MUTARE residents last week confronted city fathers accusing them of parcelling out infill residential stands under unclear circumstances.
The two parties clashed during a strategic planning and 2015 budget workshop held in the city after town clerk Obert Muzawazi challenged residents to provide evidence where they suspected underhand dealings.
“The matter of infill stands should be explained to the people and how they are being obtained. We banned privileges that only benefit council employees. We stopped that,” Muzawazi said.
A resident, Thomas Zimunya, said: “Infill stands are not being sold procedurally. They are not being advertised and it’s not clear which department is selling them. If proper procedure was being followed, we would not be facing these economic challenges.”
He further said: “We understand there is no council resolution to that effect and now we have information that the money that is being supposed to be receipted for council is lining chefs’ pockets. Deserving people who are on the waiting list are being bypassed.”
Another resident Oliver Chikumba claimed that the infill stands were being sold at high prices with little being remitted to the local authority.
Most of the infill residential stands normally fetch around $1 500, but home seekers were asked to pay much more to land barons who would have grabbed them.
“As residents, we demand to know how many infill residential stands have been sold now as well as the industrial ones. We also want to know the procedure used,” Chikumba demanded .
Other residents urged council to set up a commission to investigate how the stands were being sold.
Mutare has a housing backlog of over 30 000 people.