By Kudzanai Sharara
The ZANU PF Government says it will put an end to irregular allocations of land and development of shanty towns if re-elected in the forthcoming 2018 harmonised elections.
In its 2018 election manifesto launched last week, the ruling party said it will also eliminate all forms of land baronage as well as prosecute all those who abused their positions of authority to fleece unsuspecting home seekers.
According to the manifesto, “ZANU PF will put an end to irregular allocations of land and development of shanty towns by the MDC controlled councils.”
ZANU PF will “eliminate all forms of land baronage and ensure that all land barons and errant council official who fleeced unsuspecting home seekers are brought to account”.
The ruling party is however not waiting until after the elections as President Mnangagwa has already appointed a six-member commission of inquiry on urban land to clamp down on land barons who illegally parcelled out vast tracts of State land across the country.
The commission, led by High Court judge Justice Tendai Uchena, was sworn-in at State House in Harare in early February this year.
President Mnangagwa said the commission would be mandated to investigate and identify all State land in and around urban areas that was acquired and allocated to the Local Government ministry for public development since 2005.
As part of the manifesto ZANU PF is also looking at regularising all urban land allocation, with title deeds being given to all the beneficiaries. This is already part of the land commission’s mandate which is to investigate and ascertain the status of land in terms of ownership, occupation and development, investigate methods of acquisition and/or allocation by current occupants or owners of such land and ascertain actors involved in the allocation, occupation or use of such land.
The manifesto also speaks to the need to realign the service provision standards in all new areas that include water reticulation, electricity, roads and other support infrastructure.
In support of the youth, women war veterans, disabled and the vulnerable members of society for the people, the ruling Party plans to avail more land and houses for urban allocation.
“The urban housing backlog will be dramatically reduced by among other interventions, urgently regularising the tenure of urban dwellers that were allocated housing and commercial stands on peri-urban farms,” says ZANU PF.
In an effort to maximise on space the ZANU PF Government plans to put more emphasis on high rise buildings .
“In line with building a world class economy, future housing development will be upwards.”