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Residents, Bpra clash

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RESIDENTS of Ward 13 comprising Iminyela, Mabutweni and Pelandaba in Bulawayo have accused the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (Bpra) of threatening to evict them from council-owned houses they are renting if they do not acquire membership of the pressure group.

SILAS NKALA
STAFF REPORTER

Residents are renting properties from the Bulawayo City Council but Bpra is reportedly threatening to use its connections to have them evicted from the houses to make way for the organisation’s members. Residents feel the threats are a ploy by Bpra to force them to acquire membership of the organisation.

“We have a serious problem with Bpra in our ward. It’s interfering with residents to the extent of threatening to evict us from our rented houses and giving them to its members. It wants to grab the houses from residents and is interfering with the operations of the ward councillor a lot,” a resident said.

The resident alleged that Bpra promises to assist residents that join the pressure group acquire their current council rented houses. Residents said ward councillor Lot Siziba was being threatened by Bpra officials and was now unable to freely attend funerals in the area.

Siziba said the residents’ concerns were being addressed.

“Yes, residents are raising those issues and I think all the problems they are talking about are being resolved,” he said.

However, Bpra chairperson Reason Ngwenya shot down the allegations saying claims that the association was using council-owned houses to lure membership were unfounded and should be dismissed with contempt.

“The association has nothing to do or say about the houses. We do not take houses, but our duty is to protect the residents through laws,” he said.

“What they are talking about is a lie; there is nothing like that. If the council violates laws we only intervene to protect residents using the laws.”

Ngwenya also denied allegations that Bpra interfered with councillor operations in wards saying they only intervened when requested by residents.

“When residents ask us to raise their issues and the councillor tells us to shut up, then maybe that is where the claims of us interfering with councillor operations come from,” he said.

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