TENDAI BHEBE IN BULAWAYO
Government has heaped praises on Bulawayo City Council (BCC) for coming out with a model that shut out land barons that have wreaked havoc in local authorities, Business Times can report.
Th e business and cooperative development officer in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Clayton Mharadzano, said other local authorities should adopt the BCC co-operative model when allocating stands in a bid to deal with the issue of land barons in the country.
Zimbabwe’s land allocation system has been marred by corruption and land barons who are linked to top government officials or politicians.
Consequently, thousands of families, especially in Harare, are facing displacement from their houses following a crackdown on band barons.
However, Mharadzano said there was order in Bulawayo. And no cases of land barons have been reported.
“Bulawayo cooperative model has remained intact not that we want to praise ourselves but this model is user friendly in terms of managing issues to do with land barons. In our case you can’t have a land baron
because you are still going through the structures,” Mharadzano said.
He added: “ I think that works to the advantage of those that are not getting land straight from the council.
Mharadzano said most houses residents in Cowdray Park used funds from different co-operatives for the construction of their houses.
“We had given land way back as 2007 in Cowdray Park. We divided the developments into three the first one where most members were using personal funds to construct their houses.
These include the old refinery co-operative, the National Railways of Zimbabwe co-operative and a few from Phikelela A.
So they got land from 2007 – 2013 that was the first group. Some of them were helped by other institutions to construct their homes, Zimbabwe National Association of Housing Cooperatives (ZINACHO) and
some got funding through the international donor, he said.
He added :”Then the second group is largely dominated by the Sidojiwe co-operative.
Rangmore will be transferred to Bulawayo but now it’s under Umguza in Matabeleland North. Sidojiwe A has 53 members they all got stands but their houses are not yet constructed as they did not want partnership this is because they are largely a group of mature people which include war veterans.”
Council requires at least ZWL$300m to put water and sewer reticulation infrastructure in the suburb.
The houses built under the Government funded Hlalani Kuhle Housing Scheme have no electricity and running water.
Mharadzano said more than 100 Cowdray Park residents got new stands from the City council .
From 2014 to 2019 some residents decided to form groups for the construction of their houses.
Th is forms group C ,which had only 126 members and 102 got stands from the BCC, then group D had 93 members and 89 got stands.
All in all 191 stands. Group E had 68 members and only 16 got stands, “he said.
Government has undertaken to fast-track the prosecution of all land barons and facilitate compensation of home-seekers who lost out to land barons and corrupt council officials.