Zimbabwe: Ccc Councillor Embroiled in Land Scam

CCC councillor for Harare’s Ward 42 in Hatcliffe, Elvis Ruzani, is embroiled in an alleged land scam, accused of parcelling out land earmarked for recreation and schools to desperate home seekers.

Cllr Ruzani, allegedly working in cahoots with land barons and private developers in the area, converted and sold a 3,7 hectare plot in Hatcliffe Extension reserved for the construction of a primary school, into residential stands.

Bus stop and terminus sites were also converted into residential stands and business stands at the watch of the CCC led council.

The Herald has it on good record that bogus land developers and land barons are giving sleepless nights to residents by threatening them with eviction orders for failing to honour their demands.

One of the residents Mr Isaac Chinyanda said land developers were threatening residents with eviction.

“We are forced to pay extortionate charges for non-existence development,” he said.

“There are no roads, no sewer system so why are they evicting us. This is state land.

“We are appealing to the Government to take control of the land so that development can take place.”

The residents were speaking during a tour of the area organised by Zanu PF Zone Harare leadership.

Another resident Mrs Regina Chibanga said there was need for the Government to reign in land developers.

Mr Mahammad Williams said the CCC led council, land barons and developers were making their life difficult.

“Life is unbearable here in Hatcliffe,” he said.

“People are being threatened with evictions time and again. Even residents who have completed building their houses are facing the same predicament.”

Mrs Chindidi Bhariri said most the land earmarked for recreational purposes had been converted to residential stands, while some was converted to church stands.

Harare provincial deputy secretary for Security Cde Willard Govha said the land earmarked for a secondary school was now being subdivided into residential stands.

Most of pupils from Hatcliffe Consortium travel almost 10 kilometres to Glenforest Primary School.

Zanu PF DCC 4 Secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Takura Madziya said they were worried about the number of evictions in Hatcliffe.

“Residents are being evicted from their houses, built some years ago,” he said. “We are appealing to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to consider the plight of the residents.”

Zanu PF Harare provincial chairperson Cde Godwills Masimirembwa said there were three land developers given the mandate to develop the area around 2006 to 2009.

They were supposed to put up services such as roads, sewer and water system, but it seemed they failed to honour their obligation despite the fact that they were collecting money from residents.

He appealed to Government to cancel the development agreements for the developers for failing to develop the area.

“Now they are threatening residents with evictions demanding extortionate amounts of money,” said Cde Masimirembwa. “Essentially, we are appealing to Government to cancel the development agreements for the developers who are operating in the area.

“The developers have caused a lot of pain and suffering to Hatcliffe residents. As a party, we are appealing to Government to take over those developments and let the people deal directly with Government.”

Cde Masimirembwa castigated the CCC-led council, saying it was a disaster.

“They are not a development oriented party,” he said. “The local council is not doing anything, the local member of parliament is also not doing anything. There is complete disaster in Hatcliffe.

“Hatcliffe remains backwards in terms of development. We are confident that the Ministry of National Housing and Rural Amenities and the Ministry of Local Government will clean the rot. We have a tragedy at the moment, with the developers who must be kicked out of the area.

“We have checked with the department of state land and we satisfied that what is going on there does not have the blessings of Government, including the changing of land use, the parcelling out of land meant for schools, for public utilities which have been turned into residential stands.”

The Hatcliffe area has a population in excess of 30 000.

“In some instances, land which was meant for public schools has been converted into private schools,” said Cde Masimirembwa. “We are urging the Government to repose the land for public schools and recreational facilities. There are few public schools in the area.”

Cllr Ruzani is also accused of turning a blind eye to Hatcliffe 3 Primary where the roof is leaking, exposing students to cold weather.

Mr Taurai Mutimbanyoka, a parent with children at the school, said it had become an eyesore.

“Our children are exposed to cold weather,” he said. “This is a school with an enrolment of more than 4 000 pupils. We are appealing for assistance for building material for the expansion and renovation of the school.

“Most of the schools in Hatcliff are private schools, which most of the parents cannot afford.”

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