Business Community Development

War over Epworth stands


By Edward Makuzva

Epworth residents are up in arms with the Local Board after the regularisation process done by the council allows double allocations of stands in a move that left thousands homeless.

In an interview with this publication, Robert Moyo, a resident of ward 1, said the local board is very corrupt and not transparent on the issue of the regularisation process that allows double allocation of stands in the constituency.

“We feel marginalised because these stands were allocated to us in the late 80s and we paid all service fees up to now. We are tired being used by these politicians who come to us when they need our votes. After winning they disappear until the next election. That is very bad and we need to end this with immediate effect.

“What it means is that the poor will die without owning any property because land barons are going to use proxies who are going to spend very little money to buy all the land for them which they will in turn sell at exorbitant prices,” said Moyo.

The residents also accused its local board secretary, Winston Mhanda, and  Ruwa/Epworth District Administrator Benedicta Mubaiwa for corruption and delaying developmental papers for the area.

This emerged at Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD)’s quarterly constituency indaba yesterday held at Overspill Worship Centre Assembly of God Church.

The indabas are platforms for connecting the electorate to their Member of Parliament and ward councillors to discuss social and economic justice issues in their respective constituencies.

Speaking at the same occasion, Epworth Local Board Chairperson, Clr Batanai Masunda blasted MDC and ZANU PF councillors and politicians in Epworth for the mess as a result of interfering in the constituency.

Masunda thanked ZIMCODD on coming with these indabas which are aimed at increasing citizen oversight in accountability through information dissemination and increased platforms for engagement with holders.

“The duty of the local authority is to allocate residents stands so that they build their houses but in Epworth there is a situation where the land barons sell the stands which is the duty of the council. By so doing this accommodates double and multiple allocations, leaving many home-seekers homeless.

“People are allocating themselves all over and we have seen that they are getting that power from high political offices but I am assuring you that no one outside of Epworth will get a stand.”

The local board chairperson added that the elected representatives, especially MPs who cover a wider geographical space, seldom visit their constituencies to understand the people’s aspirations.

Meanwhile, the ZIMCODD  took a deliberate decision to bridge the gap between Parliamentarians and the electorate mindful of the fact that after being voted into power, parliamentarians seldom visit their constituencies.

The indabas are nationwide campaigns to improve dialogue at the policy making level to ensure that legislators, councillors and constituencies have continuous and productive engagements on issues of interest to the community.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende