NATIONAL Housing minister Giles Mutsekwa yesterday told Parliament that Cabinet had ordered the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs to investigate abuse of the Pay-for-Your-House Scheme from the 1980s.
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Mutsekwa told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Works chaired by Mutasa North MP David Chimhini that the abuse of the scheme by its handlers happened during Zimbabwean dollar era and it was proving difficult to convert the amounts to United States dollars to recover them.
“Firstly, the scheme was abused and, secondly, the beneficiaries never made any attempt to pay back and since the system was in operation during the Zimbabwean dollar era, government has got to determine the exchange rate,” Mutsekwa said.
He said during that time, people were given funds to access money to build houses, but the scheme failed to benefit intended beneficiaries, adding some of the beneficiaries had since died.
Mutsekwa also said his ministry was crafting a Land Developers Bill after a lot of poor people had been duped by land developers.
“I have pulled it through the Cabinet Committee on Legislation and it is now with the Attorney-General’s Office. I would like the Bill to be debated in the House, but before it is dissolved on June 29,” he said.
On the issue of Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle houses, Mutsekwa said government had run out of money to complete the project and had handed it over to local authorities after consultations with Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.