The recently-appointed Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs, Engineer Oliver Chidawu, has said that the government was devising tough measures for wetland settlers. Reports suggest that these measures include massive evictions, property demolitions and huge penalties against perpetrators.
These reports come at a time when several structures have been erected in wetlands around Harare and other cities.
Chidawu vowed to heavily descend on all individuals found on the wrong side of the law. Chidawu said:
We are engaging local authorities and they are aware that we can not continue watching as our wetlands are soiled. It creates problems in the city.
That complex (Long Cheng Plaza) is sitting on a wetland. But when you look at the level of investment, we will then say what do we do? We do a compensation plan for that.
But otherwise everyone who is on wetlands must go. We do not know why such decisions were made in the first place, I was not in office at that time.
If we have to leave them there, there have to be conditions. While penalties or conditions are yet to be established, it is underway,
According to the Environmental Management Act Chapter 20:27, it is illegal to construct on the wetlands. Part of the Act reads:
Any person who contravenes subsection (2) shall incur a fine not exceeding level eight or imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.–pindua.co.zw