Homeseekers who bought stands in Rangemore under Umguza Rural District Council are up in arms with Pure Gold Housing Trust for failing to provide residential stands nine years later.
About 600 people bought residential stands from the land developer in 2012 but it is alleged that less than 200 beneficiaries finally received their stands in 2020.
The beneficiaries moved to form a group in 2020 during the height of the Covid-19 lockdown to address their grievances.
In an interview with CITE, the chairperson of the group Mbizo Moyo said there has not been any meaningful development on the land since 2012.
He said the stands varied from 200m2 up to 350m2 with some beneficiaries paying up to US$5 800 for a stand.
“We were hoping to have sewerage systems, roads but all that is still not there. We tried to engage Umguza Rural District Council since Rangemore is under the jurisdiction of Umguza trying to get the particulars of our developer such as the development plan and subdivision plan but Umguza referred us back to our developer saying he is the one responsible for showing us those documents,” said Moyo.
“When we called for a meeting with the developer, they refused to meet with us, we ended up forcibly leaving the position paper on his desk but they never responded.”
Moyo added that after they put the developer under pressure, he ended up allocating a few people stands, “but we feel that he did not follow proper procedures, I doubt that the physical planning knows that he has already allocated us stands, that is what is troubling us.”
He said the beneficiaries want proper documentation and title deeds to the land as they fear that proper procedure was not followed.
“As it is we are not even sure whether his license is still valid for that particular land. Some people are still affected in the sense that they never got the stands, while those who got the stands are afraid to resume construction as they think that proper procedures were not followed and we don’t have total ownership of the stands,” said Moyo.
“We want to have the development plan and the subdivision plan; we want proper documents so that when we are sending our plans to Umguza they are approved as proper documents will be available.”
He said the beneficiaries fear that if they start construction their houses will be demolished as they will be built in undesignated areas.
“As we speak, there is no water or sewage system, so we think that even if he allocates us those stands using his map when they put those designs, it will affect our houses. All we want is legal procedures to be followed so that we know that money never went to waste because at the moment he is even selling some plans to some beneficiaries saying they are usually approved by Umguza Rural District Council,” said Moyo.
Contacted for a comment, Pure Gold Housing Trust operations manager Abraham Murata said all beneficiaries have since received their housing stands.
“All our clients under that project have since been given their residential stands and a number of them are constructing their houses. Those claiming to have not been given the stands are not in our list and are the ones who withdrew their membership when the development was delayed,” said Murata.
He said the delay was caused by consultative meetings carried out between Bulawayo City Council (BCC) and Umguza Rural Council since the project on the boundary of the two local authorities.
“We could not develop on time without local authorities giving us a green light on the boundaries and the off-site infrastructure since the project was acquired above board,” said the operations manager.
“For record’s sake, we do not have any beneficiary not allocated his or her stand, only those who withdrew their membership are the ones trying to tarnish their image after they witnessed the success of the project they deserted.”