Govt to destroy 10 000 houses

HARARE - At least 10 000 houses face demolition in the sprawling town of Chitungwiza, as authorities target illegal structures which were constructed in wetlands and on top of sewer mains.

Chitungwiza, which is now starved of ventilation gaps as land barons parcel out stands for private gain, is faced with acute water shortages traced to overpopulation.

FLASHBACK: Operation Murambatsvina, which left thousands homeless, still lingers in people's minds. The Local Government ministry has ordered the demolition of 10 000 houses in Chitungwiza.

The town’s newly-appointed mayor Philip Mutoti told the Daily News that they have received a directive from the Local Government ministry to raze at least 10 000 homes.

“There is an order that we destroy at least 10 000 houses built  illegally,” Mutoti said.

“The officials said the ‘mushrooms’ should be rooted out. As a new council, we have engaged the town planner who will give us directions and recommendations.”

Ignatius Chombo, the Local Government minister was unreachable for comment yesterday. But, his deputy Joel Biggie Matiza said: “All illegal structures must go.”

He said they were meeting today to tackle the Chitungwiza housing issue.

Chitungwiza town clerk George Makunde said the town has not officially received a specific directive to raze down homes but was dealing with illegal structures.

He said the town was concerned with the illegal structures, saying corrective measures, such as raiding construction sites on illegal places, was already underway.

“The government has said it does not condone illegal structures. As in many local authorities, there is a hive of activity in Chitungwiza,” Makunde said.

“As a council, we have a mandate to stop such developments. We are raiding areas where people are constructing homes illegally. Such structures have to go.”

The operation echoes the 2005 Operation Murambatsvina when authorities demolished illegally-built homes.

Hundreds of thousands people were forced out of Harare houses, with police setting fire on some structures.

A UN report condemned the two-month campaign that saw about 700 000 people losing their homes or livelihoods in the operation.

A UN report said the campaign violated international law, with the UN calling it a “catastrophic injustice” to Zimbabwe’s poorest.

The envisaged clean-up operation could further cripple Chitungwiza since it has to fork out millions of dollars to compensate thousands of victims who fell for the housing scam.

Makunde said they have since been directed by the Local Government ministry to regularise 1 647 houses which were sold by Zanu PF councillor Fredrick Mabamba.

He said council was, however facing resistance from beneficiaries who are against making any further payments for stands they bought for as much as $4 000.

Thousands of houses and businesses were built illegally and the previous administration did not do anything to stop it, he said.

An investigation report on the Allocation, Change of Use, Subdivision and Repossession of Stands by a team appointed by Chombo last year revealed massive corruption in the sprawling town leading to the dismissal of several councillors.

The commission also recommended that houses built on road sites, on top of sewage pipes and those built under electricity cables be demolished.

Former Chitungwiza town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa was this year convicted on three counts of fraud and concealing from a principal, a personal interest in a transaction.

At the start of the trial last year, Tanyanyiwa was facing 10 counts, all linked to his tenure at the beleaguered town that has failed to pay its workers for over six months now.

Comments (28)

The idea is noble. It serves our profession as Town Planners. Councillors and politicians are now busy doing "Town Planning" rendering us uselessness. Even in the Health Dpt, handisati ndamboona munhu wese akabata injection purporting to be a doctor. The Town Planning Profession should be for Planners, period.

Mugo - 16 October 2013

who are planners? do u hv a law which says a councilor/politician can not do planning.its not about who does what but as long as it is in accordance with the planning act not planners' are away from being professionals cdes, get registered otherwise even myself a driver i can as well plan

otilia - 16 October 2013

council does not have a plan thats why people built rubbish there in the first place due to disorder. Now all of a sudden they have resources to destroy those illegal structures after they lined their pockets. the whole lot should be fired and fresh blood brought in.

Khanyis mum - 16 October 2013

Asi Otilia wakatengawo ma stands zvidhura kupenga penga kudai???????? Kana wakatenda wakuwara... sorry but we need order munyika... haikona kungomera kunge hohwa inga mudhara Tsvangson akareva wani.

gabilondo - 16 October 2013

gabilondo, yes people shouldn't mushroom like that, but the problem is the council which parcel out land willy nilly just so they can line their pockets. they are just a crop of heartless leaders

atz - 16 October 2013

Otilia, all councils have their teams of planners they have employed for the purpose. How can you say even if you are a hwindi, you are also mandated to plan? Ndiyo mikonyo isina nebasa iyoyo. Thats why your illegal settlements are being demolished. Learn to shun getting things for free, usually under the guise of soveregnity.

bview - 16 October 2013

Inga Ma1cahiwo hudesperate huya hwakuzoparira .isusu vamwe takaluma mastands KuAmsterdam uko-o- kwakataurwa naMudhara Bob kuti vanhu ngavavake zvavo city council yozotevera ichipedzisa basa ,kureva kuti tisu chete tichasara hameno

Blah Petso - 16 October 2013

Hatcliffe Extension Harare North you were told not to build on unserviced and illegally occupied stands that you invaded for Pilgrims and Alpha Developers chazotsva manje handiti can ask again the questions you used to tell the media WHAT EVICTION now it is on your doorstep

Hatcliffe Ext - 16 October 2013

We need order in the Country. Pasi nelawlessness.

James - 16 October 2013

Zimbabwe Mall is being built on a wetland (is it going to be razed)?

josh - 17 October 2013

Yaah ngavamame. Mayinyeperwa kuti muchapiwa pokuvakira dzimba during the campaign period mukavhota makatsinzina nhasi maakudzingwa zvakare. Muchapuwazve pokuvaka muna 2018 modzingwa soon after elections. Fools

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 17 October 2013

Expose the Land Barons so that they can be brought to book. They duped millions from unsuspecting and gullible buyers. These Barons are well known. Editor do your research and expose these evil politicians

connie - 17 October 2013

If the government is going to destroy illegal structures then let it be done objectively. A hotel/mall being built in Belvedere close to the National Sports was built on wetland. We will be delighted to see it go down as well

Mwana wemuZim - 17 October 2013

The only disappointing part is where noone mentions the Barons involved. Can the reporter also give us an update on the kwaBob situation?

Master - 17 October 2013

this is a noble idea by the council and the minister incharge honourable Chombo ,but before we go to the residential areas we must start with the bottle stores that have been built within the residential areas ,MDC councilors who were running the council did not even care that they were endangering the lives of school going children ,at Huruyadzo Shopping centre there is an mdc complex just 2 metres from a house ,in the complex there is a bottle store everyday they play loud music till early in the morning how do you expect kids to read/study there books and excell in there academics when there is so much noise coming from the complex ,near st marys police station there is someone building another bar only separeted by the road ,CDE Minister please take action

chipangano - 17 October 2013

The idea is noble, but In personally am worried on the manner in which it is going to be implimented.The government is for the people and hence should put put people's safety as first priority. Ther has to be a clear plan of what is going to become of the people whose homes are to be destroyed. like in 2005, Operation garikai should have come first before murambatsvina. I Ngapatange pave nepokuisa vanhu musatin mavaputsira misha yavo for what ever reason.

Don Comforts - 17 October 2013

is this chimurenga number 5 now,

chris bhare - 17 October 2013

its a good thing but if it leave people homeless it will be a bad thing

justice mahlaba dube - 18 October 2013

when the likes of Amos Midzi were defending these mushrooming residential areas they thought they were going to win. Zanu PF for u.

tunga - 19 October 2013

so how are they going to compensate the affected individuals coz this will leave more than 10000families homeless,be serious guys.We zimbabweans are civilisedn but it does not mean we can change anytime . Mukakweira mugomo muchitsvaka makudo munomawana !!!!!!!!

facello - 19 October 2013

so how are they going to compensate the affected individuals coz this will leave more than 10000families homeless,be serious guys.We zimbabweans are civilisedn but it does not mean we can change anytime . Mukakweira mugomo muchitsvaka makudo munomawana !!!!!!!!

facello - 19 October 2013

Daily News investigate how one got a stand initially earmarked for a crèche next to a church and built a night club in Brundish Chinhoyi. Can the original plan be restored as the club makes noise to residents who are 10m away. Come Sunday the church and Night club do compete from morning to late afternoon, vechurch vozo surrender to the loud music. Zero tolerance to corruption, Pamberi ne Murambatsvina Reloaded.

Tsanana - 20 October 2013

Ngazvipwanye pipo should respect authority. those who ar eager 2 build on wetland vanoisa special foundation so zim mall will not be razed. I support murambatsvina full time.

EMRAM IFAN - 21 October 2013

zvavakavasiya vachimbovaka matown planner acho anga aendepi? this is pure violation of human rights. wananchi

49 styles - 21 October 2013

We never bought these stands kubank.i mean the council was the 1 that sold us the stands now you are saying you want to demolish them.Not in this day guys.Lets be serious,just give us our money back Mr So and So.


Zanu chiororo,pamipuwa mastand iwayo handiti maipuwa nemaofficials emusangano vachida vote yenyu?ikozvino vakahwina havachina basa nemi.munotopabva makawachiswa,kunyanya kuda zvakachipa.!

tindo - 1 November 2013

Ah i am supprised these illegal settlers are asking questions now where are we going to go but when you built these structures like in Hatcliffe Ext you were told by the minister do not built on unserviced land after you forcibly occupied stands for 3 developers in that arear these developers where allowed by the ministry to develop the area, You decided to occupy these stands muchifunga kuti makangwara na Zvandasara now mazo sara ndimi i can not imagine 827 complete houses being erased bcz maida ku kaurisa ma developers now it was eviction now it is demolition please read the news papers properly if you think it is a joke city of harare has already beggan in ward 3 in mbare.

HATCLIFFE EXT - 6 November 2013

Ian Smith destroyed houses in Bindura at a place commonly known as Magaba. All the houses were grass -thatched and the destruction was in a spectacular fashion. How did he do it? He first built more than 500 units ranging from one to four roomed houses. After completion, he asked the town superintendent namely Roney to relocate all people from Magaba to Chipadze Township. Every resident had to pass through the new administration office to pick up keys for his/her new house. After all people had been relocated, Magaba was set on fire after everybody was under a 100% better accommodation ! This is how Chipadze was born.

Percy Malunga - 19 February 2016

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