Residents petition council over residential stands

Dozens of residents Monday petitioned the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) demanding clarity on the fate of their residential stands which they purchased years back.

The stands according to the residents are located in Emganwini and Tshabalala high-density suburbs.

The placard-wielding residents marched to Large City Hall but the alert council officials shut the gates, in a development that infuriated them. Some could be seen trying to break and uproot the gate to gain access but to no avail.

Residents who spoke to this publication said council has failed to avail the stands despite them meeting all the requirements including topping up the monies that have been requested.

One of the residents, Honoured Nkomo said the delay in the release of their stands has affected them in many ways.

“We are here today to demand our stands from the City Council, they are long overdue. We want to build houses for our families because rent is expensive it rises every now and then.

“We paid for these stands in 2016 and the council said we were going to get stands in Emganwini and Tshabalala,” Nkomo said.

He said the local authority has shown that it was not willing to settle the matter.

“In 2018 we engaged the council again and they said that we must top up because the money was now too little. We never heard from the council since then and today we said enough is enough.

“We want to leave this place with a solution. If they don’t give us a concrete way forward we are going to Emganwini to start building. We paid for the stands and we are entitled to the piece of land,” he said.

However, as the demonstrators remained outside, demanding to see the mayor and council management, it was the BCC Corporate Communications Manager Nesisa Mpofu in the company of acting Traffic manager Ndumiso Ndlovu who finally gathered courage to face the angry demonstrators.

She then pleaded with them to calm down so that an engagement can be facilitated.

“We have heard your pleas and we are asking that you calm down. The council has different departments therefore I myself will engage the department responsible for issuing lands to find out what the hindrance is.

“For now we are asking that the representatives come to our office so that we talk and reach common ground,” Mpofu said.

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