Museum of African Liberation in land ownership wrangle

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  • lawyers urge President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Government to use the Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10) to dislodge land owners


Businesses and individuals who acquired land, from Harare City Council, which has now been earmarked for the construction of a museum, by Government, are set to be dislodged by force through Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10), Zim Morning Post can reveal.

This comes as there are manoeuvres for Government to take over the piece of land adjacent to the Harare Heroes Acre, more so after President Emmerson Mnangagwa on December 3 held a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the Museum of African Liberation in Harare aimed at documenting the liberation struggle of the continent.

Mnangagwa held the ceremony as Government and Institute of African Knowledge (INSTAK) met legal challenges from various individuals, cooperatives and businesses that bought the piece of land from Harare City Council years ago.

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INSTAK, a group of people with a military background responsible for promoting military artefacts, has now written to Government advising that it invokes the compulsory acquisition statutes and offer it the said land under national project status.

INSTAK lawyers are of the legal view that “the chances of opposing the urgent chamber application filed by Zvidozvemagamba Youth Housing Co-operative are slim for now.”

However, INSTAK legal advisors – Ngwerume Attorneys at Law – told their client in a letter that the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should proceed by way of Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10) and the Constitution of Zimbabwe (Amendment No.20) 2013.

“Kindly note that from a legal point of view, we believe that our acquisition falls short of the legal requirements. As a result, we expose ourselves, the Ministry, City of Harare and by and large, the government itself to the multiple of litigants and bad publicity. We believe there is need for diplomacy and tact in handling the matter,” Ngwerume lawyers advised.

INSTAK buttresses their lawyers’ perspective by writing to the Chief Secretary to the President urging the same.

“Reference is given to on-going processes that are to lead to the construction of the Museum of African Liberation in Zimbabwe. Both the Government of Zimbabwe and INSTAK have met legal challenges from various persons, cooperatives and businesses that claim ownership of parts of the identified land,” INSTAK CEO Kwame Muzawazi said in a letter to the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda dated December 10 2020.

“Due to the numerous litigation cases now being brought before the courts, INSTAK proposes the invocation of constitutional and legal statutes to enable Government to acquire the land in terms of compulsory acquisition procedures,” he continuous.

“The museum is a project of national and international significance and measures are now necessary to legally protect the project, the office of His Excellency the President and the country from malicious publicity and frequent litigation – whether frivolous or bona fide.”

The letter in Zim Morning Post’s possession is titled ‘motion to invoke compulsory acquisition statutes pertaining to land for construction of the Museum of African Liberation.’

Beneficiaries of the vacant pieces of land had already distributed the land among themselves, including installing water and sewer reticulation services.

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