HomeNewsChi-town officials delay plan approvals

Chi-town officials delay plan approvals

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SOME prospective house owners in Chitungwiza have accused the dormitory town’s council of excessive bureaucratic bottlenecks in having plans for their residential properties approved in a move that has created room for corruption.

PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
SENIOR REPORTER

Those who were building in the town must first have their plans approved and stamped. But NewsDay understands that since October last year, those seeking approval have had to wait after being told that there was no official date stamp to endorse their plans.

Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust (Chitrest) co-ordinator Marvelous Khumalo confirmed the development. He said after the centralisation of the process at the council offices, many gaps have been created which were now being used by council officials to milk prospective house owners.

“In the past paper would submit their plans to the various council halls in their areas but this process was centralised so they now have to go the head office and get them stamped at the town clerk’s office,” Khumalo said.

“Unfortunately this centralisation is now causing delays in the approval of the plans so some council workers are taking advantage and making people pay so they can facilitate the stamping of their plans.”

Some affected home seekers believed unorthodox practices could be responsible for the ongoing construction of several houses at a time when getting plans approved had become difficult.

Building without a plan attracts a $250 fine for every stage.

Chitungwiza mayor Philip Mutoti, however, dismissed the allegations as untrue. He said only plans of houses built on residential stands that were acquired unprocedurally — particularly those that belong to land baron Fraderick Mabamba’s United We Stand Housing Co-operative — were being turned down.

“We are approving plans and even stamping them right now. We need the money so there is no way we can stop stamping plans that would have been approved. Where plans are not stamped, it’s in respect of stands that were not properly allocated, like those that are sold by people like Mabamba,” he said.

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