HomeLocal NewsHousing consortium tussles with town clerk over control

Housing consortium tussles with town clerk over control

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Acting Harare town clerk Josephine Ncube is embroiled in a wrangle with a housing consortium over the control of the housing project amid allegations she was trying to bulldoze herself into the structures.

BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA

Parkridge Housing Consortium, with members in Warren Park, Mabvuku and Kuwadzana, has accused Ncube of imposing herself into their structures under the guise of protecting home seekers from land barons. Ncube is council’s director of corporate services and housing.

A member of the consortium alleged Ncube had threatened to rescind council’s June resolution to allocate the consortium 1 511 residential units in Kuwadzana Extension.

He said she gave the consortium a proposed constitution where she made herself the chairperson with the sole power to call for meetings, but they rejected it thereby attracting her ire.

“We rejected the constitution because as far as we are concerned she must just play a supervisory role and not be a member of the consortium. When she sent it to us, we sat down and rejected it and included our own input and that is when she became furious and threatened to rescind the council decision to offer us the land,” said the member who requested anonymity.

According to the contentious proposed constitution, 10 members of the management committee shall be elected by the co-operatives while the chairperson shall be the Harare City Council corporate services and housing director or his/her authorised representative.

Section 10 of the constitution also stipulates that the power to call for meetings solely lies with the chair, which the consortium members said was tantamount to introducing an authoritarian system of governance.

“The fact that she wants to be the one with total control is questionable. She will not have a deputy or a secretary and you wonder what kind of system she wants,” said another consortium member.

But council spokesperson Michael Chideme on Thursday said the move to have Ncube into the structures was meant to safeguard members’ contributions.

He said there was a recent council resolution that stipulates that there should be a member of council in the consortium.

“There is a council resolution which states that a council official and the appointed members of the consortium should manage the operations to make sure that the funds contributed by the beneficiaries are put to good use,” Chideme said.

He said there had been numerous cases of home seekers being fleeced by leaders of housing cooperatives who abused members’ funds.

“If the membership of the consortium has nothing to hide, they should come out in the open,” Chideme said.

He said all transactions for the consortium needed council approval.

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