there to guarantee property ownership.
But responding to questions from legislators during Wednesday’s question and answer session, Garwe said those not on properly designated residential areas will not get the important land ownership documents.
“Those that fall in the lay-out plans are the ones going to be issued with title deeds. Those that are illegitimately settled are not going to be issued with title deeds,” Garwe said, effectively ruling out the same residents to whom the documents were promised.
“However, suitable pieces of land are going to be identified through the Local Government ministry and given to us. We will then provide onsite/offsite infrastructure, that is roads, water, and sewer. They are now given the stands or blocks of flats that are going to be constructed. Those who so wish will be relocated into the blocks of flats and those who want to build houses will build on stands. That is one part of looking at it,” Garwe said.
He added that President Mnangagwa made a pronouncement a fortnight ago in Epworth, that the government had now started the processing of title deeds in areas which are informal settlements, areas that were created from the 1970s to date which do not have title deeds such as Glen Norah, Highfield, and others.
“These who settled themselves illegally will be relocated to areas where there is a proper human settlement. If you have settled in an area where you are supposed to be building a shopping mall or a road, the government is saying we will not come and demolish your house. However, we will identify a suitable piece of land for human settlement, provide the requisite onsite/offsite infrastructure, allocate a stand to you at an affordable rate and not for free,” he said.
“Once you have moved out of where you are, the government will then come and demolish the house that you have built-in an area set aside for schools, clinics, and hospitals.”