LOCAL Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, has blasted local authorities for disregarding their masterplans and at times turning land reserved for schools into residential stands, just to satisfy their bosses’ greed.
By Stephen Chadenga
In a land sales moratorium addressed to all local authorities countrywide, Kasukuwere said he had temporarily suspended land sales in a bid to stop illegal land dealings.
“There has been unwarranted, rampant and wanton sale of municipal land to both individual and private companies or the so-called developers,” he said.
“With or without following proper procedures, change of reservations or use is being effected on land reserved for public institutions like schools, churches and clinics.”
Kasukuwere said the pricing of land was not driven by demand but a desire by city fathers to maintain their posh lifestyles.
In the past years, Gweru was cited among several local authorities that had flouted their masterplans and allowed for development of residential properties on land reserved for recreational purposes, schools and clinics.
“This propensity of pricing land is not public demand driven but intrigued largely by the insatiable desire to raise funds to meet extra appetites more than development,” Kasukuwere said.
“Worrisome most is the absence and non-committal of local authorities to reserve land for public use such as recreational parks, council or government run schools, clinics or other facilities.”
Kasukuwere said local authorities had assumed a spectator role as council land fell into the hands of “mischievous land barons”.