SCORES of disgruntled Mvurwi residents yesterday reportedly disrupted a clean-up campaign organised by the local authority, accusing council officials of denying them access to their allocated stands.
By Simbarashe Sithole
The residents, mostly vendors, claimed that they were allocated 1 500 residential stands in 2011, but have not yet been allowed to put structures on the stands.
Armed with drums and placards denouncing the alleged corruption, the angry residents under Kurai Self Aid Scheme forced council workers, who were cleaning up the town as part of the national clean-up exercise, to make a hasty retreat.
The housing scheme’s spokesperson, Gift Chikuse, accused council officials of plotting to grab the land and share it among themselves.
“We cannot clean the environment when we do not have our own houses after being denied access to build temporary structures by this rotten council,” Chikuse fumed.
The demonstrators also accused council of double allocating the stands and selling some of the land to land barons, among them top Zanu PF officials.
Chikuse claimed that over 150 stands bought by former Mazowe North MP, Chris Kuruneri to benefit Zanu PF supporters in 2002, were grabbed by one senior council official who then re-allocated them to other people.
Council chairperson Charles Hodobo described the demonstration as illegal and disruptive.
“As you can see, they are following us all over. We even tried to tell them to meet us after two hours since the clean- up exercise is only for two hours, but they refused,” Hodobo said.
“On Wednesday we summoned their spokesperson and a few of their representative to try and reach a consensus but they did not come.”
Mazowe North ward 27 councillor Fanuel Chigonero said residents should have participated in the clean-up exercise first before demonstrating.
“These residents lacked respect for the clean-up campaign which is a national event. We know it is their constitutional right to demonstrate but they should have respected the clean-up first,” Chigonero said.