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Local Government Politics Social Welfare

MDC-T Former Councillor Bande Sucked in Epworth Illegal Stand Allocations

By Samuel Takawira

Perusing the accounts of the demolition of ‘illegal’ structures in the Epworth and Chitungwiza in the media and moreso the social media, one is bound to imagine that the citizens are the sole cause of these demolitions.

However a visit to Epworth by this reporter, where more than 30 families have been displaced proved beyond doubt that corrupt exercises by local authorities has led to the suffering of ordinary home seekers in Zimbabwe.

As the economy continues to take a nosedive, the level of corruption has continued to hit the roof with authorities abusing public offices for personal benefits at the expense of the general populace.

The need to own a residential stand and corruption has left scores of people buying land from heartless land barons who are corrupt and not even registered house dealers. The ordinary home seeker in Zimbabwe is caught between a rock and a hard place.

Investigations done by this reporter during a visit to the suburb proved that a group affiliated to the MDC-T, under the leadership of Didymus Bande, who is the former MDC-T councilor for Ward 4  acquired  land meant for of small to medium enterprises stands.

The land which is being distributed on a partisan basis is being sold for an insignificant amount.

Residents who spoke to this reporter acknowledge that the stands are going for as little as $150 and no paper work is presented upon payment.

“I paid $150 for my stand and there was nothing I was given up to date including not being given a receipt.  We  were told that the receipts are coming,” said Theresa White one of the victims facing eviction.

Aloius Zimuto echoed the above sentiments when he blasted corrupt authorities who drain money from struggling citizens.

“We condemn such behavior of using political office  to rob desperate citizens.

“ We were tricked upon paying money for the stands as we were told that after one work we will be given paper work but we are now facing eviction and we have not received any documentation,”

Chairman of the local Board, Councilor Tafireyi Murambidzi, resonated the above thoughts when he revealed that Bande is fully behind the corrupt and illegal distribution of stands.

“Bande never owned a residential  stand in Epworth he only allocated himself one recently on the illegal  land and he is solely behind this because he knew all the open spaces in Epworth hence he is selling the stands at a very cheap price,”Murambidzi said.

Murambidzi called on the police and the judiciary system to be part of  the buying and selling of residential stands.

“The police should and the judiciary system must be part of the buying and selling of stands to avoid corruption,” he said.

He also call no the residents themselves to be cautious of land barons whose motive is to only rob them of their hard earned money.

“How can you purchase a residential stand for 150 and think that it is authentic,” he queried.

The MDC-T which issued statement denouncing the demolition refused to comment on the involvement of Didymus Bande, in the land grabbing scheme.

Bande refuted the above allegations when he said that land grabbing by MDC-T members does not make him qualify to be the brains behind the illegal settling of people.

“The fact that MDC-T members are caught in the land grabbing battle does not make me the brains behind the illegal distribution of land,” he said.

Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora refused to comment on the issue claiming that he was attending meeting and is in no position to comment.

The minister of local government Ignatius Chombo was not picking up his phone to comment on the issue.



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Chief Editor: Earnest Mudzengi Content Editor: Willie Gwatimba