Harare,– Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has accused Harare city councillors of abusing their positions as custodians of the troubled city’s affairs to clandestinely form housing cooperatives on city land some of which have fleeced desperate home seekers of their hard earned money.
He was giving oral evidence before parliament’s Local Government committee on Wednesday.
The Irene Zindi chaired committee was seeking answers on who should be in charge of housing cooperatives and the money paid by the members of the cooperatives.
“Even councils were now taking advantage of these cooperatives with very important names assigned to cooperatives such as General Josiah Magamba Tongogara and Joshua Nkomo,” Kasukuwere said.
Kasukuwere said councillors were now trustees in some housing cooperatives.
He pledged to prove his claims through tangible evidence.
“You actually have a situation where the council which is the biggest cooperative has members and its citizens have submitted themselves to this body which will look after their common interests,” Kasukuwere said.
“Those elected to superintend over this land called councillors set up their own entities called cooperatives and allocated the most prime land to these cooperatives.”
The advent of the housing cooperatives in Harare has opened avenues for land barons to fleece monies from desperate home seekers.
Most fall prey to cases in which one property could be sold to more than one buyer, or buy land from undesignated places such as wetlands.
The Zanu PF political commissar insisted his ministry will not offer any more land to housing cooperatives as a way of bringing normalcy to the sector.
He added: “The most worrying situation is when a poor lady who has submitted her money to this cooperative hoping that her interest will be looked after, is pushed out of the land notwithstanding that she has paid three quarters of the total amount.” – Radio VOP