Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
The City of Harare says greenways are no longer feasible when planning new settlements or developments amid outcries from residents over the relentless invasion of greenways by property developers.
Residents told a Ward 16 service delivery meeting on Sunday that they were concerned over developments taking place on greenways in their neighbourhoods. The residents said they had previously applied to council to be allocated the greenways closer to their properties.
However, council informed them that it was not possible to carry out such allocations as the greenways belonged to the whole community. Later the residents were surprised when council informed that the concept of greenways is no longer feasible in today’s set-up.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Samuel Nyabezi from the City of Harare’s planning department said the city had approved the turning of greenways into residential stands and other uses as they were no longer applicable in today’s set-up.
“The greenways concept is no longer applicable in today’s set-up as we are busy looking for pieces of land we can use. It was approved for greenways to be turned residential. We did a number of studies which indicated that the greenways concept is no longer valid,” said Mr Nyabezi.
He said it is expensive to put up new infrastructure in new unserviced areas hence the rush to identify infill stands in already developed areas.
“It is expensive to start putting up infrastructure in an area which is not serviced hence we are seeing cluster houses being built in many areas.
‘‘Greenways were just someone’s concept and they should not be prioritised as studies have shown that they are no longer valid,” said Mr Nyabezi.
Ward 16 Councillor Denford Ngadziore emphasised that if greenways are to be turned into residential, residents should benefit not land barons.
“Residents in areas which have greenways are the ones who should benefit not land barons. We are against outsiders coming in to stay next to residents on greenways. Residents want their greenways and they have the capacity to develop them,” said Cllr Ngadziore.