By Llyod Takawira
The move by Chitungwiza Municipality to embark on a regularization exercise so as to avoid demolishing of illegal structures has drawn mixed feelings prompting this publication to make an investigation into what instigated illegal settlements. Sources at Head office suggest underhand dealings from top council management conniving with councillors settling people illegally with the plan of regularizing them later.
Council workers who spoke on conditions of anonymity said people who illegally settle themselves in this town have a blessing from head office. According to impeccable sources, the planned regularization is a well-choreographed syndicate happening at the council, whereby the illegal settlers have the blessings of some connected land barons councillors and management to settle illegally knowingly that they will be later are asked to pay a small fine for settling illegally. Regularization exercise is a process by which the local authority normalizes and accommodates illegally constructed residential home structures.
Illegal settlers who spoke to this publication professed ignorance when quizzed on who gave them the permission to illegally settle. Some went as far as threatening to beat this news crew, accusing it of being nonentities. One Masimba from an illegal settlement behind St Mary’s police station in CHitungwiza had this to say “pano takapiwa nemusangano , saka haundibvunze matakanana ako iwawo , chibva pano” We were given this piece of land by our political party so don’t ask me silly questions, get out of here. Some Residents who spoke to this publication raised alarm with the local authority over the land invasions, saying Chitungwiza has been ruralized. A government audit recently conducted showed that there were over 8 000 illegal stands in Chitungwiza .