THE Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) has urged the local authority to provide affordable housing stands to ordinary residents to ease the city’s accommodation crisis.
by KHANYILE MLOTSHWA
Speaking during a residents’ conference at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds on Sunday, BPRA chairperson, Reason Ngwenya, said the $3 000 deposit demanded for stands sold in the city was beyond the reach of many residents.
He also lamented the non-payment of pensions to former council employees.
Gift Banda [/Caption]
“You are selling our city. Bulawayo is not for sale. If this corruption continues, I promise you, there will be dead bodies out there. We will never accept that people come here with their dirty stolen money and buy our city. We will never accept that,” he said.
Earlier, a lot of residents had complained that they could not afford the prohibitive $3 000 deposit for some of the residential stands sold in the city.
Deputy mayor Gift Banda concurred with the residents that most residents on the housing waiting list could not afford the stands on offer.
“We can see that companies have closed down and people have no jobs and no money,” Banda said.
“If there are councillors here they will agree with me that as the local authority we accept that people cannot manage. It is now as if we are commercialising stands. It is now people with money, who drive expensive cars, who are buying the stands. We accept that we now have people from outside this city, outside our waiting list, buying the stands. Our old people cannot afford. At some point, some people who had been awarded the stands wanted to return them because they have no money. We refused to take the stands back and we want time to think of a plan. We know that the people want stands. People are living terribly in small houses, sometimes up to 20 people in one house.”