THE LOCAL Government ministry will not relent on not giving land to housing co-operatives and will only work with Udcorp and councils despite protests from the Small-to-Medium Enterprises Development ministry, as tension within government intensifies.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere told journalists yesterday, on the sidelines of a workshop organised by his ministry in the capital that although co-operatives belonged to the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises, headed by Sithembiso Nyoni, his ministry was in charge of giving out land and would not do that to housing co-operatives.
“Where we are coming from, we looked at them (housing co-operatives) as dangerous, as they had led to land barons. So the minister is right in her statute books on that one, (but) they are not limited to housing co-operatives. Where we provide land, we are no longer providing land to housing co-operatives. We will give land to councils and recognised urban development companies. Housing co-operatives have given us serious problems,” he said.
Kasukuwere has often blamed housing co-operatives for fuelling illegal settlements.
On allowances to councillors, he said: “We have looked at them and in some instances, you find that councillors were finding reason for corruption. We are finding ways to dissuade them from abusing ratepayers’ money, unnecessary trips out of town and out of the country. From now on, any councillor found wanting will, therefore, face the boot.
“No more to those allowances that councillors where taking advantage of. No more travel outside town on seminar business to be met by council. In fact, we have placed a ban on all travel outside of town at the expense of council.”
Last week, while responding to the ban on housing co-operatives as announced by Local Government deputy minister Christopher Chingosho, Nyoni said: “I administer the Act and, at the end of the day, I am the one in charge and if I do not pronounce a change that comes either through Parliament or Government Gazette, any utterances on that matter are null and void.”