THE Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) is headed for a showdown with war veterans, resettled on the periphery of Masvingo, after the institution was offered 100 hectares of their land by the Local Government ministry for a housing project.
BY TATENDA CHITAGU
The deal was facilitated by former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere last year at the official handover of IDBZ’s first housing project, Phase 1 of the Clipsham Views stands.
Kasukuwere, who was then accompanied by late Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa, and Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, allocated 100 hectares to IDBZ at the event. “We are giving the bank an additional 100 hectares across the highway for housing development,” he said.
“Minister Mahofa, do you allow them? Are they fit for the offer?”
The land falls under Masvingo Rural District Council (MRDC).
True to Kasukuwere’s word, IDBZ got the land and the bank acknowledged receipt of the 100 hectares in an advertisement in a local weekly.
“The IDBZ is happy to announce that following the successful completion of Clipsham Views phase 1 low density housing project, the bank has now concluded the acquisition of 100 hectares of land across the Masvingo-Beitbridge Road from the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry for phase two of the development.
“The successful purchase of the 100 hectares from the ministry now paves the way for the bank to embark on the Clipsham Views phase 2 project which will be mixed use development.
“To this end, the bank is finalising the engagement of various teams of consultants required to undertake the survey and planning stages of the project before embarking on development and site servicing during the second half of 2018.
“We thank the ministry, Masvingo City Council, MRDC and other key stakeholders for their facilitation of this additional intervention by the bank towards availing housing amenities in Masvingo,” the advert read.
However, some of the war veterans settled on the land told NewsDay that they would resist any attempts to evict them. “We will not take that lying down. We were settled here long back by the government and given plots, which we are farming.
“Some of us have already built permanent structures and we have nowhere else to go,” one of the beneficiaries, who requested anonymity, said.
Asked if they had appeased the angry war veterans and compensated them, IDBZ corporate communications officer Priscilla Zvobgo said: “In the process of developing projects, the IDBZ engages with various stakeholders to ensure successful and inclusive development outcomes.
“Any concerns regarding land use and allocations are dealt with by the relevant authorities and these do not fall under the purview of the bank, but the allocating authority.
“The IDBZ will ensure a quality delivery in housing development on the site earmarked for Clipsham phase 2 housing development for the benefit of the community in Masvingo.”
MRDC chief executive, Martin Mubviro said he was unaware that the IDBZ got 100 hectares on Clipsham Farm as he had not seen their application.
“I am yet to see their application for the land. Clipsham falls under MRDC, but I never saw their application. I do not know that they got land in Clipsham,” he said.