Buying a stand-in Harare or any one of Zimbabwe’s urban areas can be tricky business thanks to the fact that Deeds are still very much a paper and hardcopy affair. It is a fact that has been ruthlessly exploited by the so-called land barons. These are usually people in power or linked to people in power who corruptly acquire land and sell it to unsuspecting members of the public. Sooner or later the real owners or the government reveals some anomaly involving your stand, razes your house to the ground, and repossesses the stand, the baron who is connected keeps the profit and gets away with it and lives on to do it again.

This is happening again as the government has issued another memorandum signalling the intention:

REMOVAL OFILLEGAL SETTLERSIN WETLANDS AND LAND EARMARKED FOR
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
1June 2022
There has been a resurgence of land Invasions by land barons In Harare Melropolitan Province wilhlandInvasions taking place In most of our wetlands andland earmarkedIOI’ development projects. Recently land barons Invaded the Monavale flei whichis one of the World acclalmed Ramser sites. Whilst In Mbare land earmarked for the Mbare Urban Renewal Development Projecl (housing complexes and commercial bulldlngs) was
Invaded by space barons who look advantage of the delay In the approvalof building permlts by lhe City of Harare. The Invasions across the Province arelargely lnlluenced by the false belief that lend Invaders will be regularised by Government under the ongoing
land regularisation programme. The office of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs
“and Devolution has therefore es1abllshed a Provincial Task Force comprlslng of the Environmental Management Agency (EMA). the Zimbabwe Republtc Police, City of Harare,Chltungwiza Municlpallly,Ruwa LocalBoard and Epworth LocalBoard to address”
“the menace of land barons. The TaskForce shall remove all illegal land invaders,demolish any ilfegal struclures and arrest allland Invaders as well as the land barons responsible for selling land Illegally. It Is Important to note that Harare Metropolitan Province has a”
Zero Tolerance Policy on Corruption and Lawlessness.

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Letter by Secretary Muguti