- Land reserved for schools, hospitals, recreation being sold
- Residents being threatened with beating
ZANU PF youths in Waterfalls Retreat are taking advantage of the COVID-19 lockdown to sell land illegally to desperate home-seekers, Zim Morning Post has learnt.
Residents in the area claim to have written letters to the responsible ministries asking for their intervention to stop the land barons from invading and selling land reserved for schools, clinics, hospitals snd recreational places.
In an interview with residents in the area on Wednesday, Zim Morning Post heard that the land barons had taken advantage of the COVID-19 induced lockdown to sell land to desperate home seekers.
“The places being sold were set aside by both the government and City of Harare for the construction of schools and clinics.
“But the land barons are coming in the name of Zanu PF and disrupting that arrangement,” Antony Muchato, chairman for Retreat Housing Residents’ Trust, said.
Emmanuel Mahachi, Nicholas Hamadziripi,and Gideon Dzitiro, all of them Zanu PF District Co-ordinating Committee members, are said to be leading those illegally selling the land.
“I have many questions on the behaviour of the youths who are abusing Zanu PF’s name to illegally distribute land at a time the country is fighting the deadly coronavirus disease.
“Before the coronavirus outbreak, we wrote many letters to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Member of Parliament for Harare South Tongai Mnangagwa, but no action has been taken yet.
Zanu PF youth deputy secretary Tendai Chirau distanced his party from such anarchy, citing that leadership did not sanction such unlawful behaviour tantamount to a land scam.
“Zanu PF does not tolerate such behaviour from its cadres and the law must take its course,” Chirau said.
A resident, Mercy Munhengwa told Zim Morning Post that youths parcelling out the land were even threatening elderly people who dared question them with evictions.
“We are now living in fear as elderly people from this community are being threatened.
“On Tuesday, we reported the matter to Waterfalls Police Station.
“The police took no action and the youths threatened us further, saying police cannot do anything to them,” she said.
“We have stopped another homeseeker who wanted to construct a house on a piece of land reserved for a school and reported it to the police who again took no action” Munhengwa added.
“These youths are not only land barons but are also sand barons and are destroying the land,” Vengai Shata, a resident of the area, said.
“We also wrote to the Environmental Management Agency but still no action was taken, with rumours circulating that the culprits were bribing those with oversight of the land.
“All the areas which were reserved for dams have now been destroyed and the water table affected,” Shata said.
“Currently, we have a shortage of clean water and residents are going to areas where the sand barons have dug and are forced to pay money so that they access the wells,” Shata said.