Harare City Council has decided to rope in the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) for assistance in its bid to drive out illegal settlers from land close to key water infrastructure.
Land barons are reportedly working in cahoots with land developers to sell land illegally to residents in foreign currency without council approval.
Council spokesperson, Michael Chideme, in an interview with the Daily News, bemoaned the practice as it puts millions of lives at risk because of damage to water pipes. He said:
While we have engaged the police on the matter and will be working to ensure that any more developments stop, we also fear for the water pipeline which comes from Morton Jaffray and Warren Control.
We noticed that some of the developments may end up damaging the infrastructure and putting millions of residents out of water supply through building too close to the infrastructure.
Chideme said that this time the council will be merciless and people should blame the land baron, and not the City Fathers. He added:
Whoever is occupying land illegally will be removed. This time there is no mercy. People have always been benefitting from those cries when demolitions occur.
They say that the council is being insensitive but they should understand that the cruel one is the land baron who is selling the land that does not belong to them and duping them of their hard-earned money.
We will not spare anyone. The moment we start recusing people it means that we are distorting the land use of Harare — you are building a church or school where it is not allowed.
We will end up creating confusion and chaos by allowing the regularisation of invaded land.
More: Daily News
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The Harare City Council is an administrative body tasked with providing services for residence of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. Among other duties, the council is responsible for providing clean drinking water, housing and accomodation, refuse collection facilities and health services. Read More About Harare City Council
The Zimbabwe Republic Police is the country's law enforcing and maintaining organ. It was established in 1980 evolving from the Rhodesian Police and incorporated members from both the Rhodesian and the nationalist forces. It operates under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Read More About Zimbabwe Republic Police