Development of master plan for Chitungwiza municipality underway
By John Nhandara
THE Harare Metropolitan Province has started developing master plans for opposition-led urban councils within its jurisdiction to save them from imminent collapse due to maladministration and corruption.
The absence of a master plan has been attributed to the rot at Chitungwiza Municipality amid indications that 51 percent of illegal settlements in Harare Metropolitan province are in Chitungwiza.
The rot, fuelled by incompetent opposition councillors who have been key players in corrupt activities, has prompted government and other stakeholders to come up with a master plan for Chitungwiza Municipality to save the local authority from total collapse.
“The master plan takes into account mediation of challenges in Chitungwiza. It also takes into account our social and economic development trajectory. It is very important for local authorities to preserve land for government development projects, but what we have been witnessing is invasion of land by land barons,” said Tafadzwa Muguti, Harare Metropolitan Province Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution.
The master plan will also be crucial for mapping purposes and the migration of Chitungwiza from being a dormitory town into a city.
“We are modernising and redeveloping so we move away from being a dormitory town. The absence of a master plan has resulted in the mushrooming of illegal houses,” said Councillor Kiven Mutimbanyoka, the Acting Mayor of Chitungwiza Municipality.
Chitungwiza Municipality Town Clerk Evangelista Machona said, “It is an inclusive approach backed by a council resolution since we did not have a master plan for more than two decades and this is in line with regional town and country planning act.”
Chitungwiza municipality recently attracted attention for the wrong reasons, after it emerged that some council officials were working in cahoots with land barons to illegally parcel out residential and commercial stands as well as issuing out fake offer letters to desperate home seekers.