The Government of Zimbabwe is preparing to demolish 3000 houses in Woodlands, Gweru. This will occur once a careful and thorough study of a report presented by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) is complete. The Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Daniel Garwe confirms this.
Hon Garwe toured the suburb last week and reports that River Valley Properties’ work was not approved by the Gweru City Council and EMA. River Valley Properties Private Limited Company has been accused of irregularly developing numerous housing projects in Midlands. The Company’s Chief Executive Officer Smelly Dube at some point in 2019 did not attend a court hearing following irregularities cited by Gweru City Council, Vungu Rural District Council and EMA.
“As a result Woodlands is not only located near a dumpsite but it is in a pollution belt of an industrial area and a larger part of it lies on a wetland. The demolition of the suburb will be anytime soon and the land developer will be responsible for compensating the affected residents. ”
” Government policy is very clear on wetlands and I will be very clear that all houses on wetlands will be demolished. We now need a detailed report on the settlement so that we are adequately informed on whether it is feasible to relocate the dumpsite and leave people here. ”
” Whatever decision we take, the cost will be met by the developer. If we decide to move the dumpsite and leave people which is unlikely, the developer will still meet the costs of building a new dumpsite, ” Garwe said.
This comes after the President of Zimbabwe stated in his address that all land barons that have been involved in shaddy deals and parcelling out land on wetlands will be dealt with.
Following heavy rain in Zimbabwe this season, houses on wetlands have encountered serious flooding problems. Woodlands is on the list of these suburbs. The public is concerned and some ask questions o the development of such properties. Commenting on social media some say,
“Houses don’t just wake up one morning fully built and it is not like you can hide them in your pants. So how come no one saw these and other illegal houses that are to be demolished.”