12 October 2018
Kelly Tafi and Talent Gore
Harare Mayor Councilor Herbert Gomba has addressed concerns raised by Sunningdale residents over land which is located at corner Bishop and Seke road.
This comes after the residents complained that the location is a public space and it is not supposed to be used for commercial purposes.
Simon Mubvute and Owen Tsaurai from Youth against corruption approached the mayor on behalf of the residents.
The residents were arguing that the land is a public space and also a wetland.
The mayor said the city council cannot sell land without going through proper procedures.
“The city council cannot sell land without proper planning. The developer went through all procedures required to develop a certain area.
“The offices you approached first probably showed you an old map because the council cannot sell something illegally.
“Also a public space can be changed to a commercial or residential area for the benefits of the city council,” said Mayor Councilor Gomba.
The mayor explained procedures one should follow before they start developing an area.
“As a city council, I recommend that nobody should be allowed to develop land without approved developments plans from the city or town council as well as an approved document from the ministry of local government.
“Councils are expected to submit city development plans for approval to the ministry. The ministry is not mandated to consult with council which sometimes causes problems in the allocation of land for development in urban areas.
“The land cannot be sold without tender of objection advertised in the newspaper,” he said.
Commenting on the wetland the mayor said: “All wetlands are protected by the law and anyone who intends to put a structure on a wetland must first seek approval from the Environmental Management Agency (EMA)”.