By Daniel Itai, Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe
Linda Masarira, leader of the Labour Economists and Afrikan Democrats (LEAD) political party, has come out against the current ‘illegal structures’ demolitions that are being conducted by the municipality.
“For too long our people have been taken for a ride by presiding officers at both national and local government levels. First it was the chaotic land reform wherein the process of reclaiming farming land was highly politicised during the Mugabe era ignoring the fact that we are all Zimbabweans before politics and therefore what unites us is greater than political institutions.
As LEAD, we have noted with great sadness the current on goings in our local councils and municipalities where the Chitungwiza Town Council has resolved to demolish what they are referring to as illegal structures. We cannot blame the victims because of council staff and Councillors corruption and incompetence simply because they are the ones in charge.
Zimbabwe is for everyone and so we need to treat each other fairly and in a respectful and dignified manner.
How much does the council spend purchasing vehicles and refueling the same? What is the purpose of having Municipal Police when you can’t detect illegal land sales right on time? Land clearance cannot be done overnight so can we have a sincere explanation from council officials as to how these so called illegal developments were done without them noticing and acting?
Furthermore, Zimbabwe is a constitutionally democratic country whose Bill Of Rights clearly gives all persons the right to life with dignity, how can one live with dignity when their right to shelter is being violated? There is no justification whatsoever on people being on the waiting list for too long when land is available.
It can be deduced that council officials prolong the process of getting stand allocations so that land barons can take advantage of unsuspecting stranded members of the public.
The most barbaric thing whatsoever is to have a council led by officials who took oath of office after being voted for by the ordinary citizens turn against the same people and pay a blind eye to their plight. It is everyone’s wish to own a place called home before retirement. Considering the current economic turmoil it can be agreed that the process of building a reasonable structure needs ample time hence why the run to bogus dealers.
In a bid to solve these issues there is need for political will and being truthful to ourselves, Zimbabwe is for us all. So everyone deserves a fair share of it. Council must put in place mechanisms that can detect and deal with illegal land acquisitions on time and not wait for innocent people to start spending their hard earned monies in fake land deals. There is real need for us to protect civilians and decisively deal with land barons and corrupt officials.
The case of Insiza North Villagers must inform Council to deal decisively and reasonably lest the citizens will have no choice except suing them for violating human rights.
Moreover, without compensating the victims of the bogus land deals in full value, Council must suspend it’s Demolition Order. We need to do away with these laws that seek to undermine other people’s reasons for existence on earth. We are all people and so class or status must not be used to undermine others,” said Masarira.