Land barons invade Harare’s northern neighbourhoods

21 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views

Suburban

Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter

The once-enviable northern suburbs of Harare, Zimbabwe, are facing a grave threat as unscrupulous individuals take advantage to clandestinely allocate land that belongs to the State or the municipality.

Residents of the suburbs are alarmed at the developments and have taken the responsibility to fend off the invasion and erosion of property values in the areas.

Borrowdale Ratepayers and Residents Association (BRRA) chairperson Mr Robert Mutyasira expressed deep concern about the deteriorating state of the northern suburbs.

“The unethical infractions and relentless attacks on our wellbeing cannot go unchallenged. We refuse to stand by and watch our neighborhoods succumb to such unethical behaviour,” said Mr Mutyasira.

The demand for space in the northern suburbs, known for their upmarket status, responsible residents and well-manicured landscapes, has skyrocketed, attracting unscrupulous individuals seeking to capitalise on the desperation of unsuspecting home seekers.

As a result, covert allocation of land creating a turbulent environment where genuine residents are pitted against invaders is now a challenge.

The reluctance within council corridors to address the growing problem points to a complicit and compromised institution that is harbouring individuals with selfish interests and working in collaboration with land criminals.

Despite the city’s monitoring instruments and capacity, the unchecked activities of the land barons have sowed discord and threaten the sanctity of the northern suburbs.

But residents are not sitting idly and have initiated legal action to challenge the land deals.  Wetlands and recreational parks have been subdivided into stands against the principles of environmental management, and structures are encroaching onto vital water sources and natural reservoirs.

The city’s new policy on densification has been misused to justify these inordinate activities, further exacerbating the situation.

Litigations are either in progress or being considered in Harare East in Ward 18 (Borrowdale, Borrowdale Brooke, Helensvale, Greystone Park, Crowhill, Carrick Creagh, Philadelphia, Hogerty Hill, Quinnington and surrounding suburbs, against the persistent illegalities that have been allowed to thrive with the municipality failing to stamp its authority.

Name-dropping land barons have been operating with impunity, prompting residents to conduct independent investigations into the land deals.

“This fearless approach and attitude is what will maintain the value of our neighbourhoods. If left unchecked, our suburbs will be turned into unattractive locations, diminishing the signs of hard work, class and resources invested in the existing properties,” added Mr Mutyasira.

The BRRA has urged residents to be knowledgeable about their rights and to challenge any infringements while the residents’ body is resolute in its commitment to protecting the interests of the residents, vowing to persist until justice prevails.

Following the outcry over the land deals, a call to action is needed demanding immediate multi-stakeholder intervention to safeguard the northern suburbs from dodgy land allocations.

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