LOCAL Government minister Ignatius Chombo has ordered Mutare City Council to allocate 2 000 serviced residential stands to a private land developer believed to be linked to Zanu PF Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri.
REPORT BY OBEY MANAYITI STAFF REPORTER
The land developer operates a company known as NATAO Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd.
Sources in the MDC-T-dominated local authority said the project was part of Zanu PF’s campaign strategy.
According to a recent council report compiled by town clerk Obert Muzawazi, the local authority has already started consultations in a bid to fulfill Chombo’s directive.
Chombo yesterday confirmed directing council to allocate the stands, claiming the site earmarked for the project was State land.
“This is State land and as minister, I have the power to recommend this co-operative. These councillors don’t know what they are talking about. Allocations are not based on possession of party cards. There is nothing wrong with me giving Zanu PF members stands. The MDC councillors are also entitled to do that to their members if they so wish,” said Chombo.
Part of Muzawazi’s report reads: “NATAO Enterprises (Pvt) Limited has applied for land for developing 2 000 high-density residential stands for Musha Mukadzi Co-operative in the city.
“The company intends to venture into the property development sector and wants to contribute towards alleviating the housing shortage in Mutare, particularly in the high-density where the demand for housing is high.
“The Minister of Local Governance, Rural and Urban Development has recommended that this organisation be allocated land for high-density residential development.
“At the moment council does not have adequate land for the 2 000 residential stands that have been applied for. However, there are three pieces of land, one in Hobhouse Township and the other two adjacent to Chikanga Phases 2 and 3 Townships with about 895 high-density residential stands that can be considered for allocation to this organisation.
“Council can allocate the balance of 1 105 high-density stands in Gimboki North once the issue regarding the Riffle Range is finalised with Zimbabwe National Army,” reads the report.
However, the matter has sparked war within the MDC-T-dominated council with some councillors accusing their colleagues of playing to Chombo’s whims.
“We had several meetings over the issue and we are so divided. Some among us have given in to the demands yet we have never seen the financial, technical and material resource base of this organisation,” said a councillor who declined to be named.
Acting mayor George Jerrison could not be reached for comment, as he was reportedly out of the country on council business.