‘Investigate civil servants’

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Former Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Fidelis Mhashu last Friday called on government to investigate civil servants’ housing projects, amid reports of rampant corruption in the allocation of houses with wrong people allegedly benefiting from the scheme.

Addressing a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Works and National Housing meeting in Bulawayo last week, Mhashu challenged authorities to investigate people occupying some of the houses constructed under the civil servants’ housing scheme.

“The Portfolio Committee must have all the information necessary in connection with the civil servants housing projects,” said Mhashu. “This is because there are some relatives of some former ministers and government officials who were not civil servants who acquired those houses yet many civil servants have nowhere to stay.”

The committee is chaired by Gokwe-Mapfungautsi MP, Lovemore Mupukuta.

Mhashu said the mother ministry must respect the portfolio committee by availing all the information necessary to expedite investigations.

The government had at some point a vibrant civil servants housing scheme which saw a number of projects being undertaken in some parts of the country.

The civil servants were meant to acquire the houses and pay at subsidised rates.

However, a director in the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities Special Sibanda said the programme had been grounded by lack of funding.

“We currently do not have the funds for the scheme. Unless each ministry would be dealing with the Ministry of Finance directly not through our ministry,” said Sibanda, adding the only facility available was a $10 million loan facility for civil servants housing projects.

Sibanda said the Ministry of Education last year increased the number of employees who benefited from the loan facility with about 400 000 workers getting loans.