Residents resist council fees

HARARE - Manyame residents are resisting a directive from their rural district council to pay $1 000 to regularise the stands they bought from a co-operative founded by alleged land baron, Frederick Mabamba.

The residents told the Daily News that Manyame Rural District Council (RDC) has issued letters of demand for each stand owner to pay $1 000 as fees for servicing the area.

Mabamba formed United We Stand Housing Cooperative and illegally sold the stands to desperate home seekers in the area.

“Manyame RDC has asked us to each pay $1 000 as a penalty fee for regularising our stands, however, we cannot afford the steep fee considering that we already paid for the stands when we purchased them.

“We have since asked to have lawyers to engage them on the justification and breakdown of such a huge penalty,” one of the residents told the Daily News.

Chitungwiza and Manyame Residents Association (Camera) director Marvellous Kumalo said they were now pursuing the court route after initial attempts to engage the MRDC over the fees yielded nothing positive.

“It is our sustained argument that the $1 000 penalty fee per household is astronomical, unjustified and above all a form of punishment in this failing economy as most beneficiaries of these houses are not able to access such an amount. We therefore call upon the local authority to consider reviewing this figure downwards,” Kumalo said.

The houses being identified for regularisation are on portions of land in Kuora, Masona, Nechiva and Chitanda villages in Seke and all land stretching from the Zesa substation towards the Chirasavana Road.

In 2015 the stands were scheduled for demolition by Manyame RDC as most of them were considered health hazards.

Manyame RDC argued that digging of wells and construction of pit latrines as well as subdivision of specified land into residential stands prompted the demolition order.

Chitungwiza Town Council and Manyame RDC with the assistance of the police were in 2014 asked to arrest perpetrators of illegal land invasions, subdivision, allocation and sale and to demolish more than 14 000 houses in the areas, but with little or no effect.

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