The revised Regional, Town and Country Planning Act will see land barons found guilty of occupying or illegally selling State land as well as settling people on undesignated places spending five years in prison, while repeat offenders will be jailed for 10 years.
This was revealed by Local Government, Rural Development and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, while addressing delegates at a joint meeting of provincial and district administrators, chief executive officers, town clerks and secretaries in the capital on Friday. Kasukuwere said that his ministry is still working on amending the current legislature. Said Kasukuwere:
With regards to uncontrolled residential developments, the Ministry is working on the amendment of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act to ensure that punitive measures are taken for all those selling land illegally. Where it was fines, we have now said any first offender who illegally sells land and develops it will get a mandatory sentence of five years jail time. There is so much lawlessness in our country and this time, there will be no scared cows. I am saying don’t be bullied by anybody as long as you follow the laws of our country, we will defend you 100 percent. Whether it is a powerful man or woman, if you break the law, we will deal with you. In rural areas, some traditional chiefs are busy settling people on state land and you remain quiet, why? In urban areas it is the same where illegal land barons are selling state land. There are two authorities that are mandated in terms of the law: the state and local authorities.