Harare South has been slammed again with new land scandals especially Churu Farm with reports that some suspected land barons are illegally issuing out stands to home-seekers without council’s authority and have since built structures where prospective home owners are paying for rightfully.
Those who have already settled are being asked to pay $15 each on the pretext that council would regularise their stay in the area.
Tonderai Muchemwa, who is the alleged mastermind of the illegal act, has been accused of forging local councillor Tendai Katsaira’s signature and details which he went on to use on posters where he threatened residents to pay or risk losing their stands.
Councillor Katsaira yesterday said residents at Churu Farm approached him after the alleged land barons demanded that they pay money for regularisation.
“I addressed them and told them not to pay money to individuals or cooperatives,” he said. “I told them that Government had outlawed cooperatives and council was now using pay schemes. They erected a structure where they are collecting money, forging the city’s logo.
“I have since made a forgery report against Muchemwa at Glen View Police Station. Some of the people are claiming to be land developers approved by council, but they could not prove their claims.”
City corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme yesterday warned home-seekers against making any form of payment for council land to third parties.
“There is a ban from Government stopping cooperatives from collecting money from residents because there is going to be a re-organisation of all these settlements where people are illegally settled,” he said. “Continuing to take money from people is cheating, it is thieving because what is that money going to work on?
Mr Chideme said council had given enough warnings to home-seekers and it was the correct time for people to desist from paying through third parties.
President Mnangagwa recently signed into law the Land Commission Act, paving way for the establishment of a commission that will advise Government on land management and carrying out periodic audits following rampant abuse of land, especially in major cities.