Some Chitungwiza residents lost property worth hundreds of dollars on Friday after heavy rains triggered massive flooding in Harare’s dormitory town.
Marvelous Chimhau (35) of Unit L Extension told The Sunday Mail that her family could not sleep during the night and some people in the neighbourhood had to rescue her young children from the inundated house. She said:
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What started like a normal day ended up in disaster after heavy rains pounded this area yesterday (Friday) afternoon. Water started flowing into the house and all the household goods are wet as we speak.
We did not sleep last night. My neighbour was not at home, so people from the neighbourhood had to rescue the children, including one who is still in preschool, from the flooded house.
Another resident, Rowesai Mazhindu (44), who stays near a dilapidated bridge that links Unit L and Chirasavana Township in Seke Rural, blamed the council for leaving desperate home seekers at the mercy of land barons. She said:
When you join these co-operatives, the directors appear genuine at first. You are made to pay huge sums of money only to be allocated a stand in a place like this.
In the end, you build a house because you are desperate to have a roof over your head. But, I think our local council is letting us down; they should be proactive and stop these land barons.
We are, therefore, appealing to the Government to intervene and make sure that people are allocated legal stands.
Tsitsi Muchenu (25) of Unit L’s Garikai Stands, told the publication that land barons are to blame as they sell residential stands on Wetlands and riverbanks.
All this shows desperation among the home seekers who are also susceptible to manipulation by land barons, who are selling stands everywhere.
Meanwhile, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said that the government will look for alternative land to resettle people settled on wetlands and riverbanks.
Moyo was speaking on Saturday during a tour of the houses affected by the floods in Chitungwiza.