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Residents angry

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Hundreds of angry residents stormed Chitungwiza town council head office yesterday demanding that acting Town Clerk Fungai Mbetsa and Mayor Philemon Chipiyo resolve the Nyatsime housing project saga.

Some 15 000 residents bought Nyatsime stands in 2007, but council has not developed the area five years down the line.

The residents demanded audience with the council officials who reportedly fled the scene after sensing danger.

Mbetsa referred questions to Chipiyo whose mobile phone went unanswered.

“I think the mayor is better placed to comment on that story. You can try him,” said Mbetsa.

The residents’ spokesperson, Tapiwa Mushoriwa, said they have tried to engage the officials since Monday without success.

He said the residents were running out of patience and would ‘invade’ the unserviced stands from June 1.

“We bought those stands in 2007. There is Nyatsime Phase 1 up to 5, but up to now, no one has been allocated the stands. We need to occupy those stands immediately. There is no time to negotiate because the management is avoiding us, they have fled,” said Mushoriwa.

“If there is no action from these people (council), we will occupy the stands whether they are serviced or not.”

Another resident, Talent Mwai accused council officials of milking the local authority instead of serving them.

“They only want to steal our money like what they have done to us. We paid in Zimbabwe dollars in 2007 and we were again in 2009 told to top up money ranging from $900 to $2 800,” Mwai said.

A recent report by a special committee investigating land issues in Chitungwiza pointed fingers at ousted town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa for engaging in unscrupulous deals by awarding tenders to undeserving firms to service the stands.
In the process, the report said, council was prejudiced of millions of dollars.

The report showed that about $1, 2 million meant for projects was used for council salaries without approval, adding that the local authority should immediately appoint a competent and qualified project manager to deal with the project.

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