Harare City Council wants to resume the allocation of residential stands starting with 5 000 stands after having suspended the process more than a year ago after most of its top housing officials, including a housing director and two acting housing directors, were arrested and charged over alleged corruption.
They are still on suspension.
Concerns have been raised over the manner that Harare City Council allocates its residential stands as the housing waiting list is not properly adhered to amid revelations that the council employees, in connivance with some councillors, allegedly receive kickbacks from desperate house-seekers.
In a notice the council said this year it will allocate 5 000 residential stands.
“No allocations took place last year. When the allocations begin residents will be notified. Residents on the housing waiting list will be invited for interviews,” reads the notice.
According to the local authority the decision to suspend allocation in 2020 came after it unearthed irregularities in the management of housing land leading to the arrest of top officials on corruption and abuse of office charges.
Senior management staffers such as the housing director Addmore Nhekairo and former acting housing director Matthew Marara and principal housing allocation officer Mr Edgar Dzehonye were among the top council officials that were suspended over alleged land scams. Then Mr Fani Machipisa who took over as housing director was also suspended on the same allegations.
Mr Innocent Sithole is the current acting housing director.
An employee based at the council’s Remembrance Drive offices in Mbare also committed suicide in 2020 barely two weeks after the council instituted investigations into the alleged unprocedural and double allocations of stands by the housing department.
There were reports that the deceased Ms Margaret Muganga, who was the acting allocations officer, left a suicide note in which she allegedly flagged serious anomalies within council’s housing department.