Land invasions in Chitungwiza have seen the dormitory town remaining with only 189 hectares out of a total of 912 hectares of wetland areas.
Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Spokesperson, Amkela Sidange said there is need for a concerted approach in addressing the rot in Chitungwiza.
She was speaking at a community event hosted by the Harare Wetlands Trust (HWT) in collaboration with the Chitungwiza Residents Trust in Chitungwiza.
“Chitungwiza has 189 hectares of wetland areas which are remaining out of 912 hectares.
“We are working on the national wetlands management guidelines as a way of ring fencing wetlands and guarding against invasion,” said Sidange.
Most Corrupt Council
Chitungwiza Town Council is rated amongst the most corrupt local authorities in the country.
Sidange said that Local Environmental Action Plans (LEAPs) in both Harare and Chitungwiza need to be expedited as a way of ensuring sound environmental management and wetlands protection.
“We are working with councils to put in place these LEAP documents which will lead to the enactment of by laws on wetlands management,” she said.
Zimbabwe Old People’s Association (ZOPA) member, Philip Tarambiwa blamed corruption and abuse of political power for land invasions in Chitungwiza.
His sentiments were echoed by Chitungwiza Residents Trust Director Alice Kuvheya who expressed concern that despite numerous cases of land invasions in the dormitory town, the culprits continue to walk scot free.
“We are hopeful that with the necessary support, we will win the war against land barons,” said Kuvheya.
The Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) is on record confirming that they are investigating cases of land invasions which were reported to them by residents associations from Chitungwiza.
The cases under investigation involve mostly councillors and top council officials.