Residents fear a clean up

Hundreds of residents in Harare’s Dzivarasekwa Extension are panicking after the government indicated that it intends to remove them from their homes.

Over 500 homes were reportedly built illegally on fraudulently acquired stands and the Minister of National Housing and Amenities Giles Mutsekwa said that the government was now moving towards resettling the residents.

Residents from the beleaguered suburb allegedly acquired stands in a government housing scheme rolled out in 1995 in a scam that was said to have involved top civil servants.

“We are confused and uncertain of what to do next; some of us think of selling the homes, but who will buy a home that is facing destruction?” said a resident who requested anonymity.

“We have been on these stands for over 15 years now, only to be told that our homes were built illegally on fraudulently acquired stands, it defies logic because it was the same government that sold us the housing stands,” said an irate resident, identifying himself as Menford Chari.

Mutsekwa said that the government had found alternative stands but could not give details about whether the government would assist the families whose homes would be destroyed.

“We have found alternative stands for the affected residents and these residents never paid a cent for the stands they claim they bought from government,” said Mutsekwa.

The minister extricated himself from reports of fraud that rocked the old government’s housing department.

“Remember we are now in an inclusive government and I was not there at the time the housing stands in question were allocated,” he said.

Area Counselor, Herman Karimakuenda accused the government of being dishonest with the residents.

“The people from the Ministry of Housing then were being bribed by home-seekers, resulting in the scandalous double allocation of housing stands,” Karimakuenda said.

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