More empty promises for Hopley squatters

HARARE
The Ushewokunze Housing Scheme was started by the Zanu (PF) regime in 2001 close to the Hopley squatter camp after the shock of a near defeat by the newly-born MDC in the 2000 general elections.

More than 200 former war veterans and political detainees gathered with much pomp and fanfare for the launch of the scheme were promised the area would “soon” be serviced and stands made available to the beneficiaries.

The 2002 presidential elections approached and things gathered momentum. President Robert Mugabe himself addressed a rally there in the run-up to the poll in which he is alleged to have stolen victory from MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai.

After the election, hype surrounding the “scheme” vanished into thin air. But suddenly it has become alive once again. Last week Zanu (PF) officials led by Harare Province’s executive member, Tendai Savanhu, visited the impoverished squatters at the site.

“We are speeding up the process of developing this place, which should be ready soon,” he told the weary, hungry people who gathered after being promised food hand-outs.

There were no such hand-outs, just promises that something would be coming “soon”. “They said we must form ourselves into groups and start campaigning for Zanu (PF) around Harare.  They will be sending vehicles to pick us to the suburbs and they also promised we will soon get foodstuffs and money,” one of the war veterans squatting there told The Zimbabwean.

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