THE Government has assured the nation that no houses except in extreme circumstances will be demolished as the Second Republic is committed to seeing people with requisite shelter.
National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe told The Herald yesterday that as far as the central Government was concerned, there would not be any demolitions as President Mnangagwa last year gifted Zimbabweans, specifically urbanites, with title deeds.
“As far as we are concerned, no house will be demolished and any communication to the contrary is misleading. Indeed, anything contrary to that is fake news. That houses in Arlington Estate will be demolished was not the correct position,” said Minister Garwe.
This comes after Harare Metropolitan Province Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Tafadzwa Muguti, had earlier said developments in the Arlington Estate Phase 2 and Retreat areas fell in the airport red-zone and could be demolished.
Last night, Mr Muguti further clarified that the Arlington development should never have been allowed, but corners were cut in the old dispensation, resulting in houses being constructed in the red zone.
He said in its current state, Arlington Estate would not be demolished, but the proposed second phase, would not be accepted.
“I would like to set the record straight that we will not be demolishing existing structures that you see in Arlington Estate,” said Mr Muguti.
“However, should Arlington Estate continue to be hard-headed and not cooperate with authorities, the provincial Government structures, cooperating with the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and cooperating with the Airports Company of Zimbabwe, then it still remains the point that should they proceed with the development of Phase 2, which they have already been notified of, then those houses would likely be demolished.
“On the Retreat side, there are people who had been wearing party regalia, some of them forming fake cooperatives, running around pegging stands with their feet literally, and selling those stands. We have since dispatched people there and those residents of Retreat chased away Government officials with stones, so we have taken a bold stance and a position that all illegal housing developments within the red zone of the airport should be removed.
“This is a no-go area and we will not accept anyone who makes themselves a local authority and parcel out land.
To those people who are so desperate that you are now going to build your house within the fence of an airport, you should go and get your money back because we are not going to compromise the Civil Aviation Act, we are not going to compromise national security, we are not going to compromise the safety of the aviation industry, because you have decided to break the law,” said Mr Muguti.
He added that some private players own land within the red zone, but they stand to be guided by the CAAZ and are supposed to build temporary structures, if it is industrial structures, so that they don’t interfere with the aviation industry.
In a statement yesterday, one of the property developers in Arlington Estate, Mr Eddie Charangwa, who is also the business development and marketing manager of Leengate, said the company developed properties in strict compliance with the law.
“The development by Leengate at the Corner of Harare Drive and Twentydales Road is being implemented in accordance with laws and by-laws of the country and is in full compliance with all regulatory bodies and has never been a contested issue.
“As Leengate, we bought the land directly from Ministry of Local Government and was issued with title deeds. We subsequently applied for and were issued with a development subdivision permit by the City of Harare. In addition, we were issued a consent letter by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe. The development also has an Environmental Impact Assessment certificate from the Environment Management Authority (EMA). Roads, water, and sewer approvals were done by the City of Harare,” read the statement in part.
“Leengate followed all the laid down procedures and protocols which are in line with land acquisition and development and is in possession of all necessary documents mentioned above,” said Mr Charangwa. – Herald