Cowdray Park residents ‘cheated’

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Ward-28-councillor-Collet-Ndlovu

COWDRAY PARK residents who acquired houses under the Zimbabwe Government Employees Union (Zigeu) housing scheme have accused their councillor Collet Ndlovu of trying to swindle them by forcing them to sign inflated quotations for servicing their properties.

Ward-28-councillor-Collet-Ndlovu-addresses-Cowdray-Park-residents-in-Bualawayo-yesterday-picture-Thandiwe-Moyo
Ward 28 councillor Collet Ndlovu addresses Cowdray Park residents in Bualawayo

MTHANDAZO NYONI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Eighty-four houses were abandoned more than seven years ago by Zigeu and Hawkflight Construction without water and/or sewer connections.

Residents said they had engaged Ndlovu, who allegedly approached the Bulawayo City Council and then presented them with what they believed was an inflated quotation of $221 853,17 for servicing the 84 houses, which translates to $217,84 per household in 12 monthly installments.

According to the Hawkflight and Zigeu quotations, the service could be done at a once-off payment of $300 per household.

Residents said the council quotation Ndlovu brought was for stands and not houses.

The quotation compiled by a G Mabhena had no council logo, stamp or contact details and residents doubted its authenticity.

“Ndlovu presented to us what we believe is a fake quotation and we rejected it,” one resident said.

“We asked him to bring another quotation so we could compare the two and he did so. However, what surprised us is the fact that he took the same quotation which we dismissed and gave it to the co-ordinator of the Bulawayo Home Seekers’ Consortium Trust (BHSCT), Mkhululi Nyathi.

“Nyathi took that quotation and proposed to reduce the amount from $217,84 to $150 and we again dismissed it. He said he would go and acquire a loan from the bank and complete the job within a month. We asked him who would pay the bank interests and he could not answer,” the resident said.

Another resident said Ndlovu had tried to force them to sign the disputed quotation, but they refused and he threatened to sign it himself on their behalf.

They alleged that Ndlovu’s committee backed him and said Nyathi’s BHSCT should commence the servicing because development could not be derailed by a few people.

The residents said most of them were widows and unemployed and could not afford the monthly amount required.

“How can we pay $150 a month yet some of us are failing to pay $10 for the rates? There is something fishy here,” another resident said.

Residents said they feared that by signing the quotations given to them by Ndlovu, they could end up losing their houses should they fail to pay the required amount.

Contacted for comment, Ndlovu dismissed the residents’ accusations saying they were just making things up as he never at any point forced them to accept the quotation he gave them.

“They are the ones who demanded the quotation not me and I did not force them to sign the document,” Ndlovu said.

Zigeu manager Witness Ncube said they abandoned the development because the owners occupied them before they were completed and rented them out.

Ncube, however, promised to resolve the issue with the residents and proposed that each household pays $300 for all infrastructural services.

Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo said he could not comment because he knew nothing about the issue.