Zvishavane Residents raise concerns over partisan allocation of stands

Residents of Zvishavane have expressed doubts on the sincerity of the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Ignatius Chombo in dealing with the scourge of partisan allocation of residential stands between ZANU-PF councillors, and supporters, saying his silence suggests political hypocrisy.

This follows the unearthing of a serious scandal in the Zvishavane Town Council where the municipality is being accused of allocating stands to ZANU PF supporters only in areas such as Runde. Reports say that genuine home seekers are also being forced to attend ZANU-PF meetings nearly every day. Residents of Zvishavane have also accused the council of corruption, poor service delivery and abuse of council money.

Timothy Maedzenge a resident of Zvishavane in an interview with the Crisis Report Team said that despite having applied for a residential stand in 2009, the Council has not given him any response. He went on to add that even though the MDC-T councillor Alois Zhou was suspended from the council, the now ZANU-PF led council has not done anything to improve the housing needs for many.

Residents further questioned the quality of and criteria with which special councillors are selected considering that these are same candidates that were rejected by the residents during elections.

"The appointment of special interest councillors from ZANU-PF, and previous employees of council is just reappointment of electoral rejects, which only perpetuate rather than end corruption. Despite identifying the major culprits in the collapse of service provision in the city, and the continued stripping of assets, Minister Chombo has still not acted decisively on the issue of partisan allocation of stands, € fumed Maedzenge.

Another resident, Takaidza Muregi, said for one to benefit from the partisan allocation, he/she was supposed to produce a copy of the ZANU PF party card while those who could not do so were turned away. He added that residents' frustration was sparked by the proliferation of co-operatives linked to Zanu PF in peri-urban areas across the country, benefiting mostly supporters of the party with the condition that they vote for ZANU-PF candidates in the next election and bring others to do the same.

Asked on why the residents cannot organise themselves and confront the council Muregi said, "We are afraid to confront the council over this issue as we fear being on the receiving end of violence from ZANU-PF supporters and the police who have threatened us with violence and arrest, € said Muregi.

The Crisis Report Team contacted ZANU-PF MP for Zvishavane-Runde Constituency Lawrence David Mavima who denied the allegations by arguing that, 'when allocating stands we do not ask for any party cards. It is ridiculous to allocate stands according to one's political affiliations.'


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