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PROPERTY tycoon and Zanu PF central committee member, Philip Chiyangwa, is forcing residents of Harare’s Southlea Park to pay $5,000 per household for title deeds.
Home to over 8,000 people, Southlea Park is run by Odar Housing Development Project – a consortium of 56 companies.
Chiyangwa has given them 120 months to pay up in instalments of at least US$60 for high density residential stands.
Residents however, want to know why they are paying the businessman for what they insists is State land.
The controversial Odar Farm was acquired by government in 2006 under the administration’s Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle programme.
Government then entered into an agreement with Odar for the consortium to establish a housing project on the property.
The arrangement was that government would compensate the previous farm owner, ZTA, for improvements on the farm and then receive its money back within 90 days from the consortium’s beneficiaries.
Despite the existence of this deal, the government entered into another agreement with Chiyangwa on April 9, 2015 to give the farm to Sensene Pvt Ltd, a company owned by the businessman.
The agreement between Chiyangwa and the government was signed by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry permanent secretary George Mlilo, but there was no government gazette to delist the farm.
Chiyangwa recently wrote to Southlea Park residents demanding payments for their stands.
According to a notice NewZimbabwe.com has in its possession, people occupying high density residential stands are required to pay US$60-00 per month.
Those with medium density stands must pay’ US$81-00 per month with those occupying low density areas expected to US$122-00 per month.
The instalments will be paid over a period of 120 months.
“Please note that you will no longer pay regular monthly subscriptions of US$20 and US$25.
“And also note that the bulk of the money will cater for compensation deeds thus it should not be deemed as second payment,” read part of the notice which is being circulated to residents.
NewZimbabwe.com caught up with Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry permanent secretary George Mlilo at a national anti-corruption strategy dialogue in Harare organised by Transparency International Zimbabwe last week.
Mlilo declined to comment on whether it was government position that Chiyangwa should be compensated for the state land which has not been delisted.
“I have no idea of what you are talking about,” he said.
“I would want to research and find out because running a very big ministry like we are doing I would not know these minute details.”
Residents however of say they need a clear explanation on why Chiyangwa should be compensated.
“We are not opposed to paying but we want to know where Chiyangwa is coming from,” said one woman.
“What we know is that the farm was seized from a white commercial farmer by the government and it is a state property. We need to know if Chiyangwa is now government.”
“This is corruption by Zanu PF,” added another resident.
“We know that Chiyangwa might not be alone in this game of robbing us of our money. The money must be going somewhere. If that was not the case Chiyangwa would have been stopped. source-newzimbabwe