Land barons stall Chivhu town status

Nyasha Musambasi

Chivhu – The conferment of a town status on Chivhu has been stalled by land barons who took over large swathes of land in the urban settlement which they are now unable to develop.

Chikomba Rural District Council (RDC) Chief Executive Officer, Buleni Chiwara told a recent meeting of the local business community that Government can only grant town status on Chivhu when the settlement is enjoying infrastructural development.

He said that the local authority made mistakes in the past by allocating land to land barons without testing their financial capability to develop it.

This approach would change in 2021 and a land audit will be carried out and all land that has not been developed for a long time would be repossessed by the local authority, said Chiwara.

The business community had complained against large tracts of land which were acquired from council but remained undeveloped.

“We made errors in the past by selling land to developers who do nothing to develop our district. This must come to an end. Beginning 2021 we are focusing on the development of Chivhu and our aim is to get town status and this can only happen when there is infrastructural development,” said Chiwara.

Undeveloped stands and those that have had uncompleted structures for a long time are in the process of being repossessed, he said.

“We are repossessing land given to pseudo land developers. A team that will be investigating stand owners and how they got the land. The stands will be repossessed if they don’t have the right documents. We are putting in place very strenuous measures to ensure development of our settlement,” said Chiwara.

Meanwhile informal traders who had their illegal tuck shops destroyed during a cleanup campaign will be relocated to a place that is near Philjen Lodges said Chivhu town planner, Norman Maoneni.

“We engaged Government and there is one hectare piece of land about 100m from Philjen Lodges where sheds will be built for all informal traders to operate from. We are still waiting for the funds but as soon as they are disbursed we will start the constructions,” said Maoneni.

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