Letwin Ncube, H-Metro Reporter
The Harare Wetlands Trust has condemned the regularisation of illegal property by the City Council of Harare for human habitation.
The regularisation process is said to be done as a way of covering up malpractices associated with planning, land use and construction without following laws and regulations of the city.
HWT project manager, Selestino Chari said they were against the process as it will promote illegal settlements.
“We are actually against the process and we condemn it in totality.
“This trend will encourage land barons to continue acquiring land in wetlands in the hope that council will regularise the shady deals,” said Chari.
Chari also said the council must consult other stakeholders as the process affects many.
“So many wetlands are being invaded and this regularisation process will destroy many wetlands.
“Examples of such cases are in Newlands where New Life Ministries is constructing a massive church building without a development permit on a wetland.
“In Marlborough, a college is under construction without a permit at a residential stand and in Tafara the wetland opposite Lafarge Cement where houses are being built without permission from the local authority.
“The City of Harare cannot regularise illegal developments on their own as this issue falls above physical planning to environmental planning,” he said.
Chari urged the City of Harare to seriously consider other stakeholders’ view when allocating land.
“What mechanisms are there to make sure other relevant stakeholders like the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) will be consulted to give input to the process?
“It is illegal to develop in wetlands and the laws are very clear.
“This process will benefit a few individuals at the expense of more than five million people who will be deprived of their right to water through regularising developments in wetlands,” he added.