Bid to convert recreational park into stands hits snag

Source: Bid to convert recreational park into stands hits snag | Herald (Africa)

Municipal Correspondent

Harare City Council’s plan to parcel out stands in a recreational park in Southerton has hit a brick wall after the High Court ordered it to stop.

The order was handed down by High Court judge Justice Nyaradzo Priscilla Munangati-Manongwa last Friday.

“The 1st and 2nd respondents be and are hereby interdicted and stopped from pegging, allocating, selling and or changing from open space and recreation to residential use the following properties stand 8698 Bexley Circle and Gilwell Square both Southerton, Harare. Until such a time as provisions of the Regional Town Country Planning Act (Chapter 29:12) have been adhered to and in particular the determination upon the objections raised by the applicants,” read the judgment.

Justice Munangati-Manongwa also ordered council, which was the first respondent and the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works as the second respondent, to pay costs of suit. Harare City Council was dragged to court by residents of the suburb, represented by Zanu PF shadow legislator for Southerton constituency Cde Andrew Makahamadze and Mr Richard Jack, after it failed to take their reservations over the transformation of the park into consideration.

Cde Makahamadze said police should bring the culprits to book.

“We appreciate that justice has prevailed this is not only a victory for Southerton residents or Harare but the whole world, a big lesson that no one gets away with illicit deals,” he said.

“We will fight thick and thin to ensure sanity is restored at Town House. City fathers should have been talking about upgrading recreational facilities not turning them into stands.”

Zimbabwe Combined Residents and Ratepayers Association (Zicora) president McSteven Nyabvure hailed the High Court for stopping the conversion of the recreational park into residential stands.

“As residents we applaud our High Court for the judgment over conversion of stands.”

Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba had previously justified council’s move of turning the recreational park into stands as progress.

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