THE cash-strapped Gwanda Town Council has offered a two-bedroomed house in the high density township of Senondo to Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs minister Abedinico Ncube for $5 000 following a directive by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo that the house be sold to him.
BY ALBERT NCUBE
Although council management had valued the house at $12 759,23, Ncube is going to pay $5 000 after $8 160,the rentals he paid during his 17-year stay at the house, was deducted.
Similar houses in the township are being sold for $15 000.
Ncube had been renting the house for past 17 years, but was later ordered to move out following a legal battle with the municipality.
The then MDC-dominated council led by former mayor Lionel DeNecker argued that he had completed his Jacaranda house and had to relocate so that the council house could be allocated to a deserving person.
A letter written to Gwanda town clerk Gilbert Mlilo by Chombo dated August 20, 2013 reads: “I am reliablly informed that your council turned down a request by Mr A Ncube to purchase house number 82 Senondo township under home ownership which he resided in for 17 years.
“There are houses in council which were granted home ownership status and his request to have his house granted the same was turned down without any convincing reasons. It is against this background that I am compelled to exercise the powers vested in me as the minister and direct you to sell house number 82 Senondo township to Mr Abedinico Ncube.”
Documents gleaned by our Bulawayo Bureau showed that the municipality has heeded Chombo’s directive.
The sale of the house to Ncube for a song comes at a time the municipality is in financial dire straits.
Council is failing to clear a housing backlog with thousands of people waiting to be allocated stands.