Zaka council to destroy rural homes

Battle lines have been drawn between the Zanu (PF) dominated Zaka rural district council and villagers after the local authority resolved to demolish all illegal structures built in and around Jerera business centre.

The move will affect scores of villagers who have been there for decades.

Zaka rural district council chairman Sebastian Musundire said council had given those with illegal structures three months to pull down the buildings themselves.

Any not demolished would be torn down by the council and the owners billed for the work.

“We want to start pegging out new residential stands at the growth point and this means that some villagers have to destroy their homes and pave way for the project,” said Musindire.

Villagers living near the growth point in Musiso and Benjamin villages have vowed to stay put, arguing that the land belonged to their ancestors.

“We were born here and we are going to die here,” said 65-year-old Kiranos

Muyengwa, adding that they would relocate if the council paid compensation.

Zaka central Zanu (PF) MP Paradza Chakona, himself affected by the relocation exercise, blamed traditional leaders, whom he said continued to sell land and resettle people near the growth point.

“I also lost my home in 1984 and some villagers are well aware that they are occupying council land earmarked for the growth point’s expansion,” said Chakona.

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