By Simbarashe Masawi
Village heads in peri-urban areas have become the new land barons as they are selling land to desperate home-seekers, a report says.
According to Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) says practice is rampant in areas such as Domboshava and Seke.
“In peri-urban areas like Domboshava and Seke, village heads have been resettling households for a fee.
“Though the Traditional Leaders Act does not say that they should be paid, it has now become the norm for the village heads.
“(They) ask for a fee to enter newly resettled households into the village register.
“Most of the subdivisions attended to in these two per-urban areas related to the development of residential houses,” it says.
The TIZ report said the selling of communal land is not allowed under the law.
The role of the village head is under Section 12 of the Act.
“These are to oversee, through ward assembly, the disposal of settlement rights in Communal Land.
Village Heads are also responsible for “the admission of new settlers in the area under him.”
They are not supposed to sell the land.
However, the practice is that most of them are now in the business of selling communal land.
The selling of communal land has become brisk business as urban home-seekers are moving into the peri-urban areas.
Most urban councils are failing to provide enough land for new stands.
This has created an opportunity for peri-urban areas around Harare and Chitungwiza.