The Sunday Mail
THE High Court has given Marimba Residential Properties a green-light to continue developing a piece of land between Kambuzuma and Marimba Park in Harare that has been occupied by desperate home seekers since 2002.
The ruling comes after members of the Joshua Nkomo Housing Cooperative had sought a court interdict against the property developer from constructing roads, sewer facilities and other amenities.
Marimba Residential Properties holds a previous court order giving it title to the land and a Government cancellation notice of offer letters to five housing cooperatives — Joshua Nkomo, Mydek, Dzapasi, Wadzanai and Leopold Takawira — that had occupied the private land.
In the latest development, the land owner brought earth moving machines to kick-start road and sewer construction, a move that was resisted by the settlers, who immediately sought an urgent High Court interdict.
However, on Wednesday, High Court Judge Justice Alfas Chitakunye dismissed the bid.
In his ruling in chambers, Justice Chitakunye said “Whereupon, after reading documents filed of record and hearing counsel, it is ordered that: the application be and is hereby struck off the roll,”
The ruling forbids the housing cooperative members from interfering with the development works.
Marimba Industrial Properties has since said it “will not evict anyone, but will seek to regularise their stay through selling them the stands they currently occupy.
“The company wants to stop residents from paying some individuals running the housing cooperatives, but to pay the legal land owners so that we provide them title deeds and develop the area”
The move to develop the area comes as Government is currently regularising illegal settlements that had mushroomed in Harare, after some individuals used political muscle to parcel out land, resulting in the creation of land barons who swindled desperate home seekers.
The dispute over the Marimba land dates back to 2005 when housing structures were demolished by Government before another round of destructions around 2013.
Former Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, is accused of worsening the land ownership issue by assuring the settlers that they would not be evicted.
Last year, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing withdrew offer letters to the housing cooperatives after Marimba Residential Properties proved it was the holder of parent title deed to the property.