Residents in Empumalanga, Phase Four, Hwange have approached Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) with concerns that they are being allocated poorly developed residential stands by the Hwange Council.
TIZ is a non-governmental organisation that exists to fight corruption in order to promote good governance by fostering accountability, transparency and integrity through research-based advocacy.
Speaking to CITE, TIZ Advocacy Officer Njabulo Moyo said residents in Hwange were concerned about the area where they were allocated stands.
“We recently held one of our advocacy meetings in Hwange that was attended by councillors, provincial councillors together with residents and the issues that were raised were around the council, how they allocate residential stands, people are asked to pay for stands without necessarily viewing those stands,” said Moyo.
“So the issue is those areas that people are allocated stands is actually not so habitable, it has many potholes and other things that do not allow for construction processes, so you can only view those stands when you have paid a deposit.”
He said the local authority should come up with a way to bring the surveyor first to assess the area before allocating the stands.
“Part of our advocacy issues is that council should come up with a way to bring a surveyor first to survey the area and approve how many stands can be allocated as opposed to what has been happening because a lot of residents have been complaining,” he said.
“Even during the floods that were experienced in Hwange, a lot of people were affected not necessarily because of floods but due to the fact that the area where people stay is just not good for habitation.”
He said a number of people in the area claimed that they have lost stands through the process.
“We are lobbying council to change strategy of engaging residents around the issue of allocation of stand as the current set up leaves gaps for corruption, suppose you have found out that the stand is not suitable, do you abandon the area when you have paid money or you end up being forced to pay bribe top get another stand?
“Whilst we acknowledge that Hwange has challenges on their own around dual multiple centres, you know there is Hwange Council, Hwange local board and also the Colliery its self owns a lot of administrative rights, that is what we are also trying to advocate and lobby for together with Greater Hwange residential association to have clear centres of power so that some of these concerns by residents can be taken care of,” said Moyo.
Meanwhile, Greater Hwange Residents Association chairperson, Fedelis Chima, claimed that the local authority diverts funds paid by residents.
“Phase four stands are not serviced because the money that was paid by residents for servicing of stands was diverted,” said Chima.
Contacted for a comment Hwange Ward 1 Councillor Nqobile Mabhena confirmed that some residents face the challenge of poor stands allocation.
“It is true that at times residents are allocated residential stands in unhabitable areas but once we realise that we reallocate new stands,” said Mabhena.