Monday, 26 January 2015

A housing co-operative chairman and land baron arrested

Municipal Reporter
A housing co-operative chairman was yesterday arrested at a meeting that was being addressed by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo for pocketing thousands of dollars paid by members.

Caledonia and Eastview Development Consortium chairman Nelson Mandizvidza was picked up while Cde Chombo was addressing chairpersons of housing committees in Ruwa and Goromonzi areas, including him, at his Makombe Building offices.

More than 200 co-operatives operate in the area.

Mandizvidza recently flighted several adverts in newspapers claiming that the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe was going to officially launch the consortium, in a bid to legitimise his illegal operations.
A housing co-operative  chairman and land baron arrested
“Three representatives from the First Family denied knowledge of Mandizvidza who is alleged to be swindling several home-seekers of their hard earned money,” said a source.

“He claims to represent two co-operatives, which is not allowed by the law.”

Acting Local Government, Public Works and National Housing secretary Rtd Colonel Joseph Mhakayakora confirmed Mandizvidza’s arrest at the meeting.

“Mandizvidza has been handed over to the police. He just went out of the meeting with the police,” he said.

“Police are going to look into the issues he is accused of, among them squandering people’s money.

“In due course, all those who have been accused of pocketing money will be called to answer charges levelled against them.

“There is no one who has the authority to take State land and charge rentals for it.”

Rtd Col Mhakayakora said State land was managed through the ministry or in some cases the ministry gives responsibility to the local authorities, in this case the Goromonzi Rural District Council and the Ruwa Local Board.

Early this month, Mandizvidza made news after announcing that a 20-member grouping of housing co-operatives in Harare’s Caledonia and Eastview had formed a housing consortium aimed at co-ordinating activities in the area which are haphazard.

There are a number of disputes over mismanagement and the inability to come up with a consolidated master plan for the construction and installation of key infrastructure such as roads, water, sewer systems and electricity in Caledonia.

Former Deputy Minister for Transport and Infrastructural Development and Goromonzi South legislator Petronella Kagonye — who has interests in the area — also attended yesterday’s meeting at Minister Chombo’s offices. Herald
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