Zimbabwe: Residents Want E-Housing Waiting List

7 August 2020

Residents countrywide have urged councils to automate their housing waiting lists to ensure transparency in the allocation of stands and curb corruption.

The process for one to acquire a residential stand in most councils has been raising eyebrows over the years, with local authorities such as Harare issuing offer letters without stamps, making it easier for officials to duplicate documents, sometimes leading to double allocations.

Mant officials at Harare City Council have been arrested for corruption and abuse of office after allocating land to "undeserving" people not on the waiting list.

This prompted the city to suspend the allocation of housing stands for the second time in as many weeks.

Harare Residents Trust member Precious Shumba said an automated waiting list was the way to go.

"Local authorities should have an accountable and transparent system of managing its land bank and an online housing waiting list where people register and everything is done online is the way to go," he said.

"That way we have very little chances of the corrupt individuals taking advantage of council officials by offering them bribes and other inducements."

Speaking to Zimpapers' Star FM radio on Monday, Bulawayo Residents Association chairperson Winos Dube said corruption was something that needed to be dealt with decisively.

"We are seeing people in authority allocating residential stands or pieces of land to themselves ahead of people on the waiting list," he said.

Interestingly, Harare City Council invited information and technology experts to review and assist in the automation of the housing allocation systems "free" of charge.

Meanwhile, service delivery in Harare continues to deteriorate to alarming levels, with the local authority failing to collect garbage and provide water to residents.

Dumpsites have become the order of the day in both high, medium and low density areas, as council trucks remain grounded.

The Harare City Council has pointed to fuel shortages as the reason for their failure to collect refuse.

"We are currently unable to move household garbage because we do not have diesel. We paid for our consignment and are yet to receive the fuel," said the council.

"We are, therefore, unable to deploy garbage collection trucks. Once we receive the fuel, we will do a blitz in all suburbs to clear the backlog created through non-collection."

Zimbabwe Combined Residents and Ratepayers Association executive president Mr McSteven Nyabvure said service delivery had deteriorated.

"Harare City Council officials should not take residents for a ride by failing to offer basic services like refuse collection," he said.

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