Gweru-Mtapa residents are set to get their long-awaited home ownerships rights as the council is expected to complete the exercise soon.
The development comes as the affected residents have for years engaged the council to grant them ownership papers following cases of overpopulation of families in the old suburb.
Speaking on the sidelines of the exercise, Gweru United Progressive Residents and Ratepayers Development Association (GUPRARDA), Director, Pastor David Chikore said as an association they were happy to receive the news after a long struggle.
“We can now proudly confirm that our efforts as GUPRARDA to secure Home Ownership status for Mtapa residents in Sections 3 ( Zimuto &Rafu) and Section 7 have borne the much-needed fruit.
“Any time from now Gweru City Council will be announcing the successful completion of the exercise in Section 3, with the subsequent process of issuing out title deeds to beneficiaries of the program by the City’s Housing Department. The process for Section 7 is also at an advanced stage and nearing completion.
“As an association, we want to thank the residents in this affected category who entrusted us with this onerous task,” he added.
He further thanked the former Mayor and ward 2 councilors, Josiah Makombe for turning a listening ear to the affected residents.
“The battle to secure title over the rented properties had been raging on unabated for close more than two decades and we took it up in earnest towards the end of 2016.
“We ratcheted pressure on the issue in September and October 2017.
The whole of 2019 up to October 2021 we have been seized with the issue and we can now only wait to celebrate when Council officially goes public with the news.
“We did not achieve this mean feat on our own, special mention should go to the former Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe who used his influence at Town House to help us to push this issue across the finish line. Also deserving special mentions are Councillor Godfrey Giwa who was also helpful and the Housing department which collaborated to make this effort succeed.
” Greater accolades though go to Mr. Marerwa the Town Planning and his team from the Engineering section who worked tirelessly by doing all the necessary surveying and design drawings which culminated in the Ministry granting Council the green light to proceed with giving the long-suffering residents the much sought after relief,” Chikore said.
Irene Kanopara said, they were grateful to the council but called on for other partners to come on board on the issue of ablution facilities.
“As you know here in section 3 we still have our old Blair toilet which is used by more than 50 families. We are having challenges with People with Disability are struggling to use the toilet because it’s dirty and always busy as men, children and women are always on a stampede for the facility.
“We appeal to partners, and donors to come and complete toilets for us. Then in our homes, our kids are sleeping under the beds and some on the verandas. We want the process of ownership to speed” she added.
Meanwhile, some of the residents who have resources are set to renovate their structures, while those relocating are getting stands in Mkoba 21 and Senga areas.
“We believe the exercise will translate to more rev enue flowing into Council coffers as plans are purchased from the council and approved by the council at a fee.
On the other hand, the residents will have peace of mind as they have secured security of tenure through getting title over their properties.
“We are honored and proud to have been given the opportunity to push this agenda and we are proud to have been the voice of the voiceless and a defender of the defenseless. However, we will only feel that we are done when Section 7 is completed and those who are supposed to move have been allocated stands.” Chikore added.
In January 2019 the then Mayor, Dr Makombe, promised to urgently address the issue of Mtapa house ownerships by urging residents to clear their bills to enable the smooth flow of the exercise.