There are over 52 000 illegal houses within the province of Harare according to Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs and Devolution Secretary Tafadwa Muguti. Just under half of these houses, about 25 000 are located in Chitungwiza with the rest about 27 000 presumably located in Harare proper. It is not clear in what suburbs these houses are located but in times past houses have been illegally built on wetlands and other illegal suburbs that just sprouted.

Due to the absence of council master plans, land barons, and politicians grabbed the opportunity to amass ill-gotten wealth.

As we speak, dysfunctional settlements are the order of the day in towns such as Chitungwiza. We have over 52 000 illegal settlements in Harare province.

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Some have no documents and some have corrupt documents. In Chitungwiza, we have 25 000.

Government is having a headache trying to clear a mess that has been created by some opportunists who are not even council workers or government officials.

Tafadzwa Muguti

The Zimbabwean government has struggled to combat the issue of land barons who illegally sell land that is not meant to be used as stands or land that does not belong to them. Often it is those who buy these houses who end up losing both their homes and money as the government has demolished some of these houses. The politically connected land barons often get away scotfree