Sunday Mail Reporter
CHITUNGWIZA Town Council will soon regularise 15 000 illegal houses and stands that sprouted in the dormitory town instead of demolishing the structures.
The houses were illegally built in St Mary’s, Seke, Manyame, Nyatsime, Unit L and Riverside on land earmarked for churches, schools, cemeteries, drainage systems, electricity pylons and water pipes.
Last week, council had given a warning that it was going to destroy the houses but things have changed for the better for the 15 000 households.
Chitungwiza Town Clerk Mr George Makunde said the regularisation of the properties would boost revenue because the residents were benefiting from council services free of charge. “We have over 8 000 stands and a number of houses that we want to regularise.
“Council will charge US$1 500 penalty for each stand because proper procedures were not followed. Residents have to pay all the required money in line with the laid-down by-laws.
“Some of the affected areas include St Mary’s, Macheka square, structures behind Zengeza Police Station, Manyame Park, Zengeza 5 football pitch, Chivhanga and Zengeza 3. In Seke Unit K, Chirunga along Mharapara Road, Unit G, Unit O and Riverside.
Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust chairperson Mr Marvellous Khumalo lauded council for taking a stance in regularising the structures. “We have been urging the local authority to regularise those areas that do not pose danger to their inhabitants. However, in areas that will cause danger, council should take appropriate measures,” he said.
Chitungwiza, like most local authorities, has seen the mushrooming of illegal houses as land barons have been parcelling out unserviced land.
In April this year, Chitungwiza Town Council gave illegal settlers a 48-hour ultimatum to vacate the areas but the illegal settlers ignored council warning. Council then applied for a court order to demolish the houses but it lost the case.
In 2014, High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi ordered Harare and Chitungwiza to stop the demolition of illegal residential and business properties.
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