HomeNewsHarare Metro administrator Alfred Tome fingered in Chitown land deals

Harare Metro administrator Alfred Tome fingered in Chitown land deals

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A GOVERNMENT probe team tasked to investigate illegal land deals in Chitungwiza has fingered Harare Metropolitan provincial administrator Alfred Tome as having supported about 300 settlers who built sub-standard structures in the dormitory town.

BY VENERANDA LANGA
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER

According to the probe team Tome also reportedly assured them that he would bring in Turkish land developers to service the area.

The team also unearthed a scam where the local authority sold 11 000 non-existent residential stands to 15 000 desperate Nyatsime home seekers and later reduced the stand sizes to accommodate the extra 4 000 buyers.

The probe team also established that council demanded top-up fees ranging between $900 and $2 800 from the prospective home owners and used the money to buy luxury vehicles for its top officials.

The audit was commissioned by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo last month following reports of massive illegal land sales involving certain named land barons.

“The audit team established that Bremar and Longlands Farms were allocated to Chitungwiza Municipality in 2005 and beneficiaries of the peri-urban settlement scheme still hold valid offer letters issued by the Ministry of Lands,” read the report.

“In 2007, the municipality allocated and sold non-existent stands in Nyatsime area to about 11 000 beneficiaries and Council later designed a layout plan creating
11 000 stands, but continued to sell stands to beneficiaries until the total figure of buyers reached 15 000.”

According to the report, when Council realised they had sold more stands than those provided on the layout plan, they went on to redesign the layout plan and created 15 400 stands on the same land by reducing the stand sizes.

“Beneficiaries were asked to top up $900, $1 800 and $2 800 for high, medium and low density stands respectively. It was alleged that the top-up fees paid by the beneficiaries were used by the Municipality for the payment of salaries and purchase of luxury vehicles in the manner of Toyota Fortuners and Toyota V8 Land Cruisers,” the report added.

The home seekers have not yet been formally allocated their stands.

The report said a pressure group, Nyatsime Beneficiaries Housing Trust was then formed to try and force council to officially allocate the stands to beneficiaries, but they were not aggressive enough.

Later another aggressive pressure group, Nyatsime Housing Development Association was formed and initiated illegal invasions of the stands.

“The pressure group went on to allocate stands to other co-operatives such as Yamurayi Disabled Housing Co-operative, Born Free Crew, and ZNA’s Heritage co-operative. It also collected money from beneficiaries ($20 for a site plan, $40 for identification of pegs, $30 for bridge construction, $20 as administration fee and in some cases $100 for a building plan),” the report said.

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