Mutare land grab: Mayor speaks out, backtracks

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MUTARE – Under pressure Mutare mayor Blessing Tandi has backtracked on the hot issue of the council’s decision to allocate residential stands to top Zanu PF officials, security chiefs and government bigwigs, Zim Morning Post can report.

Tandi’s comments come after a barrage of criticism and outcry from
political commentators and residents.

United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust (UMRRT) director
Sebastian Bakare had condemned the timing and preference of allocating the stands.

There are more desperate homeseekers around Mutare who are on the waiting list and as such the waiting list must be respected,” Bakare
said.

Housing is a basic right provided for in the Constitution and must be
accorded to everyone, regardless of political affiliation and
occupation,
” he added.

A leaked document in possession of this publication revealed that
council had resolved to allocate 22 stands to two government ministers that include Nick Mangwana, who is the Permanent Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Service ministry and the Minister of
State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Ellen Gwaradzimba.

The list had also a few selected security chiefs from the police, prisons, army and CIO.

The list also included judges and staff from the judiciary service and other senior government officials.

In an interview on Thursday, Tandi said the council had trimmed the
number of beneficiaries on the list that went viral on social media.

“We trimmed the list based on allocation we had to give. We did not
consider everyone as per the said report (list) but we had to consider
time stayed in Mutare and whether you are on our housing waiting list
and your stay must be in Mutare or your work destination
,” explained
the mayor.

Tandi said Mangwana was not entitled to allocation of a residential stand, since investigations have revealed that he is not on Mutare’s housing waiting list and that his work station was in Harare.

Further quizzed on the issue of other service chiefs who were newcomers and not on the housing waiting list, Tandi said: “Yes, absolutely, they will not be considered.”

However, sources within the council say Tandi’s statements were made as a way to appease angry residents.

We wait to see whether he will abide by this and there is need to re-
advertise for the same stands because these stands, as we talk have
already been dished out clandestinely,”
said our source.

In a previous interview, Mutare City spokesperson maintained that the council had not dished out the said stands.

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