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Chitungwiza residents speak out
Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST)
November 15, 2013

Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust (CHITREST) through its Information and Research department as from November 1, 2013 conducted an investigation on the causes of the sprouting so-called illegal structures in and around Chitungwiza. This was done in partnership with other strategic and progressive organizations, notably Heal Zimbabwe Trust and Manyame Rural Residents’ Trust from Seke communal area.

Unlike the current government constituted Hon. Joel Biggie Matiza’s led investigation team which, as motivated by their huge daily allowances of US$900 per person, been permitted by the responsible Minister to extend their stay in Chitungwiza for another 14 days, CHITREST managed to complete its survey within just a fortnight. Below are our research team’s findings from the investigative survey:


1. Chitungwiza Municipality operates without a housing policy, rendering the allocation of residential stands in the city being chaotic.

2. The government has failed to allocate adequate land for residential use in tandem with the growing urban population and its lack of urgency to resolve the lagging Nyatsime housing project.

3. There is poor management and rampant abuse of the Chitungwiza housing waiting list by some council officials, which has seen some desperate home seekers being on the Council housing waiting list for the past 3 decades.

4. The land issue in Chitungwiza has been hijacked by some powerful and unscrupulous politicians and ‘used’ for electioneering purposes, to the detriment of urban planning.

5. The issue of in-fill stands in Chitungwiza is not a new phenomenon as its existence can be traced as far back as in the mid 1986.

6. The greater part of Chitungwiza generally lies on a wetland because of its geographic location, not surprisingly the Old Mutual Chitungwiza Town Centre, the government owned Seke Teachers college, the Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa founded United Family International Church (UFIC), Chitungwiza Police Station, CitiMed (formerly SouthMed) hospital, Chitungwiza Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) and privately owned Pathway Primary school among others are all seated on wetlands.

7. Recent demographic studies in Zimbabwe reflect an increase in the rate of rural-urban migration, leading to a proportional rise in the demand for residential stands in urban and peri-urban areas.

8. The perpetual existence of poor urban planning by some Council officials which witnessed the employment of an unqualified and resultantly incompetent Mr. Jonathan C. Dembetembe as the Principal Town Planner for close to 2 decades followed by his dismissal in 2012 shows the acceptance by Council of its poor planning.

9. The inclusion of Mr. Conrad Muchesa, Council’s Director of Urban Planning Services in the investigation team raises a lot of questions to residents and ratepayers as he is an interested part whose presence might jeopardize the on-going investigations.

10. The current Matiza led team is the 5th commission in a series of investigations to be appointed to look into similar issues in Chitungwiza at the expense of the ratepayers’ money without any meaningful contribution towards influencing the city’s policy direction.


a. Chitungwiza Municipality, superintending Zimbabwe’s 3rd largest urban population, needs a clear housing policy.

b. In response to the growing urban population, the government must allocate adequate land to local authorities for residential development purposes and urgently resolve the Nyatsime housing project.

c. The country’s electoral laws must be realigned so as to allow the deterrent punishment of politicians who use land and other freebies as instruments of vote-buying.

d. Residential stands must be sold as per the provisions of the housing policy on “first come, first serve” basis rather than giving unfair preference to those with fat pockets.

e. The city must ensure that there is an efficient drainage system in place so as to enable property development on wetlands.

f. Council must religiously follow the provisions of its 2012 adopted employment policy, so as to curb the recruitment of undeserving officials.

g. Chitungwiza residents are the bona-fide owners of the town; hence they should be represented in the Ministerial-appointed investigation team.

h. It is our sincere hope as ratepayers that the Matiza led team will bring Chitungwiza’s housing problems to finality this time than to continuously fleece scarce council resources through bringing different commissions to Chitungwiza.

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