Shurugwi village heads continue cashing in on urban land


Tongogara – Village heads living in the environs of Tongogara, Chachacha and other business centers in Shurugwi District are moving in fast and selling land intended for urban expansion ahead of Tongogara Rural District Council (RDC), a full council meeting by the local authority heard last week.

Councillors expressed concern that the local authority was losing a lot of revenue as a result.

The councillors accused management of being so inept and paying a blind eye on the illegal activities by village heads. They said the illegal selling of land was most rampant around Chachacha Growth Point.

Ward 19 councilor Brian Chiteme urged council management to be proactive and peg out stands in all areas designated for urban expansion ahead of the village heads. He said this will put a check on illegal settlers who are being facilitated by the village heads.

Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Liberty Ncube appreciated councillors’ suggestions but said his hands were tied because there are a lot of procedures that must be approved by the Ministry of Local Government before council can move in to peg the land.

“Village heads are moving ahead of council in selling land to illegal settlers. We should move ahead of those village heads and peg stands and block illegal settlers from moving in. We are losing a lot of revenue because of this ineptitude,” said Chiteme.

He also advised council to levy vendors by constructing a flea market at Chachacha Growth Point. He said a lot of revenue was being lost by not making vendors pay.

Chachacha Business Community chairperson, Loyalty Mabhonga agreed with Chiteme and urged council to plug any areas causing leakages of revenue.

“Illegal settlers have invaded areas like Marita Village at Chachacha using village heads as conduits. Council should regularize all illegal stands and make them pay to the council so that they don’t lose the revenue. Council should sit down with the village heads and show them the demarcations because at the end they will be a war between villagers, village heads and the council when they try to remove these illegal settlers,” said Mabhonga.

“I have heard what you said but as the council we don’t do things without the Ministry’s approval. The matter of extending Chachacha is work in progress,” said Ncube.

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