The government is mulling plans to forcibly evict thousands of people who have settled on undesignated land in a move meant to restore wetlands and council land.
Harare Metropolitan Affairs minister Oliver Chidawu said that those who know that they settled illegally should move away or they will be removed by force. He said:
We have to be bold and tackle the issue of illegal settlers, but we are going to do it with a human face, we are asking all those who know they are illegally-settled to move out on their own.
If they fail to do that, we are going to remove them by force. We can’t allow these illegal settlements because they are a threat to wetlands and cause massive pollution to our water bodies.
It is estimated that more than 10 000 homesteads in Budiriro, Crowborough, and Kambuzuma were built on illegally acquired land and face demolition.
Most of the “beneficiaries” were reportedly given the stands by ZANU PF-linked land barons during campaigning time over the past several years.
Chidawu’s utterances bring back to mind the catastrophic humanitarian crisis instigated by the government in 2005 when 700 000 Zimbabweans were left homeless after their homes were razed to the ground under “Operation Murambatsvina”, which when loosely translated means “drive out the filth”.
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