ZANU PF denounces land barons, vows to crack down on illegal settlements

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By Reason Razao | Senior Reporter

Zanu PF has condemned the rampant growth of illegal settlements across the country, blaming “land barons” who exploit desperate citizens and claim party affiliation.

Acting Secretary General Patrick Chinamasa, speaking on behalf of Zanu PF, expressed deep concern about the “mushrooming and proliferation” of unauthorized occupations on communal, local authority, and state land, particularly around major towns, cities, and growth points.

The ruling party’s condemnation comes at the back of a series of disasters emanating from illegal settlements including the destruction of illegal houses in Budiriro and Kuwadzana by floods following the incessant rainfalls.

“Zanu PF condemns without reservation the illegal settlements, occupations, parcelling out and sale, or without the permission of the relevant authority,” read the statement.

“Zanu PF’s policy is for planned urban settlements and this can only be done by relevant Local and Central Government Authorities. ZANU PF has never granted authority to any of its general membership including persons who hold leadership positions at any level in the structures of the Party to participate in illegal occupations and land distributions whether as Buyers or Land Barons.”

Chinamasa called on law enforcement agencies to implement the rule of law without fear or favour and bring any perpetrators to book.

“Unplanned settlements are a recipe for future disaster and a Town Planner’s nightmare as they come without the necessary infrastructure such as water, sewerage, roads and electricity and invariably without land set aside for social amenities such as schools, hospitals, clinics, sporting facilities and business centres.”

Recently the country has been battling to contain cholera outbreaks which according to experts are emanating from settlements without proper water and sewage reticulation systems.

The acting SG said it will cost more in terms of resources to take corrective measures over illegally settled land.