Over 100 members of Dzivarasekwa-based Nehanda Housing Co-operative this week stormed ZANU (PF) Headquarters in Harare demanding the party intervenes and oust the co-operative’s top leadership which they accuse of favoritism, corruption and misappropriation of funds.
zanupf hqThe protestors charged that the Never Kowo–led housing co-operative had misappropriated over $3 million dollars raised through individual contributions dating back to 2002. They also bemoaned failure by the leadership to hold Annual General Meetings where audited financial statements are presented to members.
‘We have decided to come to the party (Zanu PF) headquarters seeking for intervention after an initial meeting with ZANU (PF) Provincial chairperson Goodwills Masimirembwa failed to help us arguing the case is before courts of law. We are angry because the co-operative’s leadership is rotten with corruption. We want them to explain to us how funds were being used and they have not given us that opportunity,’ said one of the protestors.
Another protestor said, ‘We are demanding transparency and accountability in the management of the co-operative and allocation of stands and houses because there are people who are not in the co-operative but have been allocated houses. We therefore want the ruling party to assist us.’
Although Masimirembwa could not be reached for comment, Kowo is on record saying allegations being raised against him are malicious and should be dismissed.
A number of housing co-operatives in Harare are allegedly being run by corrupt leaders most of whom linked or claiming link to the ruling party. Such co-operatives include Ushewokunze and Tirivepano in Harare South, Chombouta in Kuwadzana, Magamba in Kambuzuma and others mushrooming in open spaces around the city. Challenges of governance and corruption have literally collapsed development at these co-operatives thereby dimming hopes for over a million people seeking houses in Harare.
According to Harare Residents Trust (HRT), the demand for housing stands has also resulted in the emergence of ‘land barons’ who are reportedly grabbing open spaces in the city and illegally selling it to unsuspecting land seekers. For example in Kuwadzana, HRT says residents from Kuwadzana 4 are complaining that land barons allocated themselves land which is between the community library and a recreational park whilst in Warren Park D the barons allegedly invaded land reserved for a secondary school and turned it into residential stands. Also in Budiriro 5, the open space near a fly-over bridge has also been illegally occupied.