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Minister Kasukuwere Says Police Should Arrest Notorious Land Barons

FILE: Hundreds of residents were recently left homeless in Chitungwiza and Epworth following the house demolitions Friday. (Courtesy Photo)

Local Government Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, on Thursday warned land barons in the ruling Zanu PF party that he will expose them for embarking on shady deals.

Kasukuwere, who is also the Zanu PF national political commissar, said the barons would be arrested as they are abusing the party's name and helping cause confusion in the country as desperate home seekers have been duped into buying land not suitable for housing over the years.

Speaking on the sidelines of his tour of Chinhoyi town in Mashonaland West province, Kasukuwere said Zanu PF members should stop using their positions to rob desperate and poor home-seekers of their hard-earned cash.

The minister said no-one will be spared in his investigations and possible prosecutions. He stressed that even top party members will be netted if they engage in such activities.

For years, home seekers have had to buy land from companies owned by Zanu PF officials, who would have been given land for a pittance by Zanu PF-controlled councils.

Some, it has been alleged, were just parceling out land to themselves for a song.

He also said he will be reducing the huge salaries being earned by top council executives so that meagre resources can be channeled into service delivery.

Kasukuwere said his ministry is reviewing and will soon be announcing new salary structures for council officials.

He said the current salaries are too high for struggling residents to sustain.

The minister further noted that his ministry has started dealing with what he said were wayward councilors who are in the habit of misusing council funds in getting unapproved allowances.

He named two Gweru councilors that have already fired for the offense, adding that he will soon be publishing a report following investigations into this issue.

Kasukuwere also warned companies, especially mining firms, to pay their dues to councils to lessen their financial problems.

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