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Illegal land allocation scandal in Kuwadzana suburb spills into court

HARARE — A scandal involving illegal land allocation in Kuwadzana suburb has spilled into the courts, as five people, including a campaign manager for a local councillor and a losing candidate for a parliamentary seat, face legal action.

The city of Harare is seeking an order from the High Court to demolish the illegal structures that were constructed on a property known as Remainder of Parkridge Lot 2, also known as site plan TPX/WR/01/23, Kuwadzana Harare. The city alleges that the defendants, Tauya Mauka, Philip Stanley Mwanawasauka, Brenda Joram, Chamunorwa Zvipe and Arnold Ngandu, colluded to defraud home-seekers by facilitating illegal land allocations in the area.

Mauka competed in the August 23 elections as the Zanu PF candidate for Kuwadzana West constituency, while Zvipe was the campaign manager for Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Harare Ward 44 Councillor Adonia Shoko. The other three defendants are also members of the CCC.

Observes said the land barons’ case has exposed the involvement of some political actors from both the ruling and the opposition parties. The source said the funds obtained from the illegal land allocation were used to finance the political campaigns of both Zanu PF and CCC candidates.

“It’s a mess,” the source said.

The source also said that both the alleged land barons ignored a council resolution that strictly prohibited the regularisation of illegal settlements. The resolution, along with recommendations from the joint environmental and housing committee, called for the demolition of the aforementioned illegal stands.

“The stands in question were supposed to be demolished according to a circular issued by the Kuwadzana District Coordinator and the physical planning department of the Ministry of Local Government,” the source added.

A resident from the Kuwadzana suburb criticized Mauka, accusing him of being a serial land baron. The resident alleged that Mauka had been involved in numerous land scandals in the past, which contributed to his defeat in the recent elections.

“Many Zanu PF party members accuse him of collaborating with the opposition through his association with Shoko,” the resident claimed.

As the court battle unfolds, the illegal land allocation scandal continues to raise concerns about corruption and the disregard for proper procedures in land management.

Further accusations are that the alleged land barons have erected a boom gate at the place where home-seekers who want to view their stands and now have to fork out US$10 as entry fee.

It has since been established that the area whose land was misappropriated was earmarked for residential stands for Harare City Council workers.