Emganwini housing stands beneficiaries confront BCC officials

Prospective homeowners, Thursday summoned Bulawayo City Council (BCC) officials to explain why they have failed to deliver the housing stands they purchased in Emganwini suburb five years ago.

The stands which cost between US$5000 and US$8000 were being sold under the council’s pre-sale residential stand scheme.

Most of the home seekers paid the full amount but the local authority is yet to hand over the stands.

In May, the beneficiaries stormed Nketa Housing Office to register their displeasure at the council’s failure to deliver.

The meeting was attended by a high powered council delegation which included the Town Clerk Christopher Dube, Finance Director Kimpton Ndimande, Director of Engineering Services Simela Dube, Director of Housing and Community Services Dictor Khumalo and Ward 24 Councilor Arnold Batirai.

The furious beneficiaries accused the local authority of lacking transparency and evading formal communication with them over the issue.

They complained that BCC kept telling them that they were engaged in an arbitration process with the contractor but were not saying anything specific beyond that.

The beneficiaries’ representative Victor Mlingani Nyoni in a sideline interview with CITE said they are disappointed in the local authority for taking so long to deliver.

Nyoni said they had it upon themselves to engage the contractor to verify if the council was telling them the truth about the alleged arbitration.

“We even went to the contractor ourselves to find out if what the council was telling us was true. Right now we have called the council here to hear from them why they haven’t allocated our stands. We are deeply disappointed,” Nyoni said.

“Today we called the Town Clerk and his team here to address the residents. They have to keep in mind that they failed as the council to engage us. We engaged them. We are peaceful people who need our concerns addressed but the council is letting us down.”

Some of the beneficiaries at the meeting accused the council of not granting them the respect they deserve, citing they were poorly carrying out their duties as servants of the residents.

They noted that there were some people who had died before getting their stands.

Khumalo assured the residents that as management they would put extra effort to push for the finalisation of the arbitration process so that the stands may be commissioned.

“We will use all avenues to engage the parties involved to push for progress. The longer this issue drags the deeper the fury of the residents against the council will get. May you please be patient with us a little more as we finalise this. We promise to improve our communication with you going forward,” pleaded Khumalo.

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