BULAWAYO’S Cowdray Park residents occupying houses under the Zimbabwe Government Employees’ Union (Zigeu) housing scheme are sitting on a health time bomb as raw sewage is flowing into their houses that were abandoned by contractors before being serviced.
According to the area councillor Collet Ndlovu, 84 houses were abandoned more than seven years ago by Zigeu and Hawkflight Construction without water or sewer connections.
Last week, a meeting was held with the Bulawayo City Council’s director of housing and community services Isaiah Magagula, director of engineering services Simile Dube and town clerk Middleton Nyoni over the looming disease outbreak.
“I called the three to Cowdray Park over the sewer matter and they had a first-hand encounter with sewer flowing into the houses,” Ndlovu said.
“Eighty-four yards are literally filled with sewer because contactors abandoned the site before completing laying sewer pipes.”
He said the three senior council officials pledged rectify the matter with urgency.
“The living conditions are unbearable and an outbreak of diseases is imminent.
“The directors and town clerk promised to look into the matter soon,” Ndlovu said.
He said residents had since resolved to pool financial resources and install proper sewer systems.
Residents recently accused Ndlovu of plotting to swindle them by forcing them to sign inflated quotations for servicing their properties.
They said they had engaged Ndlovu, who allegedly approached council and then presented them with what they believed was an inflated quotation of $221 853, 17 for servicing the 84 stands, which translates to $217,84 per household in 12 monthly instalments.
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.