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Council under fire over stands

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SOME residents allocated stands in Pumula South by the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) have expressed anger at the municipality’s failure to service them since their allocation.

LINDA CHINOBVA
OWN CORRESPONDENT

The residents said despite their efforts to pay $1 700 deposit for the stands, council had never bothered to service them and the area had now turned into a bush.

“We were allocated stands by BCC in April 2012 and they promised us that they would finish servicing them in six months but up to now nothing has been done,” said a stand owner Sithembile Moyo.

“We paid $1 700 as deposit and others paid in full but council has been dodgy every time we approach and plead with them to attend to the stands that are now bushy.”

BCC allocated 3 743 stands to the residents in 2012 in an effort to ease the city’s housing backlog. The housing project covered Pumula South, Mahatshula, Emgwanwini, Luveve 5 and Magwegwe North.

Another beneficiary Sophia Sabau said the council’s failure to service the stands had been a setback for residents as they would have made some progress in building their houses by now.

“We have gone to the housing office in our numbers several times to ask the authorities to assist us considering that we have been patient with them for almost two years now, but they say they don’t know what must be done,” said another stand owner Noreen Mashizha.

Mashizha said council had now even referred them to the Local Government ministry. She said the disgruntled residents have requested to see the city mayor, but officials had blocked their efforts. The residents said they wanted council to allow them to go ahead and build their houses without the area being serviced.

“The local authority has told us that construction of houses cannot be done before the land is cleared by the council but we want the council to allow us to proceed because they are failing us,” said Mark Mushaninga.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) organising secretary Ambrose Sibindi said he was confused as to why council referred residents to the Local Government ministry over the servicing of the stands.

BCC director of housing and community services Isaiah Magagula was not available for comment as he was said to be in a meeting.

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