BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI
RESIDENTS of Munhumutapa suburb in Kadoma have challenged officials at Kadoma Municipality to take action against a bogus road development association, which is swindling them of their money.
Munhumutapa is a high-density suburb west of the gold mining city.
Residents in the suburb told NewsDay yesterday that they were being forced to pay road development fees to an association called Munhumutapa Road Construction despite having paid the same to the local authority.
They accuse the local authority of sitting on its laurels when residents were being ripped off and forced to part with amounts ranging from US$10 to US$40 in road development fees.
“We paid infrastructure development fees and other rates to Kadoma Municipality, but we are surprised that there are people calling themselves Munhumutapa Road Construction who are moving around asking residents to pay money towards road construction,” one resident said.
“We know that the council is preparing for the developments of these roads as they have moved in their equipment. Why are we being asked to pay a fee when it is council that is doing the job? Why is the council quiet when people are losing their hard-earned cash to these people?”
The residents said they had engaged the district development co-ordinator (DDC), who has since approached council over the matter.
Council housing director and social services official, Aaron Masembura confirmed that the DDC reached out to the local authority over the road fees.
“I am not in charge of road development, but you can talk to our engineer. He is the one handling that issue after the DDC raised it,” he said.
Director of works Blessing Musarira said their team was investigating the case.
“The bottom line is that those people are not supposed to collect money from the residents because that is council’s duty. Roads in that area used to be under the Public Works Department and residents at some point volunteered to develop some roads and we assisted them with gravel and equipment,” Musarira said.
“We have since moved equipment closer to the area at our offices in Rimuka ready to start a road construction project in the area. We have partners like Craft Properties who have chipped in to support the project in Munhumutapa with things like culverts, cement and they will hire labour which they will pay.”
Kadoma is one of the cities enjoying massive development of low-income housing facilitated by close to 18 private developers.