A Bulawayo councilor has accused council employees and the city’s two main residents associations of trying to grab municipal owned houses from sitting tenants in Mabutweni.
BY BENSON DUBE
Lot Siziba, the Mabutweni councilllor claimed Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (Bpra) and the Bulawayo Residents’ Association (Bura) were working with council officials to frustrate sitting tenants from acquiring ownership of the houses.
The government recommended that old council houses in suburbs such as Mabutweni should be given to sitting tenants.
Mabutweni residents claimed Bpra and Bura were pushing for their members to get the houses.
Siziba claimed council employees delayed in handing over houses to sitting tenants as a way of encouraging corruption.
“Council employees are working in cahoots with Bura and Bpra so that they take over houses should incumbents die,” he said.
“These two associations are causing confusion among residents.
He said a named Bura official was fighting to take over a house owned by resident yet he had another property.
Iris Green, a Mabutweni resident said she received a letter summoning her to the Mpopoma housing office where she was told her house had two owners. She said she managed to resolve the mix-up amicably.
However, Bpra ward chairperson Alick Gumede said Siziba’s accusations were baseless.
“There is no proof to such allegations. People with genuine, relevant and legitimate problems must come to the association,” he said.
“I would not associate with people who are conspiring against residents in my ward and those who want to take over other people’s houses.
“If anyone wants to work with us, they must approach us peacefully.”
Mabutweni houses were built in the 1950s for bachelors by various companies who later handed them over to the council.
Initial occupants comprised locals and people from Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.