Environment and Tourism minister Priscah Mupfumira yesterday blamed President Robert Mugabe for promoting illegal construction on wetlands in Harare and Chitungwiza, especially at places like Borrowdale Vlei, Long Chen Plaza and the University of Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, the Harare Wetlands Trust said they are going to take into consideration reports on wetlands invasions.
This follows reports that an unknown company has invaded wetlands near the Greencroft area.
The project manager, Selestino Chari, said the reports by the residents need to be taken into consideration.
“These are not just reports but the truth of what is happening behind our back.
“Allegations are that there are some council officials allocating land to people knowing fully well that it is preserved land.
“As the Harare Wetlands Trust, we are going to take into consideration the said conspiracy behind these invasions and we promise to unveil the dirty deals if any,” said Chari.
Chari also said the council must help in the conservation of these areas.
“The council must be leading by example and help in the conservation of the wetlands.
“The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) must also consult the residents or just inform them of the arrangements because for residents to just see people coming and destroying the land that they are preserving in very confusing,” he added.
One of the residents, name withheld, said they are not happy about these continuous invasions.
“We were shocked to see graders coming to the place and clearing the trees.
“This wetland was preserved since 1980 and it’s something the country must be proud to preserve,” he said.
“We informed our councilor about the invasion and he was shocked that something like that was happening in the area without his knowledge.
“Many of these invaders would claim to be owners of the land but the district council deny such claims.
“We also reported the invasion to EMA which came to the site and condemned the invasion.
“The reason why we think these invasions are done through conspiracy is that if we residents rise against the invaders, they will leave and not come back.”
More to follow…