RESIDENTS of Sidojiwe low-cost housing scheme in Bulawayo have blasted the city council for allegedly demanding exorbitant rates and refusing to give them title deeds to houses which were built for them by an Australian donor agency.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
The residents said they cannot afford the high rates charged by the local authority, as most of them were elderly people.
Their spokesperson, Mandula Ncube accused council of reaping where it did not sow.
“The houses were meant to be given to people who could not afford anything, but now they are selling them to us. Selling something which was donated?” he asked.
“We want to confront them demanding title deeds for our houses without any conditions.”
But, Emganwini councillor, Norman Hlabani, insisted that the houses were built by council, adding the local authority was prepared to give them title deeds on condition they paid the required amounts.
“The residents approached me and asked me to talk to the council and an agreement was made to migrate from rented houses to home ownership. Those who managed to pay, paid for the ownership and some failed saying things were tough, ”he said.
In 2012, at least 100 residents from Bulawayo’s Emganwini suburb’s Millennium Housing Scheme besieged the city council’s administration offices in Nketa demanding title deeds for their properties and a reduction of their monthly rates.