MUTARE – Mutare residents have objected to the intended sale of stands by Mutare City Council (MCC) to selected stakeholders, among them Cabinet ministers and top security chiefs.
MCC last week inserted a notice on the proposed alienation of land in local weekly newspapers to particular persons.
Read the notice: “Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 152 of the Urban Councils Act, Chapter 29:15, that council intends to sell a limited number of stands in various sections of the city, that is, Fern Valley, Fernhill, Chikanga Mountain Rise, Palmerstone, Morningside, Greenside Golf Course, Murambi Infills, Weirmouth, Pegasus and Dangamvura Area C Golf Course for residential purposes to its employees in terms of City of Mutare conditions of service, to selected stakeholders in terms of section G3 of the State land manual, to eligible sitting councillors in terms of government circular number 12 of 2016 and to beneficiaries on the council’s housing waiting list on first come first serve…
“Any persons wishing to make objections can lodge the same with the undersigned within a period of 21 days from this day of the advert.”
Concerned residents have written their objection letters to council.
In an objection letter in possession of this Zim Morning Post dated June 11, 2020, Chambiro Betera said the advert on the proposed alienation of land was crafted in a way that was meant to mislead the general public.
“We question what council means when it intends to sell a limited number of stands. This is an open ended statement which is open to abuse,” he said.
Rodney Kunenungo, in his objection letter wrote: “Several applicants have applied for the same pieces of land in (some areas) and council turned them down, saying the land was not suitable for development…
“We question council’s change of mindset, thus making the stands developable and reserving the same for the town clerk.”
A leaked document in possession of this publication revealed that council had resolved to allocate 22 stands to two government ministers, selected security chiefs (police, prisons, army and CIO), judiciary service and other senior government officials.
A source from council said the move was aimed at capturing the whole system so that it would protect the town clerk, Joshua Maligwa, when the need arose.
“Those institutions have been captured. The police will not arrest Maligwa; the judiciary will not prosecute him and prisons will also protect him,” said the source.
“Why is it that cases of corruption involving Maligwa and councillors at council are taking long to investigate? Surprisingly, if Maligwa reports anyone, there are prompt arrests. Already, the police is captured by Maligwa,” added the source.
MCC spokesperson Spren Mutiwi confirmed that council had resolved to allocate stands to government departments, its employees and strategic partners.
Said Mutiwi: “No allocation of stands has been done as yet, but council has resolved to allocate stands to government departments, employees and strategic partners. These are part of our stakeholders in general.”
United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust (UMRRT) director Sebastian Bakare, however, condemned the timing and preference of allocating the stands.
“The security chiefs are not different from ordinary residents and should not be treated in a special way. In some cases, these people already have known addresses and houses in Mutare and there is no real need to duplicate allocations in such cases,” 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.
“There are more desperate homeseekers around Mutare who are on the waiting list and as such the waiting list must be respected,” Bakare said.
A source said more objection letters were still trickling in.