Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle still a headache

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THE controversial Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle housing scheme launched by the government in 2005 following Operation Murambatsvina is proving to be a headache for local authorities.

This comes after government in 2009 handed over the housing programme to local authorities for management. The programme, however, received international criticism as it was seen as nothing but a political development to displace urbanites seen as opposition party supporters.

Local authorities from Matabeleland South told National Housing minister Daniel Garwe that the Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle projects were giving them headaches as they could not locate and identify the owners of the houses.

The local authorities further noted that the owners in question were not even paying councils for service provision.

“Some of the beneficiaries are nowhere to be found, the documents that we have is just a scheduled list of names, for example, E. Sibanda with ID number but no address and no communication. Those people are paying nothing to the council and I want to believe that they are not paying anything to the ministry of national housing,” said Elvis Sibanda, chief executive officer of Matobo Rural District Council.

Speaking on behalf of the government’s Housing acting chief director, Nelson Kuwanda, admitted that Garakai/Hlalani Kuhle was a very protracted area.

“The Cabinet said the programme, as an emergency should wind up and revert to local authorities. We were working with the military and other government departments to provide that space as an emergency. When the government decided to wind it up, the eventual resting place for that programme is the local authorities but on certain provisos,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, National Housing deputy minister Yeukai Simbanegavi said it was possible that some of the beneficiaries had relocated.

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