Members of the St Mary’s Chitungwiza small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) scheme Thursday alleged massive corruption in the allocation of commercial stands at Chitungwiza City Council.
Chairman of the scheme Collen Mukanyangi told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on SMEs chaired by Luveve MP, Reggie Moyo that most of the stands meant for their members were being wrested by councillors.
“Originally, we were allocated 56 stands in 1997, but now we have remained with only 22 stands, of which only 13 have been allocated to us and there is an outstanding nine stands that have not been allocated to us yet,” said Mukanyangi.
“Since 2005 after our stands were demolished during Operation Murambatsvina, the SMEs have made frantic efforts to get redress from the municipality and we have problems with the local authority in terms of how the Town Planning Act should be translated and who the beneficiaries should be.”
Speaking before the same committee, Small and Medium Enterprises secretary, Evelyn Ndlovu said her ministry had also made frantic efforts to try and have the local authority returning the land in question to its original owners, the SMEs.
“City councils are unable to facilitate development and they need to address the issue of workspace for SMEs. They only allocated these people 13 stands this year, when we started the war to get those stands in 2005,” Ndlovu said.
“We made a study of these people selling in the streets and found that in the Harare CBD they numbered up to six thousand and that is a lot of money in terms of revenue that is being lost by not legalising them and allocating them proper workspace.”
The council did not appear before the committee although they had been invited. Moyo warned they might be charged with contempt of Parliament if they do not present themselves before the committee next time they are invited.