Matobo villagers complain over substandard Chinese buildings

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Residents of Maphisa in Matobo district have urged the government to be wary of Chinese contractors whom they accused of poor workmanship.

The residents told Finance minister Tendai Biti during a 2012 National Budget consultative meeting most buildings constructed by the Chinese were sub-standard.

“Minister, I think on issues of public institutions and building construction, the government must be wary of the Chinese contractors because the buildings they construct do not last long,” said Cambo Nyathi, secretary of the Maphisa Residents’ Association.

“I think the government must monitor them when doing the job. For instance, some buildings they constructed recently in Maphisa already have cracks, but some buildings which were constructed in the 1940s are still strong as if they are new,” he said.

Nyathi also accused the Chinese of ill-treating their local employees.

Biti assured the residents the government would look into their concerns.

The residents also called on the government to either immediately take over buildings built under Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle or have them demolished as most of them had become unsightly.

“Hlalani Kuhle houses have become an eyesore as they look dilapidated and clumsy,” said Nyathi.

In 2005, the then ZanuPF-led government constructed houses at Maphisa growth point to accommodate hundreds of residents who had been displaced following the demolition of their sub-standard houses under Operation Murambatsvina.

But most of the houses were left incomplete and unconnected to the town’s water and sewer reticulation system.