Villagers who have settled illegally in parts of Umzingwane, Matabeleland South Province, including close to the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) cantonment area face eviction.
This was said by Local Government deputy minister Marian Chombo in Parliament this week while responding to Umzingwane legislator Levi Mayihlome (ZANU PF).
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Mayihlome wanted to know “when the ministry was going to stop and reverse illegal settlements in communal and A1 settlement areas in Umzingwane.”
Chombo said land barons and local authorities accused of parcelling out land to illegal settlers will bear the cost of eviction and relocation.
She also revealed that an inter-ministerial committee has been set up to resolve challenges related to “dysfunctional” settlements, both urban and communal areas with a view of regularising, demolition and evicting affected people. Chombo said:
In Umzingwane, the areas affected by illegal settlers are wards 20 and 5 where people settled themselves and established an urban settlement in communal and resettlement areas in the Mbalabala area, 40 km from Bulawayo; ward 19 of Godlwayo area where people settled themselves and were given eviction notices; in wards 1 and 2, people were settled next to the cantonment area of the Zimbabwe National Army, the people need to be resettled to safe areas.
We have been going through the 10 provinces to make sure that we identify where all those dysfunctional settlements are.
There is a programme that is being drawn up to make sure that we identify who settled those people there.
Was it the land barons? Was it the local authority or was it us, the Local Government and Public Works ministry?