Harare Council orders demolition of Gilbert Mponda’s School

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Controversial businessman and Zanu PF Member of Parliament for Warren Park, Gilbert Mponda
Controversial businessman and Zanu PF Member of Parliament for Warren Park, Gilbert Mponda

HARARE- Harare City Council (HCC) has issued a demolition order of a school in Belvedere owned by controversial businessman and aspiring Zanu PF Member of Parliament for Warren Park Gilbert Mponda, TSTnews can report.

By Mark Mutu

According to the the demolition papers issued to Mponda, seen by TSTnews, the ruling Zanu PF member constructed a school and administration offices in Belvedere without the City’s approval.

HCC has issued the demolition order of all properties constructed. 

“Whereas it appears to the City Council of Harare being the local Planning Authority that development is being carried out on Stand 18012 STL otherwise known as 18012 Mutley Bend, Belvedere, Harare in contravention of the provisions of the Act, that is to say:

“(a) Construction of School Blocks and Administration Offices without approved plan,” read the demolition papers.

After reading the papers, TSTnews observed that the property were situated within a sub Zone 5B of the operative City of Harare Phase 4 section 1 Town Planning Scheme wherein construction of School Blocks without Council Approval is Prohibited. 

HCC said the development amounted to a contravention of Section 24 of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act (Chapter 29:12) Reserved Edition 1996and the said scheme.

“The said Local Planning Authority serves upon you, Eland Park Residential Association being the owner of the aforementioned premises an Order in persuance of section 35 of Regional Town and Country Planning Act Chapter (29:12) Revised Edition 1996,” further read the demolition papers.

TSTnews understands that Mponda was ordered to restore the City property to its origional state. 

“Therefore take not that in terms of the said section 35, you being the owner of the aforementioned premises an Order in persuance being the owner of the said development are ordered to:

i) demolish all School Blocks and Administration Offices

ii) Restore the property to its original state.

“The Order will come into operation on 10th July 2020 unless in terms of Section 38 of the Act an appeal is lodged with the Administrative court within one month from the day of the service of the order, ” read the papers.

Contacted for a comment, Mponda said, “I do not have a comment.” 

TSTnews also observed that there have been demolition orders to this effect over the years but Mponda is alledged to have ‘gone in bed’ with some officials who were supposed to execute the order resulting in the processing being delayed

TSTnews understands that this is not the first time Mponda is being arrested. In 2003, he  and Nyasha Chatyoka were arrested  over a R1-billion scandal that devastated the country’s already reeling financial sector.

The two failed to account for the disappearance of more than Z$80-billion of depositors funds.