Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance has called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to deal with land barons in accordance with the law.

MDC-A secretary for local government, Sesel Zvidzai says those who have been conned by land barons should be compensated.

He said the government should not let criminals hide under its banner to con unsuspecting citizens.

“We call upon the law enforcement authorities and central government to deal decisively with the menace of land barons who often hide behind government as they fleece home seekers of their resources, while at the same time ignoring calls for proper planning by the local authorities.

“Those who have lost their home to fraudulent misrepresentations by land barons and Government officials must be duly compensated for prejudice they have suffered.

“We further call upon local authorities to conduct themselves proportionately and in a humane manner in their efforts to rectify irregularities. Local authorities must only resort to demolitions as a last resort and where regularisation of the illegal buildings cannot be achieved,” said Zvidzai in a press statement.

He added there has been rampant violations of environmental laws as a result of arbitrary developments on wetlands.

“Residential Estates have been sprouting up in an arbitrary and unplanned manner. Properties are being erected on wetlands in violation of environmental and town planning laws. In many cases, these illegal developments are interfering with other infrastructure including ZESA way lives, sewer pipes and water reticulation lines.

“In accordance with the dictates of the Constitution and due process, the City of Harare has obtained a court order permitting it to regularize these illegal settlements. Regrettably, the infringing properties will be demolished in the process of regularisation as sanctioned by the courts” he said.

Meanwhile, the government, through the relevant ministry recently issued a warning against land barons.

Presenting during the Pre-Budget seminar the minister of local government said the era of land barons was over, adding that they won’t get away with murder.