Chombo gives workers’ land to Zanu (PF)

via Chombo gives workers’ land to Zanu (PF) | The Zimbabwean 17 July 2014 by Nelson Sibanda

Minister Ignatius Chombo allegedly used his office to parcel out 270 residential stands to the pro-Zanu (PF) Muzariri Housing Cooperative, prejudicing deserving housing cooperatives formed by City of Harare workers. The workers’ cooperatives, Ingwe Mushandi Weguta and Harare Water Housing Cooperatives, approached council for allocations of residential land.

The City Treasurer’s Department responded to the Harare Water Housing Cooperative’s application for residential stands on in May 2012, saying: “Please be advised that the City is already working on a sub-divisional plan to create residential stands on the piece of land you are interested in.

“Upon successful completion of the exercise currently underway, the resultant residential stands shall be handed over to the Director of Housing and Community Services under whose purview the allocation of residential stands fall.”

The cooperatives paid fees totalling over $56,000 and a subdivision map, plan TPX/WR/O4/12 of the proposed residential area in Budiriro 5b, was drawn by the Department of Urban Planning Services to that effect.

Then Chombo issued an offer letter authorising the occupation of the land by Muzariri Housing Cooperative, chaired by Zanu (PF) Harare Provincial chairperson Godfrey Gomwe.

“Gomwe went on to distribute the stands to his predominantly Zanu (PF) Cooperative,” said a top member of the affected cooperatives on condition of anonymity. Occupation of the land gathered momentum early this year and the allocation of stands is in progress.

The source said the issue was sensitive and dangerous as it involved government ministers and militant Zanu (PF) youths. There have been reports that Chombo offered the land to Muzariri without following normal procedures.

Leslie Gwindi, Harare City Council spokesperson said: “No land will be allocated without a full council resolution.”

Some councillors said Muzariri Housing Cooperative invaded the council land using political muscle.

“Council land occupation procedures were not followed as no-one other than council has the mandate to allocate urban land. All land offers would originate from the Council’s Remembrance Offices – though a minister has powers to supersede local authorities’ policies,” said a highly placed source.