SW Radio Africa (London)

11 June 2012

Zimbabwe: Bulawayo Governor Bypasses Council to Give Out Housing

The governor of Bulawayo, Cain Mathema, has been accused of by-passing the City Council, when he handed out applications for housing stands to party supporters at a private meeting last Saturday.

According to SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme, Mathema and former politburo member Sikanyiso Ndhlovu addressed ZANU PF members at a private function at the home of a party member, a woman named Mahlangane who lives in Njube area.

"It is no secret that ZANU PF has been on a door-to-door campaign in the high-density areas of Bulawayo trying to gain support," Saungweme explained, adding that these meetings are usually conducted by ZANU PF's District Coordinating Committee members.

He said the Njube meeting was attended by party members only, meaning the housing forms were not given to supporters of the MDC formations. "What is disturbing is that those who got the forms are now entitled to a housing stand in Bulawayo, by-passing the proper procedures," our correspondent said.

According to Saungweme, this is not the first time that Sikanyiso Ndhlovu has been involved with housing schemes. "He had a similar scheme when he was MP for Mpopoma, where people paid lots of money but the stands never materialised. Looks like he has changed base to Njube," Saungweme said.

He explained that Bulawayo has been a stronghold of the MDC formations for years and ZANU PF is attempting to gain more support there, ahead of the elections that are due next year.

Around the country, ZANU PF has been accused of distributing maize seeds from a government scheme to their supporters only, after putting a picture of Robert Mugabe on the bags. Many incidents have been documented and reported to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), which has no power to change the situation.

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