Mangwe residents furious over cost of housing stands

Home seekers in Mangwe are up in arms with the Mangwe Rural District Council for over-pricing residential stands at Ingwizi Growth Point and poor service delivery, among a litany of grievances. 

Speaking to CITE, residents said this has resulted in local losing out to outsiders who have the financial resources to purchase the stands.  

“The prices for the stands is too high, they cost ZWL$80 000 and this is a rural area. The stands are not serviced and the land still remains the property of the Rural District Council (RDC),” said residents.

“This means that only people with money from other towns and cities will afford them. The RDC needs to come up with a policy on local economic development and empowerment of locals and preferential treatment of locals.”

Residents said they also want to be issued with title deeds for their assets.

“We don’t want to pay a lease but we want title deeds, we can’t lock in funds for years in assets. The RDC must initiate a process to ensure all stands have title deeds,” said the residents.

“Currently you can’t use those assets as security for a loan, RDC must initiate a process to ensure all stands have title deeds, we are informed that the owners of the new stand were issued with title deeds ahead of older stands. This shows that officials prioritise private interests ahead equal and fair administration, the policy of first come first serve must apply.”

In addition, Ingwizi residents said they are not involved in the budget consultation processes. 

“The budget process is flawed, no timeous notification of meetings, no information given before meetings, RDC ignores our input. They just pretend to consult the residents just to fulfill the bureaucratic demands of the processes but they are not genuine, we don’t accept the imposed RDC budget because it was concocted in Plumtree and we were never consulted, it is their budget and not ours,” said Ingwizi residents.

The residents added that there was poor communication between the RDC and residents and lack of basic services such as water, electricity and sewerage system. 

Contacted for a comment, Mangwe RDC Chief Executive Officer Bongani Ngwenya said on the issue of title deeds, it was not the responsibility of the local authority to issue title deeds. 

“The issue of title deeds has been raised by residents on a number of occasions. There is an erroneous belief that council gives title deeds. Council does not give title deeds,” said Ngwenya.

“Council facilitates the processing of title deeds which is done by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, working with the deeds registry and the surveyor general because this is State land which has not yet been handed over to the Council.”

Ngwenya added that the budget consultation meetings are carried out every year in all wards, inclusive of Ingwizi growth point.

“This year, the budget consultation meeting was held on the 13th of November 2020. During that meeting Mangwe RDC presented proposed tariffs for 2021, the proposed tariffs had been sent to residents WhatsApp group well ahead of the meeting,” he said.

Ngwenya also indicated that high density residential stands cost between US$1500 and US$1900 while medium to low density cost US$4 100 to US$4 500 or equivalent bank rates.

In the proposed 2021 budget, the price for high density stands ranges between US$1 544.61 and US$1 693.00 and US$ 3 760.18 to US$4 057.88 for medium to low density stands.

“These charges do not include the intrinsic value of the land. The value of the land will be determined after tittle surveying, at which point council will decide as to whether they pay it or not depending on how long one has been paying the lease to Council. A government valuer will be engaged to determine the land value,” said Ngwenya.

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