Residents engage BCC over evictions

Local News
The BMC houses are owned by council. Some of the tenants have been living in the houses for more than 20 years.

BY IRENE MOYO Over 70 tenants occupying BMC houses in Makokoba, Bulawayo, have demanded to have a meeting with the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) after they were served with eviction notices.

The BMC houses are owned by council. Some of the tenants have been living in the houses for more than 20 years.

Council director of housing and community services Dictor Khumalo has given the residents a three-month notice to vacate the premises.

BMC residents’ committee chairperson Nkosiyabo Ndlovu said council‘s decision was unfair because it did not consider their welfare.

“More than 70 families here have received the short notice from the BCC and surely it is a sign that they did not consider the welfare of the people living there. We have old persons, people with disabilities and schoolchildren who are occupying these premises. All of a sudden council is planning to dump them just like that yet they have been living there for the past 20 years,” Ndlovu said.

“Residents are frustrated, we voted for these people to represent and serve us, but now they are turning a blind eye to such a crucial issue. Another sad part is that even the uniformed staff have also received notices to vacate. We now do not know who will occupy these premises since workers are also being given eviction notices.”

Combined Residents Association and Peace Committee representative Jennifer Kawoma said they were shocked to hear that ward 7 councillor Shadreck Sibanda did not communicate such a decision to Makokoba residents at BMC houses.

“We were surprised to hear that the BCC went on to take a decision to evict BMC residents without the ward 7 councillor notifying his residents about the decision that had been taken. Residents were shocked to receive short notices from the BCC. We had to call a meeting to invite him so as to explain the issue, and he said he was not there when the decision was made. Now we want him to help clarify this issue to residents because hundreds of them will soon be homeless,” Kawoma said.

The councillor, however, assured the residents that they would not be evicted.

“What I need right now is that on Friday we will engage with the councillors who made the decision to evict people to ensure that residents are not dumped on the streets,” he said.

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