Murambatsvina: who got the Hopley stands?

I PUT a question with notice to Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo on Operation Murambatsvina as it has affected, among other areas, Hatcliffe Extension,which he announced will not be used for housing, especially low-cost housing,

as it is “unsuitable”!


This is despite the fact that it is right next to Hatcliffe One, a high-density area, and that the site-and-service scheme was laid out for low-cost housing and the water and sewerage reticulation installed for that layout, and funded by the World Bank.


His response was that it is not suitable to have a high-density area right next to a university and that it is going to be re-designed so that there are some houses for teachers at the adjacent police boarding school, but the rest of it will be for the Zimbabwe Open University, which has 25 000 students enrolled and needs that space!


This is a lame excuse. They are just reducing the number of people living in Harare North, in my view, so that we will be merged with another constituency to reduce the number of Movement for Democratic Change constituencies.


This issue is of serious concern to the residents of Hatcliffe Extension, who still believe they have a right to their allocated stands, for which they paid deposits and rent, and have lease agreements with the government.


This matter is before the Supreme Court, but we have no idea how long it will take to hear the case or hand down judgement. Besides, we know that we can no longer rely on impartiality from that bench.


Chombo stated that all the residents of Hatcliffe Extension who went to Caledonia Farm were allocated stands at Hopley Farm as listed in the Herald of July 2. We have done an analysis of that list to see how many of the sample 329 families we managed to record before they were evicted have been allocated stands at Hopley.


The number of stands allocated at Hopley, which were all for Hatcliffe Extension residents, according to Chombo, is 1 272 stands. Only one stand has been allocated to any of the people on our sample list – to Susan Mapuranga who was on stand 3987 Hatcliffe Extension.


Who got the other stands? We know one person on the list who did – Robson Mhandu, probably of the ZBC, unless there are two Robson Mhandus.


Trudy Stevenson,

MP – Harare North.

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