Insuza home-seekers cry foul

“We were promised stands at Insuza centre and we are therefore worried over continuing to pay for something we might not possess.”


In 2013, Thulani Ncube, a villager in the Insuza area of Matabeleland North deposited part of his savings of US$20 with Umguza Rural District Council for a housing stand.

He was among more than 100 other people who made applications.

However, seven years of eagerly waiting for a housing stand seems to be a mere dream, he remains landless.

The applicants, despite paying an equivalent of US$20 annual renewal fees, claim to not have had any feedback from the local authority.

In interviews with The Citizen Bulletin, applicants disclosed that they were not told the sizes of the stands but only assumed it would be revealed during allocation time.

The right to shelter is one of the human rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights in the new constitution and many people are still hunting for permanent space to build their homes both in rural and urban areas across the country.

Applicants say they were promised stands in the shortest period, but seven years down the line they still do not know when they will build their homes.

Insuza centre is set to expand into a township and there are claims of political interference in the allocation process.

“Our councillor (ward 11) Patterson Zororo gave us application forms and we have been paying ZWL$2 000 or US$20 every year to the council as renewal fees. However, it’s been many years now and there is still no feedback on the stands,” Ncube said.

“We were promised stands at Insuza centre and we are therefore worried over continuing to pay for something we might not possess.”

Another distraught applicant, Portia Dube said now losing hope. She claimed there were some people, who are clandestinely allocated stands at the centre.

“Seven years of waiting is not a joke and remember this is not just waiting, but it means parting with money every year as we continue to pay to remain on the waiting list,” she said.

Dube said they engaged their councillor Zororo on the matter, but his efforts seem to be failing.

Zororo told The Citizen Bulletin that the issue of the stands was now contentious for Insuza home seekers.

He blamed political meddling in the whole saga.

“I have been confronted by a Zanu PF official, who told me to stay away from the issue of the stands. Stands distribution is now political in Insuza and only Zanu PF members are privileged,” Councillor Zororo said.

“Zanu PF district coordinating committee chairman Oscar Ncube confronted me saying I must not fish in his net.

“He said I must stay away from the stands. As a councillor, it’s my responsibility to assist my ward, but with these Zanu PF officials, it is becoming impossible.”

He corroborated Dube’s claims of shady allocations taking place.

“More than 400 Zanu PF members received stands at Mgandani village1, Ndlovuiyanyathela phase 1 and 2. When I tried to hold a meeting to address this issue, I was blocked on the condition of Covid-19 measures,” Zororo said.

“Zanu PF members are always holding meetings. This is a matter of politics and favouritism which must be addressed.”

Ncube denied that he was involved in the land distribution scandal.

“There is nothing like that happening, and I demand to know your sources because I am not aware of what they are saying,” he said.

But his party colleague who identified himself as Mjajana Moyo confirmed the stand distribution crisis.

He claimed that only repossessed stands from owners, who would have failed to build within specified timelines are being reallocated.

Dube now thinks they are being taken for a ride: “I now suspect this whole thing is a fundraising programme. There is plenty of land at the centre and by now we must have completed our homes,” she says.

 *This article was originally published by The Citizen Bulletin, a nonprofit news organization that produces hard-hitting, hyper local reporting and analysis for the south-western region of Matabeleland.


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