Uproar as businessman erects shop on top of Zesa, Telone cables
Harare City Council (HCC) is embroiled in a land dispute after a businessman erected a shop on top of Zesa and Telone cables in Warren Park.
A business man identified as Mr Chisango, is reportedly constructing a shop on top of ZESA and Telone cables adjacent to a Warren Park 1 main road and Total service station.
Destroyed Telone cables are lying on the ground while a large area part of Warren Park has no power due to the excavations.
Furious residents claim they have gone for several days without power and accused City Fathers of targeting Warren Park 1 in illegally allocating business people land.
HCC Finance and Development committee councillor and Warren Park 1 Councillor Tichaona Mhetu told residents that due processes were followed in awarding land to the business man.
“Dear residents, I can confirm that due process was done in the allocation of the above land.
“It went through committee stage, and proceeded to full council and 21 days of advert in a national newspaper was done and observed.
“Under normal circumstances objections to any proposed development should be raised within that period where planning issues must be raised.
“The above process is preceded by circulations which consults all service providers like roads, Telone and ZESA,” he explained.
However, ZESA Holdings’ distribution arm, ZETDC’s officials told residents that power outage was caused by a front end loader excavating at the disputed land.
One ZETDC supervisor who preferred anonymity told this publication on the ground that electricity cables where wrecked during the construction.
“We have our cables under this piece of land which have been destroyed and now we just have to move them probably a meter away.
“We have to be establish the part where the cable is affected then fix it so that residents get some power,” he said.
Member of Parliament for Ward 15 Shakespeare Hamauskwa said:
“I visited the area and surely the cables are damaged.
“I had an opportunity to listen to the residents as well as checking a few issues with ZESA and those partly overseeing the construction process.
“I have already started consultation process with relevant officials. I agree with the residents that construction be halted until the critical issues are resolved.
“Although we are happy that the ZESA people are on the ground they are saying maybe electricity will be back tomorrow evening,” he said.
Locals have drafted a petition which they said will be submitted at Remembrance Housing Department, the Minister of Harare Metropolitan, DA Warren Park, Local Government and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) today.
“We are having electricity problems because of the land being sold back door by Council officials.
“They dug through electricity cables and many people tried to buy that piece of land but they were told kuti hapavakwe.
“Now we no longer have electricity, we should take action against them,” said one aggrieved Huntly Mhondiwa.
Outspoken resident identified as Mr Mututa claimed the court order needs verification:
“We have read of fake court order before and we need to be sure of these protocols which the Councillor is alluding to.
“We cannot rule out that some people could have been given bribes to approve a building on this land.
“This was a recreational area where children would come and play,” he said.
In 2019, residents of Warren Park 1 staged a protest against Harare City Council amid corruption allegations in allocation of ‘infill stands’ that saw houses built on top of water pipes and ZESA cables.
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