Local authorities must be involved in the provision of housing

The MDC is a social democratic political party that has always advocated for the provision of affordable housing to all the people of Zimbabwe in urban, peri-urban and rural areas. Indeed, the provision of shelter is a fundamental human right.

Recent press reports have disclosed that the Zanu PF regime has acquired land for the construction of high rise flats and residential stands for more than 250 000 civil servants. Whilst this is a very commendable and indeed, progressive move, it should always be borne in mind that the acquisition of land in both urban and rural areas should be done in close consultation with the relevant urban and rural local authorities.

Evidence on the ground points to a situation whereby the Zanu PF regime is haphazardly and illegally acquiring urban land and parcelling it out to Zanu PF supporters as well as other regime apologists. In fact, almost all major urban areas such as Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru and Masvingo are now being ring – fenced by illegally acquired residential stands that are neither serviced nor properly surveyed. Unfortunately, this chaotic and patently illegal land acquisition exercise has given rise to the sprouting of illegal settlements in these urban areas.

The Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29: 15) clearly sets out the procedure that has to be followed in the acquisition and allocation of land for urban housing. What is currently happening is that the fascist and faction – infested Zanu PF regime is illegally grabbing land on the periphery of urban areas and parcelling the same to Zanu PF supporters without the involvement of local authorities. Little wonder, therefore, that most, if not all, of these new urban settlements are not properly planned. It is now common to have houses and flats being built on wetlands and some other such areas that are not supposed to be used as residential settlements. The recent outbreak of typhoid and other water – borne diseases in Harare and other urban centres can thus be easily linked to this haphazard and illegal allocation of residential stands by Zanu PF land barons. These new urban settlements, besides being unplanned, do not offer any refuse collection and other related supplementary services to the residents.

We are acutely aware of the fact that the crumbling and bankrupt Zanu PF regime is illegally acquiring urban land as an election campaign gimmick in preparation for the make or break elections to be held in 2018.The people of Zimbabwe are very smart citizens and they are not going to be misled and wood winked by a clueless and bankrupt regime that is on its way out of power. The Zanu PF regime has a sordid reputation for being cruel, authoritarian, corrupt, fascist and anti – people.

Civil servants have borne the brunt of the naked lies that are routinely churned out by the collapsing Zanu PF regime. Their salaries are not being paid in time and even up to now, they still haven’t been paid their much – deserved 2016 annual bonuses. Cabinet Ministers such as Saviour Kasukuwere and Ignatius Chombo have managed to build multi – million dollar mansions in Harare obviously through the proceeds of ill – gotten wealth. We challenge these Zanu PF thieves to submit themselves to a lifestyle audit so that the toiling and suffering masses of Zimbabwe can be able to ascertain how these corrupt Cabinet Ministers have managed to construct multi – million dollar mansions at a time when more than 75% of the population are living in penury and abject poverty; surviving on less than US$2 per day.

The MDC calls upon the haphazard and illegal acquisition of urban land to stop immediately. One day, very soon, these Zanu PF looters and land barons shall be held to account.

MDC: Equal Opportunities For All
Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson

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