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Occupation of unserviced stands in Harare started in 2000 when local authorities started experiencing financial challenges and could not service land.
Consequently, the central government and local authorities engaged housing cooperatives as gap fillers to suppress the surging housing backlog.
However, the cooperatives were corrupt and financially incapacitated hence they started allocating unserviced stands for occupation.
The mixed methods approach was used as research design strategy where both qualitative and quantitative research methods were triangulated.
Lack of funding, corruption, political interferences, desperation and harsh renting conditions are among the reasons behind allocation and occupation of unserviced stands.
The unsustainable coping strategies to service delivery led to disease outbreaks, complication of servicing, undermining of property values are the effects discovered by this study.
Finally, this study recommends banning of cooperatives, collaborative land servicing, enforcing planning regulations and combining layout planning with infrastructure planning.
Makumire Ropafadzo is an Urban Planning graduate from the University of Zimbabwe.
He is also a researcher and founder and director of Kums Town Planning Consultancy.
The author is interested in issues of municipal infrastructure, informal settlements and local government finance.
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