By Munesu Nyakudya
People whose houses were demolished by Council or destroyed through flooding in various parts of the country will be relocated to various designated farms, a government official has said.
The Deputy Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities Yeukai Simbanegavi said government would relocate those who had illegally built on wetlands and suffered flooding.
“It is unfortunate that as a nation we have people who have built on wetlands and other undesirable places.
“However, we have decided as Government that we will not let these people suffer despite the misdemeanours of people who sell land to people illegally.
“Government has put in place this human settlement policy to make sure that people who have suffered this misfortune will be relocated to new farms that have been identified by the Government, through the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Local Government, working together with the Ministry of National Housing.
“So far we have identified about six farms and these will be considered for those people who have suffered the recent natural disasters by having their houses flooded.
Simbanegavi said government has a policy that is in place to ensure that all those people that are living in wetlands that have had their houses also demolished by recent council activities will be resettled in new places, either temporarily or as we progress we will be accommodating them permanently on some of these places.
“The Government has a policy for those that have been displaced by natural disasters.
“I must say, recently Cabinet passed a resolution with regards to those that have been affected especially in the human settlements.
“As the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, we also have a new human settlement policy that is going to be launched very soon.
“This one would also be tackling issues of people who are going to be displaced by natural disasters especially those that have been allocated land in wetlands and other undesignated areas,” she added.
Thousands have been displaces from their homes following massive flooding in areas such as Chitungwiza and demolitions in Budiriro.
Chitungwiza Council has also promised to demolish over 11 000 illegally built structures.
Citizens and civil society organisations have questioned the authorities’ belated involvement in issues to do with illegal allocation of stands as many residents have been swindled of their money by land barons.