Parliament last week recommended that the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities should repossess the Willowvale flats in Harare, saying allocation of the flats was riddled with scandal and had to be reversed.
This was said in the House of Assembly by the chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Works and National Housing, Lovemore Mupukuta (Zanu Pf MP, Gokwe Central), while presenting a report on the manner the ministry had allocated flats to influential individuals instead of civil servants and the vulnerable.
The damning report prompted other MPs to urge the House to call upon the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the Willowvale housing scam.
The committee said the “scandalous manner” in which the flats were allocated had prompted them to conduct further inquiries on other housing projects being undertaken by the ministry to ensure deserving beneficiaries accessed government-funded housing.
The Willowvale flats comprise of five blocks (80 units) which have been completed and so far 69 beneficiaries have been allocated the flats while a further three blocks (48 units) are 97% complete. Civil servants were supposed to be allocated 20% of the flats after paying a deposit of $3 600.
“The committee observed that all the other requirements were set aside as it was highlighted by most interviewees that $10 000 was the requirement for one to get the flat and this shows that the project was not targeting the poor and vulnerable groups,” said Mupukuta.
“From the 36 interviewees, most of the beneficiaries who paid $10 000 were allocated the flats, but all civil servants who paid $3 600 are yet to be allocated flats,” he said.
The committees noted that there were some beneficiaries who did not meet the requirements but had been allocated flats while others had multiple ownership of properties in Harare.
Examples given were beneficiaries like Tapiwa Zengeya who owns a property in Zimre Park, and Jane Gwiza, who owns properties in Greendale and Budiriro.
Minors, some of them babies, also acquired the flats after their parents paid $10 000 deposit through the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ).
While debating on the motion, Zanu PF MP for Chiredzi North Ronald Ndava said the Anti-Corruption Commission should be called to inquire if the beneficiaries of the flats lived in Zimbabwe.
“I recommend that the committee has to invite the Anti-Corruption Commission to one of your meetings to investigate this scandal,” said Ndava.
Chitungwiza North MP Fidelis Mhashu (MDC-T) said the ministry should revise the whole process of allocation.