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Govt Makes U-turn On Giving Title Deeds To Harare Residents

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has backtracked on its earlier plans to grant title deeds to tens of thousands of informal settlers in and around Harare.

The leader of government business in Parliament Ziyambi Ziyambi on Thursday said the title deeds will be given to certain people, for example, Glen View residents who were allocated residential stands by Abel Muzorewa’s Zimbabwe-Rhodesia government in 1979.

About three weeks ago, Mnangagwa promised to formalise all informal settlers and give the residents title deeds.

He made the pledge just before he launched the ZANU PF campaign for the 26 March by-elections in Epworth, but critics dismissed the decision as mere politicking.

Before the rally, ZANU PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa had announced that 80 000 title deeds would be given out at the rally.

Addressing thousands of residents who attended the rally, but came back empty-handed, Mnangagwa said:

After having seen the situation in Epworth and Harare South, we sat down and decided those who are living in informal settlements should get title deeds.

We have finished the mapping process of Harare South and Epworth. Unfortunately, we cannot give anyone title deeds at this rally as it needs planning.

Meanwhile, Ziyambi, who is also the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister, said the people who will benefit are those who were settled in Glen View 43 years ago. He said:

It is not a call for people to go and invade open spaces, but to say that those that have been in certain areas, for instance, Glen View.

Some of them were settled there in 1979 during the (Abel) Muzorewa era and they do not have title deeds up to now.

This is an exercise to ensure that we regularise and ensure that all those people who occupy houses have title to the piece of land that belongs to them.

… The government is undertaking this project fully aware of what is required of it and the number of households that we need to issue with title deeds.

Ziyambi added that the Government is looking at case by case and merits and wouldn’t want to encourage people to go and build where they have not been allocated.

Energy and Power Development minister Soda Zhemu told parliamentarians that his ministry will not waste public resources to electrify settlements that are not regularised.

Land barons with links to ZANU PF have in the past been accused of illegally selling housing stands to desperate home seekers.

More: NewsDay

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