Harare Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC) Tafadzwa Muguti has blasted property mogul Ken Sharpe for reportedly circumventing Harare City Council regulations to construct stands on a wetland in Borrowdale.
Sharpe’s West Properties subsidiary Seatrite Properties is building housing units on what Muguti said was a wetland in wanton violation of council regulations.
The stands adjacent to the Borrowdale Race Course are currently on sale to home seekers.
Muguti, who was addressing councillors and residents associations at Town House recently blasted Sharpe for the developments saying the construction of the stands was being allowed through corruption.
Harare City Council by-laws prohibit construction on wetlands.
“There are people who feel protected by council, in particular I am very worried about developments happening around the Borrowdale racecourse area,” said Muguti.
“I grew up watching those wetlands, you wake up in the morning and there is a grader that is already building roads and you can see that stands are going to come.”
“Unfortunately we have had so much corruption in this great nation of ours over the years such that when I drive around and see people building three story buildings on wetlands I am actually in shock and wonder which blind person from EMA allowed such development,” he added.
“What I have promised your minister is that from now on if there is a wetland that has been given an EIA certificate to build on a wetland, we should allow people to challenge that certificate. We cannot connive in offices and agree at the expense of residents who are on the ground.”
“…We all know that Harare has a greater master-plan, the areas which are wetlands have not been built on for a reason, they were left out of the master-plan for a reason,” added Muguti.
“It was not an omission, it was actually part of the plan that they be left out. There is also the issue to do with large property developers, while they are good for us as a province they need to also be good for the environment.”
City fathers have previously said the council will continue take suitable action in making sure that the remaining wetlands in Harare are protected.
Wetlands are crucial to maintaining water sources.