Landscam: Municipalities trashing housing waiting lists, giving stands to accomplices

THE Harare City Council (HCC) housing department is under fire for ignoring the housing waiting list, instead allegedly allocating pieces of land to their connections and those with the wherewithal to pay bribes.

Zim Morning Post recently published a list of the more than 150 HCC housing beneficiaries, with the majority of them said to have irregularly gotten them from Kuwadzana and Westlea suburbs.

But this publication is now under fire from social media platforms and other powerful people, with many of them questioning the nature of corruption attributable to those who benefited, claiming the stands were cleanly acquired.

The released list shows prominent people from the army, judiciary services as well as from the police force.

The list also shows politicians across the political divide and most of them, according to our sources, applied between 2018 and 2019.

This publication has already published articles on the individuals who benefited at the expense of others who are on the waiting list.

Currently, HCC hosts about tens of thousands of people on its housing waiting list, with many of them having featured there for more than 15 years.

I am now a permanent feature on the city housing list.

I registered with the housing department since about 10 years ago in 2009 and have religiously renewed my membership till now,” said a Harare resident who did not want to be named.

The resident told this publication that she knew of people who got residential stands before they even got registered on the city housing list.

According to Information Zim Morning Post has, most of the people only go to register with the Housing Department at Mbare after assurances from influential people that they would get the stands.

I got a residential stand in Westlea after I was referred to the Housing Department in Mbare by a relative of mine who is a politician,” said one beneficiary who also preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation.

Zim Morning Post understands that for one to acquire residential land in Harare, as in other municipalities countrywide, they have to be on the housing waiting list, renewable upon paying a certain fee every year.

Whenever residential stands become available in the country’s municipalities, preference is then supposed to be given to those who would have been on the housing waiting list on a first-come-first-serve-basis.

But recent events in Mutare appear to suggest otherwise.

A leaked document in possession of this publication revealed that the Mutare City Council had recently resolved to allocate 22 stands to top government officials, among them Nick Mangwana, the permanent secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Service ministry and the Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Ellen Gwaradzimba.