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