The government says it plans to resettle urban dwellers who built homes on wetlands and riverbanks to prevent a repeat of what happened in Chitungwiza on Friday.
A heavy torrential downpour hit the town, located about 30km south of Harare, resulting in floodwater flowing into hundreds of houses.
Speaking during a tour of houses affected by the floods on Saturday, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said:
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We want the population to understand this and even those who are in these areas (Chitungwiza): We want them to come forward and say I think we are settled in the wrong place.
You don’t regularise a person who is sitting in a wetland, you can’t. You don’t regularise someone who is in a stream.
So when we are talking about regularisation, we are saying let’s move those people who are in wetlands.
Moyo urged the affected residents to approach authorities and explain how they got the stands and avail proof that they indeed paid money to the council.
National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe said the Government will no longer regularise structures built on the illegally acquired land. Said Garwe:
Those are the areas which we are saying we are going to look for experts to ensure that they are serviced.
But there are land barons who are taking advantage of that and are parcelling out land in the middle of the night and telling people to build quickly because the Government will come and regularise.
We are not doing that anymore; the Government is saying no.