The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Reporter
Construction of multi-million dollar infrastructure, including roads, water and sewer systems, has resumed on a disputed piece of land.
Marimba Residential Properties and five housing cooperatives have been battling for the land between Kambuzuma and Marimba Park for more than a decade. Last month, the property developer dispatched earth moving machines to the site to begin construction.
The cooperatives went on to seek a court interdict against the development.
However, the High Court threw out their application. Construction is now being conducted with heavy police presence to deter some cooperative members, who have threatened to defy the court ruling and disrupt progress.
Last week, The Sunday Mail witnessed as the heavy earth moving machinery undertook the works. Marimba Residential Properties has said they will not prejudice the settlers through evictions.
In an interview, Aspindale Park operations manager Mr Michael Swan said construction is going on smoothly.
“Work is progressing well. We are not evicting anyone, we are going with the Government position to regularise the settlement,” he said.
“Our teams are working with surveyors from council and those selected by the residents so that no house is demolished as we do the roads or water pipes.
“We hope to complete the first phase of the works before the rains start falling,” said Mr Swan.
Five cooperatives — Joshua Nkomo, Mydek, Dzapasi, Wadzanai and Leopold Takawira — occupied the disputed land around 2003.
Last year, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing withdrew offer letters to the housing cooperatives after Marimba Residential Properties proved that it was the holder of parent title deed to the property.
The company has since said it will not evict the cooperative members. Instead, their stands will be regularised after the members buy them.
Residents have been paying some individuals running the housing cooperatives.
In recent years, land barons have emerged to swindle desperate home seekers of their hard earned money.
Government is currently regularising some illegal settlements that had mushroomed in Harare, as a result of this.