People lose hope as housing co-ops fail

Housing co-operatives that sprouted soon after the controversial Operation Murambatsvina have been criticized for failing to service residential stands on which houses for their members are to be built.

Develop-it Zimbabwe’s flats in Budiriro.
Develop-it Zimbabwe’s flats in Budiriro.

Following government’s failure to build decent houses for victims of Murambatsvina, individuals with connections to Zanu (PF) were allocated land for housing co-operatives that would see the decentralization of the provision of housing. People rushed to join these co-operatives in the hope of owning their own homes. But their hopes and trust are fading as it emerges that co-op managers have lined their own pockets at the expense of servicing the stands.

Just like Hopley, the situation is dire at Chenjerai Hunzvi, Joshua Nkomo, Border Gezi, Ngungunyana and Tawana housing co-operatives. People are living in makeshift dwellings made of pole and dagga as well as plastic and cardboard boxes.

There are no roads. A few people have managed to put proper structures, but only managed two rooms. They are overcrowded in the small rooms, where they use pit latrines and fetch water from open wells, posing a serious health hazard. Develop-it Zimbabwe is the only developing firm that has managed to accommodate people in its completed structures, including blocks of flats in Budiriro.

The Harare City Council, to which part of the members monthly subscriptions is said to be going, has been urged to service the residential stands to try and address Harare’s housing backlog as a matter of urgency.

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