The ZANU PF-led government has seemingly backtracked on its earlier promise to give title deeds to thousands of informal settlers in areas around Harare and other parts of the country.
Speaking during an election campaign rally in Epworth in March this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that all people who built houses illegally will be given title deeds.
However, ZANU PF supporters in illegal settlements in Harare South were recently evicted from a Crest Breeders International farm that they had invaded.
In Parliament last week, MP for Mufakose, Susan Matsunga (CCC), demanded to know government policy on the issuance of title deeds to women and children in illegal settlements.
In response, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said there are some procedures that have to be done before the title deeds are issued. Said Kazembe:
I remember that in the past few days, His Excellency the President (Mnangagwa) promised that such people will be given title deeds. Indeed, as promised by the President, this is something that is ongoing.
However, there are some procedures that are supposed to be done, like surveys, which will be done by the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry under minister Amon Murwira. He informed us that there are some areas which have already been surveyed.
After the survey, then it will be determined where demarcations are and the like. So I would like to promise you that it is just a matter of time, but I believe that if Murwira was in the House, he was going to inform the House that there are some areas which are already done. What is left after the survey is the issuing of title deeds.
Kazembe then warned council officials who are allegedly collecting money for title deeds from desperate home seekers that they will be prosecuted for corruption.
The majority of illegal settlements in Harare are reportedly created by land barons, most of them affiliated with ZANU PF. They parcel out vast tracks of land with impunity.