Diana Nherera Suburban Reporter
HARARE Mayor Councillor Jacob Mafume says council through a resolution must reverse the impending pegging of housing stands at Sherwood Golf Course in Mabelreign.
This follows revelations by Ward 16 Councillor Denford Ngadziore, at a recent residents meeting, that some developers had been issued subdivision permits for land on the golf course. Cllr Ngadziore said the permits were approved by council paving the way for the pegging of stands.
But Cllr Mafume told residents that a resolution can be passed to reverse the approvals.
“There is a procedure for rescinding the resolution so that we don’t allow those houses to grow from this point to that point.
“And we will engage the Ministry so that we will have to stop and that is in our control and we will do it,” he said.
Cllr Mafume said there’s need for greenways to be best left as they are.
“Let’s try as much as possible to keep them as greenways.
“I think that is our policy.
“We will try as much as possible to keep them as greenways. If we do anything to them, I think as a community, you can decide that that there should be any changes to that policy. The people in this community get first preference so that we protect ourselves from developments.
“There might come other people who don’t care about what I am saying.
“So you can lock that thing by saying if you are going to do something about those greenways, let’s give people in this community the right of first refusal so that they are consulted and told.
“If they are unable, it goes to other people so that we have a theoretical and practical solution so that if it’s written, he (Cllr Ngadziore) can push a resolution in council. We can support that resolution so that anyone who violates that resolution, you can then take to court and say you were supposed to give us the first offer and if we can’t, other people can come and take over,” he said.
Cllr Jacob Mafume said they have prevented the issuing of subdivision permits on Warren Hills and Sherwood Golf Courses.
“We don’t want Warren Hills because we were not paid anything by the person who now claims to be the owner to get that land.
“I don’t know about Airport Road. As far as I am concerned, Airport Road is a national road.
“They should take care of it. It’s not the city’s problem so we cannot give 200 hectares of land for a project that is not ours. We need to keep it as a waterway. So we will resist that as much as we can,” he said.
Residents at the meeting expressed concern over illegal developments in Mabelreign and blamed council for being silent on the problems.
“They are building on top of a sewer system. How do you allow such a thing to happen?
“I have gone to complain and I have written complaints but nothing happens. We are not saying that those developments should not happen but we are saying planning should be happening,” said the Mabelreign resident.
Cllr Ngadziore called for unity in the fight against illegal developments.
“Mabelreign land up to Marlborough is under threat.
“Everyone is looking for land here and that’s why rentals are high in this area as compared to other areas,” he said.
Cllr Ngadziore said he has 100 circulars in his office of people who want to demolish and convert their current houses and build flats.
“And I said are they going to approve each section without having site visits and consulting residents because this has a lot to do with infrastructure development as sewer and water can be overwhelmed.
“But here is the problem; a person coming to me with subdivisions is the owner of a property.
“So as long as you are not united in this fight, it is also going to be difficult because residents who would have been consulted are tenants and as a councillor my hands will be tied as residents would have been consulted.
“So there’s need for a collective effort to see what we can do otherwise by 2030, we will have over 30 000 (housing) units from 6 000 units,” he said.
Cllr Ngadziore gave an example of a developer building almost 20 flats on one stand on Westminster Avenue in Mabelreign.
“But the danger is the underground infrastructure. Some existing houses do not have water and our children also require houses so we should try to balance.
“So the way forward should be the residents’ agreed position as a community,” he said.